Why Email Will Remain Important Even With More Messaging Options

graph-752712_1280With the rise of more marketing options, it may seem that email marketing will become obsolete. However, email marketing has been around for a long time and has faced numerous challenges when it comes to marketing messaging online. For instance, social media has long been thought of as a way for businesses to connect with their audience but it has failed to achieve the success email marketing has.

Now with new instant chat messages being deployed and mobile marketing being used by more organisations, email marketing would seem to be at risk again, though the possibility of this is fairly low. However, there are many reasons why email will remain important for a long time to come.

Trust Is The Key Aspect

74% of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages via their email accounts. This is because the consumer feels that they are giving you permission to contact them via their email accounts. It shows a high level of trust and therefore, half the battle is won on converting the contact to a customer – you just have to demonstrate why they should buy that product.

With social media, mobile and instant messaging, the consumer doesn’t need to give permission to be contacted. Therefore, many customers are wary of marketing messages that are delivered this way as they don’t trust them.

In the UK, this has been demonstrated by injury claims and payment protection compensation. Lawyers from both niche industries have been sending out numerous messages via mobiles and the phone, offering customers thousands in compensation. The biggest problem is that they are not targeting their customers and are just sending messages to every number or contact.

Then the callers claim that they hold records indicating you are owed money, often thousands. This is often inaccurate. And the mistakes are compounded by the use of automation and recorded messages.

Apart from being in breech in the country’s data protection laws, where all databases have to be accurately maintained, it breaks down trust. How can the consumer trust a message that is inaccurate and one that is delivered by a recorded voice?

Simply put, both messages have become a major source of grief in the UK and there have been demands for the practices to be stopped.

Costs

Likewise, email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to deliver a marketing message. Text messaging often costs 30 to 40 cents per recipient. For a contacts list of 2,000 this could mean that messaging costs $6,000 or more. Add on additional costs, such as time to develop the message and campaign and it could simply be too expensive to execute, yielding limited returns.

Email marketing on the other hand is fairly cost effective, with the same number of recipients costing just $49 per month on Fluttermail and you can send as many messages as you like. This makes achieving a positive ROI much more likely.

Traceable

Another issue is that other mediums of content have limited tracking features, for example if the customer has opened, read, clicked through or deleted your message. This can be frustrating as this tracking feature allows you to refine your list, sending targeted messages to the consumers, knowing they will achieve the best results.

Conclusion

Email marketing has faced numerous technologies and new marketing options that have threatened its importance in the marketing plans of business. However, there has so far been no technology able to reduce the effectiveness of email marketing for businesses.

So while it is a good idea to investigate and use other marketing tools for business, you should not abandon email marketing.

What other tools do you use for marketing your small business? How effective are they?

Let us know in the comments.

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5 Mistakes You Should Never Make With Your Email Campaigns

spider-monkey-637060_1280Email marketing is one of the most important sales channels your business will use. It accounts for more online sales than social media, retargeting and banner ads. Some of the best businesses in the world earn the majority of their income from sending out regular promotional emails.

There are several secrets to the success of their email marketing campaigns. You can achieve their success by not making major mistakes which can damage you reputation, annoy your mailing list or give the impression you are unprofessional.

Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Following Legal Code

There is a massive difference between cold calling and cold emailing – cold emailing is illegal in many cases. According to digital marketing laws in most countries, you should have permission from the list contact to be able to send promotional content. This rule must be followed unless the email address is from a limited company and it has no personal information in it.

However, sending emails to info@ or marketing@ is highly ineffective as it is normally not a decision maker who checks these accounts. Not following these rules can result in a fine which could cripple your finances.

2. Strategic Failure

One of the first things you should be doing before you even start sending off an email or building your list is to identify the goal for the list. Something that is strategic and applies to every communication you have.

Whether this is building awareness of offers on your ecommerce site or delivering content that will appeal to your audience – you have to know what the purpose of your email marketing campaign is.

Then when you write each email marketing message, you have to know what the specific aim is for that message (i.e. selling a particular product).

3. Forget To Blind Copy

Many businesses that run their lists off their mail servers make this mistake from time to time; when they accidently forget to ensure that no-one else can see who else the mail has gone to.

