Most of what I have written this year about e-mail marketing has been complaints. So these are my New Year’s resolutions for e-mail marketers:
1. Target your e-mails. Resist the temptation to blast everyone on your list regardless of whether they will be interested in what you have to say. A good e-mail is timely and relevant. If you send out too many e-mails, your recipients will report your e-mails as spam, hurting your reputation and possibly your ability to send e-mails in the future.
2. Send trigger emails. I am a big fan of Barnes and Noble. I love purchasing books on-line and they make it so easy for me. For example, their website indicates how quickly each book typically ships. When I place an order, I receive confirmation almost instantaneously and then am kept abreast of the shipping status of my order. I love knowing exactly where my books are and when I can expect to receive them. As a result, I appreciate trigger emails and expect them to be timely. If I sign up for a new service on-line, I expect to receive a welcome e-mail within 24 hours, if not sooner. I am amazed and disappointed by organizations that do not send trigger emails as they are important for reinforcing the relationship and offer an up-sell or cross-sell opportunity.
3. Create a preference center and follow it. Allow subscribers to determine the frequency, content and even form of communication. DailyLit is a great example I wrote about. DailyLit allows subscribers to choose the amount of text they receive, the frequency and timing of communication and whether users receive emails or RSS feeds. Thus, their communication is more likely to be read.
4. Create your emails with image blocking in mind. I wrote about image blocking in one post and then had to resist doing it again and again as I received more and more e-mails that clearly were not designed for e-mail providers who automatically blocked images.
5. Reactivate or eliminate inactive e-mail subscribers. As I noted in an earlier post, it is nice to be asked if you want to continue to receive emails from an organization. This gentle reminder reengaged me and reestablished a relationship. Alternatively, marketers could create a formal reactivation campaign as part of their campaign cycle.
6. Measure your campaigns and continuously learn. I believe strongly in testing and measurement, comparing campaigns to benchmark rates or past campaigns, and determining the return on investment (ROI) of campaigns. In the end, everyone one wants to know what worked, what did not work and whether the campaign was successful. If you are interested, past posts have provided sources for e-mail metrics and a discussion of A/B testing.
Happy New Year!