Friday, August 12, 2011

The Open or Delete Test

Last weekend I posted some email hints, but today I want to cut to the chase.

My first hands on experience with running an email campaign was a few years ago as the V-P of Communications for the American Advertising Federation - Fort Wayne.

Emails were sent to announce and invite members and non-members to our monthly functions.

I had help with the graphics from a designer, but the content was all mine.

But even more important than the content inside the email, was the Headline, or Subjectline.

Maybe it was due to my radio script writing background, combined with a sly sense of humor and a solid background in getting attention by being a little outrageous at times, but I saw the open rate and the click thru rate of the emails I sent sky rocket compared to the year before I took over.

If you are going to do email marketing, make sure you work it, and work it well, don't just do it as a task on your to-do list.

Pat Mcgraw shares his thoughts:

Are You Excited by Your Inbox?

Posted: 04 Aug 2011 06:50 AM PDT

email inbox

“The number one reason that consumers opted out of email lists was that the emails received were not pertinent to them (58%). The second most popular reason was that the sender sent too many emails (44%). Less than a third of those surveyed opted out over too many emails in general, because their situation changed or they are using less email in favor of other modes of communication like texting or social media.”

MarketingSherpa. “Email Maketing Benchmark Guide.” 2008.

How often does your company ask email subscribers for input on topics of interest? What delivery options do you offer them – daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? And do your emails provide a mix of education/information with promotional messages – or is your editorial focus leaning towards promotional offers over education/information?

Forgive me if I repeat myself, but a few months ago, I bought a new pair of Sperry Topsiders from Sperry’s website. Since then, I have been bombarded with promotional emails for the same product I just bought. After a few weeks, I just started deleting them, unread. Eventually, I unsubscribed – and that got me thinking about other emails and before you know it, I have been on an ‘unsubscribe binge’ that’s impacting a lot of companies.

So what are you doing to engage the 98% or more of your email subscribers that never open or click or buy from your emails efforts? If your readers opt-out because the content isn’t relevant, are you taking steps to eliminate this reason?

Are you reaching out on a regular basis and asking for content ideas or input on possible topics so your readers never get to the point where they want to opt-out because of the content?

If your readers opt-out because of the frequency of email, are you testing various delivery schedules? Can they get the daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly delivery option?

(And let’s be honest, if the content was worth a damn, frequency isn’t a problem. So take a look at the content needs/wants of this group too.)

Sure, it’s more work – but your job is supposed to be about engaging qualified buyers and driving life-long relationships. And that might require a little more work and creativity than banging out “Save 20% Today” emails two or three times per week. Beating the customer into submission really isn’t winning.

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