This can be particularly embarrassing as you are providing details to other businesses or individuals who might not want their information shared and it also looks highly unprofessional.

To avoid this, use an email marketing software program to hide contact details from other contacts. It looks more professional and more personal.

4. Sending Your Mail From ‘no-reply@’ or ‘info@’

As humans we love to feel the human connection. This is why email marketing campaigns sent from addresses like no-reply@ or info@ are not going to be ineffective. Think of email marketing as a conversation, you wouldn’t talk to a computer or a cash machine, so don’t automate your email marketing messages.

Instead use a named individual to send the message from. This could be a member of your marketing team; however, a senior person in your organisation can often send a more powerful marketing message to your contact’s list.

5. Buying An Email Marketing List

Don’t ever think of buying an email marketing list. These are highly ineffective and can often ruin your mail server’s reputation. Getting blacklisted will ensure that your emails will always hard bounce and there is very little you can do apart from starting anew.

The whole point of an email marketing campaign is that the contact has given you permission and is open to communications. This makes their use cost effective and gratifying.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the best online marketing avenues for your business. What you need to ensure is that you don’t accidently make any email marketing mistakes like the ones above and that you are producing high quality content that will entice your audience to find out more information.

What other mistakes can you think of? What mistakes have you made and how did you resolve them?

Let us know in the comments below.

Take action:

  • Learn from the mistakes of other email marketers to perfect your own campaigns.

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7 Email Marketing Strategies You Need To Implement Immediately

globe-63774_1280There are approximately 2.5 billion email users in the world and 74% of them prefer to receive promotional material via their email accounts. This makes email marketing one of the most effective and critical marketing activities your business should be undertaking right now.

While creating campaigns for your customers might yield some success. To make the most from your campaigns you should be optimising them. There are several strategies which allow you to do this. Here are seven strategies for you to implement in your next campaign:

1. Specific Audience

Not every email you create is going to be relevant to all those on your list. For instance, a message about setting up a new account with you is pointless to already existing customers. Therefore you want to limit who you are sending your messages to only those who should read the content.

Careful segregation will limit unsubscribers, lower costs and improve your marketing results very quickly. This can be achieved by ensuring there is a label in your database that refers to what sub-list they should be listed on. Then when you are sending a campaign, use the label to determine who should receive the message.

2. Specific Time

Email marketing is effective because it can be picked up at any time. However, research has shown that emails are generally opened at certain times. You’ll want your emails to be sent at the best times and not at other, less effective, times.

There are numerous studies claiming they know when you should send emails. Many of them disagree with the best time to send mail. The best practice is to experiment and discover when it is best to send your audience emails.

3. A/B Testing

To ensure you are sending your email messages at the best time, and that the design of your message is right, you should A/B test your emails. Start with testing when to send your emails and then move onto the email design.

There are various elements you can test, including image position, subject lines or the call to action copy. By testing these one at time, you can ensure your campaigns become more effective.

4. Have Value

Always answer the question: “What is in it for me” question. If your contacts can take an important message away from your communication: whether it is how to do something or where to get something – then you’ll gain their trust and it will make it easier to sell to them.

5. Mobile Friendly

More emails are being read on SmartPhones and other mobile devices, than on desktops. Emails need to be formatted right if they are to be read correctly on your contacts’ mobile devices. Otherwise your messages will not look professional and this will limit impact.

To help with mobile friendliness, you need to limit images and the complexity of your design. At the same time, ensure your website is also optimised for mobile devices.

6. Social Media

Social media is a highly effective way for you to spread word of your brand to new audiences and potential customers. Don’t undervalue the opportunity. Embed social media share buttons on all your emails. Then the emails can be directly shared on various platforms and this can encourage others to view a web version.

7. Follow Up

After you have sent your email marketing message, you need to examine the results. You should use this to determine who is interested in your content and products. If you notice someone is opening your mail and clicking through to your website but then not doing anything, you should follow up with a phone call. They might be experiencing a barrier that is preventing them from buying. By calling them you might be able to help them to complete the intended action.

Conclusion

Improve the results of your email marketing by using some powerful email marketing strategies above. Then you can generate more revenue from your emails and have a better return on investment.

What strategies do you use to ensure effectiveness?

Let us know in the comments below.

