Your Email Marketing Needs Some Love

This past week, email marketing service provider Mailer Mailer produced an email marketing metrics report. The report offered up some averages and trends for several metrics relied upon by email marketers. A number of main stream media outlets picked up on the report including emarketer, and the results are very telling about the email marketing industry. Performance is honestly a bit lousy.

Open rates are declining. Click rates are trending downward. These effects are commonly referred to as list fatigue. On the whole, campaigns around the world are missing one key ingredient: L-O-V-E, love.

email marketing open rates

Consider this for a moment: the connection you share with your subscribers and regular recipients should be viewed as a relationship. Strong ties between individuals typically lead to greater rewards in business and in our personal lives. The more we strive to create and take part in meaningful experiences for both parties, the greater likelihood the good times will continue. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

The following breaks down potential problems and solutions to email list fatigue. Each is followed by a translation to similar scenarios in our personal relationships.

Love on the Rocks

Here are three potential issues you may have if your email metrics are in decline.

War of the RosesDelivery to the Same Tired Old List
List fatigue is often the result of sending the same messages to the same people and expecting different results. If this sounds familiar, good luck. Consistency is good, but if your campaign is lacking anything worth getting excited about, it’s time to mix things up.

“Nothing ever changes. You’re bored. I’m bored. What’s the point?”

Lack of Relevance with Messaging
One of the primary reasons for unsubscribes is lack of relevance. Each email send should be viewed as a method to communicate with the individual, not the masses. If your messages do not resonate, expect people to unsubscribe or just stop opening.

“It’s not you, it’s me. We’re just growing apart and going different places.”

Attempts to Rekindle an Expired Flame
The genesis of several shoddy email marketing campaigns is the discovery of an old list. The problem here is that many of the people that used to buy from you, used to do business with you, or used to know you probably don’t anymore. Resist having high hopes when sending to a list of recipients with whom you have not connected in months (or worse, years).

“Hey! Remember me from college? Wow, good times, huh? It’s great to catch up with you here on Facebook.”

Let’s Stay Together

Woo your recipients back with these three email campaign strategies.

Re-Engagement Campaigns
No matter who you are, not all your recipients share equal enthusiasm about receiving email messages from you. Many on your list may have not opened a message from you in the past few sends. It’s important find out if they are still interested in receiving mail from you or if you are simply sending to an abandoned account. Pull a list of those that have not opened any messages from you in the past three months. Send an email only to those members of your list with some kind of relevant invitation or incentive to re-engage. Perhaps they would like to receive messages from you less frequently. Maybe they want you to send them only messages pertaining to one piece of your offering. Find out why they are on the fence, and do your best to win them back.

“It’s time we fish or cut bait, sweet pea.”

Segment & Personalize
Use every touchpoint with your customers to learn something more about them. Observe when they open and when the do not. Monitor what they click on and what they ignore. Segment your lists and your subsequent messages based on behavior and survey results data. Understand the motivations and interests of each individual. Avoid the trap that many email marketers fall into when they begin to believe this is a one-to-many medium. In reality, it should be one-to-one times the number of people on your lists.

“What do you love most about being with me?”

Seek Advice
New to email marketing or not sure what the best way to craft and send a message or how to measure the results? Find someone who does. Read up on viable techniques and service providers from proven email marketing experts. Ask questions.

“You guys have been together for years. How do you do it?”

So who are these purveyors of sage email marketing advice? Who is the Clark to your Rusty Griswold? Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Retail Email Blog
ExactTarget Blog
Blue Sky Factory
Mail Chimp Blog
eROI Resource Center

Comments

  1. I agree, especially about relevance.These findings, especially those concerning promotions in email tie in very closely with recent research (provided by ICD) I have seen as part of my work on the IAB UK’s Email Market Council, Which shows that although the majority would delete emails without opening them if they didn’t feel they were relevant, 70% were more likely to open an email if it contained an offer incentive in the subject line. Offers of money off scored highly too with prior knowledge of the brand also important.

    http://www.dotdigitalblog.com/email-marketing/61-prefer-to-receive-promotions-by-email/

  2. Chris Sietsema says:

    Thanks for your insight, Tink. I definitely agree. Based on the results from the report referenced in my post, relevance seems to outweigh personalization. Those messages that were not personalized actually provided better results than many messages with personalization in the subject line specifically. If quality content is king in search, content and other areas of digital marketing, relevant content is certainly most important for email marketing.

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