How many emails did you wake up to this morning? And more importantly, how many did you delete without reading? On any given day, 293 billion emails ping their way around the globe, and an average office worker will receive 121 of them in their inbox. If you consider those stats, it makes sense that the top reason that US users gave for unsubscribing in 2017 was “I get too many emails in general”.
Without a doubt, email marketing is one of the best tools to make customers engage with your brand. A DMA report in 2015 discovered that for every $1 spent on an average email marketing campaign, the return was $38. But, and this is a very big but, poor email marketing can be equally, if not more, detrimental to a brand, which is why it’s important to exercise some email marketing hygiene.
Are you looking after your email marketing lists?
The days of having a physical address book are long behind us, but many of us will remember crossed-out names and changed addresses. It was our way of ensuring that we stayed in contact with the right people. The same rule should always be applied to email marketing lists. Providing the recipients with opt-ins (and even double opt-ins) not only gives them the option to say, “thanks but no thanks” but also confirms that the message is getting to the right target audience.
While we’re on the subject of target audiences, there should also be different email marketing lists for B2B and B2C clients. Sending the same email to everyone on a mailing list is a scattergun approach that will undoubtedly be more miss than hit. Imagine, for example, a builder with an email mailing list made up of residential clients, business clients, architects, and builder’s merchants. A business client won’t be interested in the latest extension built to give a family more space. Similarly, a residential client won’t be interested in exact specifications and technical emails. If an email is pinging into someone’s inbox, it needs to be relevant. Bloom and Wild, an online florist, have followed this model and were haled for giving customers the option of opting out of marketing emails around Mother’s Day and other potentially triggering dates. As a result, other companies have followed suit.
Are you using data responsibly?
As a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Not Another Marketing Agency have signed up to the Data Right Pledge. The aim is to give customers and clients the peace of mind that their information is being used responsibly. There are four simple concepts; be clear (let people know how you will use their data), show the benefits (what are the positives of them handing over their email address), show respect (be trusted, honest and transparent), be in the know (stay on the right side of the law and best practice). In a nutshell, it can be summarised as ‘treat other people’s information as you would like yours to be treated’.
Do you need to send that email?
Remember the concept of “think before you speak”? How about “think before you email”? There are two important issues at play. The first is the content of any emails that are sent. Just because you think it contains really valuable information doesn’t mean that your mailing list will (we refer you back to the example of the builder). The point of sending a marketing email is to encourage people to read it and purchase from a business, but they don’t always need to be “buy, buy, buy”. Relational emails are equally, if not more important. A relational email is a regular update that contains useful information, think of it as a newsletter, and is a fantastic way to build up a relationship with email contacts. Think of it in the same way you would deal with someone face to face; you wouldn’t just jump in with your latest promotional offer; you’d try to get to know the customer first.
Secondly, consider the capacity of your business. Is there the personnel available to effectively deal with an increase in enquiries following a mass campaign? Failure to do this can not only lead to potential damage to a brand but can also cause staffing issues and ill will.
Plan, don’t spam
As with any kind of marketing, it’s important to design an email marketing strategy that is directly connected to your business plan. Not only does this make it easier to consider the content of the emails, but it also allows you to plan. Take Christmas as an example. We all know that it’s on the same date every year. A good email marketing campaign will plant seeds for a few months before December, piquing people’s interest. A series of last-minute promotional emails will be more likely to cause the recipients to click ‘unsubscribe’ instead of ‘find out more’. Again, it’s about treating people’s inboxes as you would like yours to be treated.
Not Another Marketing Agency are here to advise on every kind of business and marketing strategy and are always happy to tell you when we think you’re being a bit spammy. We can also assist in tidying up your email marketing lists.