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The Ideal Length For Your Email Subject Line

tape-measure-145397_1280We are often told that size doesn’t matter. Well that is wrong. Size does matter when it comes to your email subject line. It is the first impression your audience will have on what is contained within your marketing message. It needs to entice them to open the email and red further. Therefore, the subject line needs to be alluring, indicate what the message is about and not give away the whole story.

This can be a difficult balancing act. Most people think they need to write an essay to achieve all three. While this can help, it can also be tough to read. Some try for the shortest email subject line they can manage. Yet this can seem non-descriptive.

Both camps claim they have the answer; yet, only research will tell what the impact is on the open rate for campaigns.

The Adestra Research Project

Adestra compiled some results from email marketing campaigns they were monitoring. They looked at how people interacted with a message and compared that to the email subject line. The results they saw were rather interesting. Firstly, they spotted that there was a sizeable bump in success when subject lines were between 10 and 30 characters long. Results either side of this mark were less than half.

Subject lines of this length are often offering a deal (i.e. Claim your 50% off today, etc). Therefore, it is normally business to customer messages that achieve success while being short.

Yet this wasn’t the only interesting result. Subject lines that were between 30 and 70 characters long achieved less than average responses while those over 100 characters seemed to perform well.

There was a particularly good set of results when email subject lines were 130 characters long.

ShowMeLeads Input

Another study conducted by the president of ShowMeLeads, Madhu Gulati, found another set of results that could turn the results above upside down. According to their research into 260 million emails sent during 540 campaigns, they found the following results:

  • More than half (52%) of campaigns contained 11 to 15 words in the subject line. However, it had the poorest open rate.
  • Those campaigns that contained between six and 10 words received a 21% open rate.
  • Short subject lines (five words or less) had 16% open rates.

These results are almost in contrast to what was previously reported on Adestra.

MailChimp’s Results

MailChimp has also studied the problem. They came to the conclusion that length meant nothing and that it was the reader’s tastes that determined whether they would open your message up or not.

While there is some truth in this, looking at the MailChimp results there is something of note. Their results show an above rise in opens and clicks when the subject line is short. According to their data, you are bound to get the best results when your subject line is between 15 and 22 characters long.

This is rather important as it correlates with the other two studies.

Important Notes

It is important that click through rates shouldn’t be a huge factor on whether your subject line is best. Once the audience is at this point, other factors are determining their behaviour.

It is also important to note that none of these studies decided to a/b test the subject lines of exactly the same email to test the results. This might have given a better answer to the question.

To optimise your emails for your audience, consider a/b testing your email campaigns.

Conclusion

There are varying thoughts on what is the right length for an email subject line. Many consider that long subject lines distract audiences and lower success rates, yet others have demonstrated this is not the case. What all the studies do show is that a short, concise email subject line is going to perform better than the average.

What is the average length of your email subject line? What have your results been from your previous subject lines?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Use a short subject line to generate more opens.
  • A/b test your subject lines to see what gets the best results.

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How To Get Your Emails Opened

mail-566337_1280Email marketing is one of the best options for communicating with your target audience. Many consumers prefer to accept promotional material via their email inboxes and it is known to be one of the best online sellers.

Yet the problem for many businesses is to ensure that their emails get opened by their audience. Open rates vary from industry to industry. Online coupon and discount services often have very poor open rates, averaging below 5%. Other industries do better with some reaching 20-30% on average, though many only achieve half of this.

To increase the open rates of your business’ emails there are several key elements to your campaigns that you can adjust for better results. Here are some of those elements for you to experiment with and gain better email marketing traction.

Subject Line

The first thing that most people look at is the subject of the email. It has been proven that a good email subject line will increase the open rate of your emails. Some of the best email subject lines are quirky and grab the attention and imagination of the receiver. For instance:

“Are you sitting comfortably?” is a good line for selling chairs.

“We’re sorry” if you haven’t sent an email for a while.

Take Action:

  • Consider what subject lines you could use in your email marketing campaigns.

The Sender

While many people may recognise your brand name, they are less likely to open the mail if it is sent from your company email address. It is better to send it from a named individual; this is more personable and makes it look less spammy.

Consider sending it the name of a senior person in your organisation, instead of just the administrator who creates the content and sends it off. A senior person in the organisation is more recognisable and makes your audience feel more valued.

