The cost-effectiveness of opt-in email marketing can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you get a higher ROI from email marketing over other direct marketing methods. But being affordable means we sometimes send out too many emails too often.
It’s like candy that’s quick and easy to grab and tastes good, so even though we know it’s bad for us and it’s loaded with empty calories, we succumb to our temptations and eat even more.
It’s the same with opt-in email marketing. It’s easy to do yet another campaign and it can lead to some quick sales, so we keep going back for more, ignoring the negative long-term effects of emailing too frequently…
What’s that, you say? How can eating too much candy and emailing more frequently both be bad for you? Because one leads to weight gain, and the other leads to subscriber loss. Email your list too often and you’ll burn out your list. People will either unsubscribe or delete your emails without opening them or even report you as spam. Yes, even people who opted in initially will want out if you’re annoying them with too many messages.
OK, so this is something email marketers do know, right? But we find it easy to ignore, just like we find it easy to keep sticking our hands back in that candy bowl. Especially since there isn’t a clear sign that you are over messaging, right? But guess what, there is.
A good indicator that you might be over messaging your list is your unsubscribe rate. If you see it go up, that could mean you’re emailing people more often than they want to hear from you. Of course, not everyone will unsubscribe. Many people will just delete your emails. Some will report you as spam. So be extra sensitive when the unsubscribe rate does go up, since that’s only a portion of the people you are annoying.
As far as the candy goes, watch the level in the bag or bowl. It’s the opposite of your unsubscribe rate. If the level of candy in the bowl is going down, obviously your intake is going up! So let’s keep the level of candy in the bowl high and the unsubscribe rate low instead.
The post Is Your Opt-in Email Marketing Showing Up too Often? Here’s How You Can Tell appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.
A lot has changed in email marketing in the past 10 years, but one constant has remained: Subscribers rule. Or at least they should rule. If they don’t drive your email marketing campaigns and strategy, you might need to re-evaluate how you view them.
Why so much emphasis on subscribers? Because email marketing should be a long-term tactic. It should be viewed a marathon and not a sprint because mail is not a tool we use for acquisition. It is a tool that rocks at retention. SEO, PPC and social media can all get people to your site to start your relationship with a prospect. But email is how you continue the relationship and eventually convert that prospect into a paying customer. Even in an age dominated by social media, it is a relationship medium.
To really make use of email marketing in that way, however, you must give your subscribers control. Hence the title of this post. Subscribers rule because we’d be nowhere without them, and they rule because we have to listen to them to succeed.
To help you keep subscribers top of mind, use these tips:
- Offer options and then honor your subscribers’ unique preferences for types of content and frequency of communication
- Send timely, relevant content that improves their lives
- Think of them as individual subscribers and not as a list
- Use your email analytics to let your subscribers tell you what works and what doesn’t work
- Manage your email marketing campaigns for the long-term, and always be thinking of them that way
- Strive to engage your subscribers and talk to them, not at them
- Establish email marketing policies to make sure you’re always putting the subscriber’s best interests first
Respect the medium of email marketing, and respect the subscribers as a result. Email touches your best customers, the people who said “Yes, I want to hear from you” vs. searchers who want to hear from you once–maybe. Make sure your subscribers want to keep hearing from you by treating them well…and letting them rule.
(Updated March 29, 2018) You’ve jumped through all those hoops to get that email delivered to the inbox. That in and of itself is a feat, so good job on your email deliverability! But…now what? Now you’re depending on the recipient to open it. Otherwise, what’s the point? And just because you got it to the inbox doesn’t mean they will open it.
A delivered email is not yet an effective email
Just because your email got delivered doesn’t mean it’s going to get opened, let alone acted upon. But you can increase the likelihood that it will. To help your email “deliver” once delivered, follow these two best practices:
- Use a carefully crafted subject line
- Use an appropriate From address
Use a carefully crafted subject line
If you’ve been working in email marketing for any length of time, you know the best way to determine an effective subject line is through A/B split testing. So I’m not going to tell you how long it should be or how short it should be or what it should say. You are the best judge of the subject lines for your brand and your target audiences. But I will say, spend time on it! Even today in 2018 as we update this 10 year old blog post I still see lazy subject lines in my inbox every single day. Those types of subject lines will undo all of the hard work you went through to master your email deliverability because they will dissuade the recipient from opening your email, not persuade them to do so.
