The Dirty Dozen, Part 2
This week I discuss mistakes seven through 12 in my list of the 12 common e-mail marketing mistakes made by today's e-mail marketers.
In part one of this two part-series, which appeared in the June 5 edition of All About E-mail, I discussed mistakes one through six, which included failing to personalize e-mails, not testing enough and not using product reviews in e-mails. For the full article, click here.
7. Not segmenting your audience. Is this subscriber older than 65? A college student? A mother of young children? A small business owner? These are important questions for any marketer. If you’re going to build a long-standing relationship, messages to each customer segment should be relevant to its interests. In order to be successful, learn this information, and use it to create your e-mail messages.
8. Not learning the value of your subscribers. Permission-based subscribers have value that can be calculated. Some are worth $10 each, others more than $200. Once you compute this value, use it to determine how much you can afford to spend on list growth, including rewarding both subscribers and employees for acquiring more subscriber e-mail addresses. You also can learn how much you’re losing every month through unsubscribes. Determine this value, and use it in your marketing strategy or to convince senior management that e-mail works.
9. Not treating buyers better. In any e-mail subscriber list, 90 percent of subscribers typically never buy anything. For those 10 percent who do buy, go all out to thank them, and make sure that their subsequent e-mails reflect their status as buyers. Many marketers send the same messages to buyers as to nonbuyers. This is a serious mistake. Losing a nonbuying subscriber is a trifling matter. Losing a buyer is a disaster.
10. Sending too many e-mails. If you go from sending weekly to daily e-mails, what'll happen to your sales? They'll go up. So why not do it? Because your unsubscribes, undelivers and spam complaints also will go way up. Many marketers who’ve calculated the effect of overmailing have found that while sales went up from higher frequencies, profits and brand loyalty went way down. Think carefully before you ruin a good thing by overmailing your audience.
11. Not sending triggered e-mails. Triggered e-mails are sent when something happens in the lives of subscribers, such as birthdays or cancellations of upcoming flights. Triggered e-mails are opened and read at about double the rate of regular promotional e-mails. Have a brainstorming session, and think of all the ways you can trigger e-mails to your subscribers, setting them up to go out automatically. Be sure after the triggered event to include some promotional material that relates — if possible — to the event.
12. Sending transactional messages in text without promotions. Like triggered e-mails, transactional e-mails — e-mails that say such things as, “Your order was shipped today” — are read more than most e-mails. For this reason, they should always be in HTML and include relevant promotional material below the fold.
Arthur Middleton Hughes is senior strategist at e-Dialog, a Lexington, Mass.-based precision e-mail services provider. He and Arthur Sweetser are authors of "Successful E-mail Marketing Strategies: from Hunting to Farming" (RACOM, 2009). Reach Arthur at firstname.lastname@example.org.