Don’t Make The Mistake I Did with Your Email Marketing
As a marketer I should have known better. Sometimes, we are so focused on advising others that we neglect to follow our own advice. 🙁
Email marketing has proven to be the mainstay of digital marketing campaigns for both the business and nonprofit sectors. According to the Small and Medium-Sized (SMB) Lead Generation Benchmark Report, email marketing is the most effective online tactic for lead generation. Email marketing is also essential for nonprofits - if they can increase their deliverability rates, they could increase their revenue by 14%! (The 2015 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Study)
So, what’s the #1 barrier to greater email marketing success?
It’s all in your lists!
I recently changed email service providers (ESP) and I learned this lesson the hard way. My lists were original, having begun many years before. I checked my reports regularly and saw that there were many people who never even opened my emails. The time it would take to clean these lists seemed overwhelming so I avoided it.
When I switched over, I uploaded my lists only to discover that many were undeliverable or failed. It was time to start over. (Sigh, groan)
So, how do you re-capture subscribers? Here’s what I did:
I sent a series of emails to my lists using my original ESP. The first one began, “We’re Changing Email Service Providers! To stay on this list, please read below…” In it, I explained what we were doing and why.
I provided links to two landing pages where recipients could re-subscribe to the monthly marketing newsletter - now re-titled Totally Uncorked on Marketing - and/or the bi-monthly Specials, Discounts, & Deals on promo products and custom printing. I also offered a free digital giveaway to those who re-subscribed. The open rate on this first announcement was 20% and 7% clicked through to re-subscribe.
I sent the next email a few days later adding a bit more urgency. “Resubscribe before September 6 to receive the September issue! If you’d like to continue to receive our marketing newsletters, you must resubscribe!” This one had an 18% open rate and and 6% clicked through to the landing page.
A couple of days later, I focused on the Specials list and started with this: “IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT,” Hi, [first name]! In case you didn’t see our previous email, we have changed our email service provider (ESP). Our Specials, Discounts, & Deals emails will now come from the new ESP beginning Tuesday, September 8, 2015. If you’d like to continue to receive these closeout deals on promotional products and custom printing, you must resubscribe!” This saw an 11% open rate and 2% click-through rate (CTR).
Two weeks later, I sent the last one, this time focusing on newsletter subscribers. “Last Chance to Re-Subscribe to Our Marketing Newsletter! Hi, [first name]. This is the last notification we’re sending to remind you that we’ve switched email service providers (ESP) and will be shutting down this account at the end of the month.” Results: 16% open rate and 3% CTR.
So, now my subscriber lists are much smaller, comprised of the interested people who engaged previously. Yes, it took a lot of painstaking work, but it was clearly long overdue. Now the fun begins trying to acquire new subscribers to expand my network. With my new book launching soon, it can’t come soon enough!
One more thing. I chose to use a double opt-in subscription process to ensure that whoever signs up confirms. This helps protect subscribers from unwanted emails - in case someone else uses their email address - and it helps keep my emails from landing in their spam folders.
When was the last time you cleaned your email marketing lists? (Don’t make the same mistake I did!)
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