Use an appropriate From address
When deciding which name or email address shows in the From field of your email, remember that more email recipients do check who the email is from when determining whether to open an email–or not. To follow through on your email deliverability, follow these best practices for your best From address:
- Use and/or change labels as appropriate. If you’re segmenting (and you are segmenting, right?), you might need to use different From names depending on the audience you’re targeting. Do not do no do not use a sales@ From address ever! Or admin@ or info@ or anything else like that.
- Keep a static From address for each email you send to that list, unless you have a really good reason not to. That way, recipients get used to that From name and it becomes familiar to them.
- Don’t use a specific person’s name unless that name is known to the recipient. For example, if I say just Marco Marini, they won’t necessarily know who that is and will be less likely to open my email as a result. However, if including the company name increases the recognition factor, do it that way, as in Marco Marini – ClickMail Marketing.
- Ask people to add your From address to their safe sender’s list or address book. This will help to ensure that your email deliverability to that recipient stays high, and that’s a level of engagement that indicates they want to hear from you!
Email deliverability must come first, to get those emails to the intended inboxes. But make sure you’re taking steps to get your emails opened too…or else you’re undoing all of your hard work to get there in the first place.
The post In the Inbox? Good Job! Now Use These 2 Tips to Get Your Email Opened! appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.
Here’s one really important aspect to keep in mind when planning your next email marketing campaign, whether you’re on the email marketing team for a global brand or you’re the owner of a small mom-and-pop business: Have a great offer.
Just because you think it’s a good idea, just because you would want it (or at least you want people to want it so you’ll make money), don’t assume the person getting your email necessarily wants to download your whitepaper or buy your gadget or watch your video ad or act on any other kind offer. Whatever you’re offering has to be truly compelling to get the recipient to want to say, “Yes, I want to act on this.”
Maybe we should take a lesson from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great when thinking about the offer. He says good is the enemy of great, because if you’re good, you’re “good enough” and that’s not the same as being great. Could this apply to our email marketing offers too?
Next time you’re planning an email marketing campaign, step back and evaluate that offer objectively, asking yourself: Is this a good offer? Or is it great? If it’s only “good enough,” go back and try again. Go back and come up with a great offer.
Otherwise, your emails will be wasted opportunities, not the revenue generators they should be.
The post Is Your Email Marketing Offer Only “Good Enough”? Then Make It Great appeared first on ClickMail | Whitelist.
(This post was originally published 10 years ago, and sadly is as spot on today as it was in 2008.)
Organizations ideally should talk their talk and walk their walk, right? We can cut some slack for all-volunteer organizations because they lack paid staff. But other associations and organizations do have the resources to be role models in their industries…and should, especially when it comes to email marketing best practices.
Take for example an email marketing focused organization that shall remain anonymous for the sake of politeness. The other day I signed up for their newsletter to learn more about the group. They get kudos for using opt-in email marketing. But then the experience went awry…
Right away I received an opt-in confirmation email that was as dry as dry can be: no brand, no flavor, no engagement.
Then when I clicked on the link to confirm my subscription I was taken to a landing page that said: “Thank you for subscribing.”
Period. That’s it. Nothing else. Nada. The rest of the page was just blank, a whole lotta white space, although the header for the Web site was there.
Here’s an organization focused on email marketing and completely missing the boat on the power of the “welcome” email first, and the opportunity to engage a prospect at the landing page second.
There are two ways to turn this loss into a win:
- Work that welcome email! Thank them for subscribing, reassure them that it was a smart decision to sign up, remind them of the benefit and value they’ll get for subscribing. Maybe even remind them of the frequency. Make them feel good about the choice and confident in what to expect.
- Work that landing page! Thank goodness this group is using double opt-ins, but when you do, it’s not just one more step that subscribers have to take. It’s an opportunity for you to market and get them to the next step in the sales process. Your welcome email reinforces their decision to sign up by reminding them of the benefits of doing so. Your landing page can engage them further and get them to dig deeper into your site. In this case, the organization wants to sell whitepapers and memberships. What if the landing page said something like “Thanks for confirming your subscription! You’ll receive an issue of ABC Newsletter shortly. In the meantime, you can explore our Web site for whitepapers and the benefits of membership.” And so on.
The welcome email is a welcome chance to get more from your email marketing efforts. Take it.
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