Give Me Email or Give Me Death
Email is life for many Americans. In fact, recent studies show that 87% of Americans use email as their primary form of online communication. The prevalence of email in our culture may be the driving force behind the approximately 4.4% conversion rate from email marketing reported earlier this year. Unfortunately, these positive statistics have led some marketers to abuse the success of email marketing.
Recently, a survey asked North Americans how often they unsubscribe from emails. Fourteen percent of respondents said they “frequently” unsubscribe, with an additional 55% reporting that they “sometimes” unsubscribe from emails. As a marketer or small business owner, obviously, you want to minimize the number of customers unsubscribing to your emails. But how can you keep people from unsubscribing?
Let’s look at why email subscribers unsubscribe in the first place:
- Irrelevant content (67%)
- Receiving emails too frequently (64%)
- Fear that their information might be shared or sold (50%)
Give Email Subscribers What They Want
As the number of companies sending emails has risen and the number of total emails has increased dramatically ,email subscribers have gotten pickier. Here are some important tips to give email subscribers exactly what they want:
- Relevant Content
When you send out promotional emails you’ll do so in exactly the same way that you would assemble and email out a newsletter in your Volusion admin area (from the newsletter template under Marketing > Newsletters) so you can use the same tools available to you for optimizing newsletter performance.
- In each customer record you can check off which types of emails a given customer may want to receive, that way when you go to send a promotional email you can send it only to the customers that would benefit from that particular email. For instance, Volusion could have a “new customers” category so that any promotional emails offering a discount on new business services could easily be sent to just our new customers .
- Check your newsletter stats. After each bulk email you send out you’ll start accumulating statistics on how many of them were actually opened, how many resulted in an unsubscribe, and how many were marked as spam. This is important data when figuring out what’s converting to sales and what’s just annoying your customer base.
- Make sure the subject line you choose is relevant. (Ex. do not use generic subject lines like “SALE SALE SALE” or misleading subject lines like “Hurry- Free Laptop” … unless of course you’re giving away a free laptop.) If subscribers feel duped or spammed they are likely to unsubscribe.
- Appropriate Frequency
- When sending out promotional emails the absolute most frequently you should send them is every other week. Generally every 4-6 weeks is what’s considered appropriate for sending out email communications.
- Remember, your customers may not be able to tell the difference between promotional emails and newsletter emails before opening them so be aware of when you are sending both. You don’t want to send them too close together and you don’t want to send them too frequently (i.e. you shouldn’t send a monthly newsletter AND a bi-weekly promotional email because then you are emailing your customers a nauseating three times a month).
- Some customers try to get their money’s worth out of their plan’s email allotment by sending as many emails as possible in a given month. Don’t do this. No really, do not do this! Before you send an email out to your subscribers step back and ask yourself how you would react as a customer if you were getting that email. If you have any hesitation you’re probably emailing too frequently.
- Privacy Guarantees
- Make sure you’re only sending emails to subscribers. It’s easy to select “all customers” instead of “only subscribers” so double check before you send them out.
- It is incredibly important to honor a customer’s right to unsubscribe to your emails. Don’t mark all customers as subscribers if they’ve opted out of email correspondence. Respecting the personal information you collect will go a long way in establishing trust with your customers.
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist