It always starts out healthy. The relationship. I find my way to a company blog and notice the banner ad. There is a 30% off sale, and I like the products that I see. Immediately, a box pops up. Join our newsletter! Get access to instant updates on sales, deals, and more! At this point, I almost always sign up if I’m already into the goods. Put me on the VIP list.
That’s how we roll. Through the forest. Into the meadow. Off to never-never land. It’s looking good for us. I get an introductory email offer for free shipping, and I feel good. I peruse the site and maybe snag a couple of floor lamps, eager to outfit my humble abode with the latest and greatest.
As weeks turn into months, I lose my fervor. Every day my inbox is hit with an onslaught of sales and specials. It takes diligence to unsubscribe consistently. I usually wait until a big moment when I decide to sit down, go through it, and dump my subscriptions.
However, email marketing does work. Click-through rates are real. I admit that I would probably forget to visit the sites without the reminders. The mean click-through rate in 2013 was 3.6%, and the unsubscribe rate was 0.25%, according to MarketingProfs. These numbers may lead to the impression that it doesn’t matter – leave your email marketing to the chimps – but it’s important to consider some ways to keep your campaign vibrant and alive.
1) Don’t be too annoying (just annoying enough).
Do not be the company that sends alerts and notifications multiple times a day. It’s too much. Many people don’t get to their personal email as often as they’d like, so avoid having them find inbox vomit. They will not visit your site. They will delete you, and then they will go to sleep.
However, some interesting findings from Copyblogger support sending more emails is better than sending less. And, as previously admitted, email marketing generates traffic. Just keep it in the sweet spot – once daily if you’ve got enough true promotions, a couple times a week or weekly if you plan on sticking to just a newsletter and more sporadic sales.
2) Keep your promotions clean and simple.
Having too much going on at once is not offering your customers options or solutions; it’s causing them to actually whittle down all of your promotions to nothing. Stick to well-designed, manageable, and clear offers. Be transparent and concise: 20% off shoes (not everything on the site), offer valid through 6/1, not combinable with other coupons.
3) Try a newsletter with a short call to action.
Edit a company newsletter to include delightful, relevant material. This way, you can reasonably strike your outgoing messages down to a comfortable level for everyone. This also enables you to reveal more of the company culture, an opportunity not to be dismissed. End with a call to action or share link, embedding a promotion, and inviting customers to engage with social media and live web events.
4) Make it easy peasy and worthwhile.
Remember that your content matters. Select carefully what goes into your emails. Keep in mind that it needs to be easily digested in a single scan; most people aren’t reading each and every word. Also, make it a breeze to navigate and sign-up.
Email marketing is a smart move for most businesses to generate revenue. And a quick Google search can reveal plenty of package options, from the simplest of templates to highly comprehensive, full-service portfolios.
These, of course, are just the icing on the cake. But it’s a good place to start. For more email subscription tips, be sure to check out this article from Forbes.
Photo credit: Jonny Hughes