Email is everywhere. On average, I would bet it is safe to say that I send and receive upwards of 30 emails a day. These are just the ones that are relevant to my daily functioning at work, not including the junk mail, spam, and advertisements. This week we learned about display advertising, and email marketing. Email marketing is an invaluable tool that marketers can use to optimize their reach. There are many forms of email marketing that can be beneficial. Email is highly customizable. This makes personalization very attainable.
“Personalization – it is not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.” – Dan Jak
Creating an email list, or database of clients, is the first step to starting your email marketing efforts. It is important to make sure that your clients and potential clients want to receive emails from you. Failure to do so can land a business blacklisted for spam. By requiring your customer to indicate that they are ok with receiving promotional materials when they visit your site, check out online, or make a purchase in the store it helps reduce your risk of being caught up in the spam filters.
The majority of online retailers offer discounts the first time you visit their site if you sign up for their email list. You will see this as a pop up many times. One website I visited recently gave me a pop up window shortly after I entered their site. It offered me 40% off any single item at check out if I signed up with my email address! This is one way for a company to build their promotional email list. Another way is at check out. Most sites make you sign up for an account when you make an online purchase. As part of their sign up process you typically need to uncheck a pre-checked box indicating that you would like to receive promotions. If you fail to uncheck the box, you automatically become part of their mailing list.
Today I received 25 promotional emails. I get emails on a daily basis from companies I shop at regularly, and some from companies I rarely or never use. I recently went through my email and “unsubscribed” from about 15 lists. I decided to unsubscribe because I was receiving excessive emails. This is no fun for anyone! I have included a screen shot with some of them. It is really crazy how many emails I get from places that I never even open. I do appreciate getting the occasional promotion from places, but I get very frustrated when I get emails from the same company daily.
I get emails multiple times a week from Victoria’s Secret, Groupon, Esty, and Kohl’s. It is annoying! Do any of you have similar experiences? How do you handle it?
One of the things we learned about this week is cleaning your email list. A company should make sure to maintain an updated database with relevant and active participants on their email list. Email marketing managers have the ability to find out what happens to their emails after they are sent. There are a few categories that a marketer can identify. Hard Bounce is what is referenced when an email bounces back to the sender immediately. If this happens, the email address should be immediately removed from the email distribution list. A Soft Bounce usually means an email inbox is full. If this happens about four or more times, the address should be removed. Another method of tracking is Non-Opening. When an email goes unopened by the recipient for several months, it throws up red flags to the spam filters. A company can avoid death by spam filter if they monitor and manage their email lists closely.
I guess my biggest take away from this week is to create a strategy and stick to it. Do A/B testing on subject lines constantly. Find new and creative ways to reach out to your clients. Use your email list to be a gentle, friendly reminder that your business is there, just waiting to serve. Do not be an annoyance to your patrons. Do not overwhelm people to the point where they unsubscribe from your list. Do not be the one to get caught up in spam filters. Have a specific plan in place that will help your business thrive through email marketing! Use the glorious technologies we have today to thrive!
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” – David Newman