Take Action:

  • Send emails from a senior member of your management team.

The Right Time And Day

23% of your emails will be opened within 60 minutes of you sending out your email. Therefore, you will want to be sending your content on the right day and time to ensure that you maximise the open rate.

There are some typical statistics that you should know:

1. Monday’s are the worst day because most people are often trying to catch up from the weekend and are too busy to open their emails.

2. Weekends are when people are out doing chores. Emails are not opened regularly on these dates.

3. While emails are regularly opened quickly, you still need to email contacts within plenty of time if you want contacts to participate in an event.

4. Tuesday and Thursday are favourite days for businesses to send their email campaigns. These days often generate the most interest and the best results.

5. Early mornings are also the best time to send emails and they get the best response.

Take Action:

  • Adjust the timing of your email marketing campaigns so they are sent at the most appropriate times.

Send To Those Who Have Opted In

If you have collected addresses from people who have not opted in you are going to get poor results – and it is illegal.

Take Action:

  • Only send emails to those who have opted in to receiving content.
  • Remove the contact details from those who have not signed up from your database.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective means for generating sales online. To get better results you need to optimise your emails so that they are more attractive to your audience. Use the above ideas to perfect your email marketing campaigns and have more opened.

How have you improved the open rate of your emails? What do you recommend?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Effective Email Campaigns: What You Can Learn From The Experts

spider-monkey-637062_1280Email marketing can be one of the most effective marketing platforms for your business. Consumers prefer receiving advertising via their email inboxes and more online sales are made via email marketing content than by social media or other digital marketing efforts. Additionally, you can create content that is only relevant to your audience.

Unfortunately, spamming has tarnished the reputation of email marketing and as spamming is easier than more complex campaigns, its lure is often too much to avoid. However, spamming your audience will never generate long lasting, financially viable relationships. More effective best practices and tactics must be found.

There are many organisations and individuals who are using email marketing content to generate the majority of their sales. Their tactics are an important lesson for all small businesses. So what lessons can be learnt and how can you implement them in your campaigns?

1. Effective Database Maintenance

If you want a successful and cost effective email marketing campaign, you have to ensure that the contact database you are using is maintained. You should remove contacts that aren’t going to spend any money and update those on your list so it is properly segregated.

Maintenance of your list needs to happen after every email has been sent out. The first step is to remove any contacts that have opted out, then any contacts which have bounced back before finally removing contacts that haven’t opened an email for the last 10 reports.

Then you need to move contacts depending on what actions they have taken. If for instance they have made a purchase, move them to a current customer list.

2. Target Your Campaigns

With a segregated contacts list you can create content that is highly targeted towards different types of contacts. This has several advantages, firstly it means that content can be better received and have a higher chance of being acted upon by the receiver. In addition, it allows you to reduce costs of your email marketing campaigns by only sending content to those who are likely to respond to it.

How do you target your campaigns? Each segregation must have a unique but unifying marketable quality about it. For instance, you could have marketing material for those who are only close to certain geographical areas or those who have bought other products that you offer.

Segregation doesn’t have to be based on just one element. It can have two cross referenced elements, for instance, those close to a geographical area who are also a past customer.

3. Keeping It Simple

One of the best tips for email marketing campaigns is to keep your emails simple. The idea of the message is to display your one key message: whether that is to buy a specific product or to get the contact to perform an action. Therefore, that message must take precedence in the email, not its design or a pretty picture.

Keeping it simple can also help you increase the deliverability of your messages to inboxes and not promotional or spam boxes. Many large email providers (Gmail, Yahoo!, etc) have filters that lock out messages that have lots of images, links or fancy designs. Also, too much design can be very distracting to your audience.

Consider using simple designs with at most one picture. If you need to include more information, use one link to send the reader to a page on your site to convey it.

Conclusion

Email marketing is an effective marketing platform for your small business. To get the best results you should take some of the key tactics from the best email marketers out there. The above three tips are some of the best to help you refine your campaigns and achieve financially rewarding results.

What tips do you have for running a successful email marketing campaign? What have been your best results?

Let us know in the comments below.

Take action:

  • Start maintaining your email contacts list.
  • Segregate your contacts.
  • Re-design your emails so they are simpler.

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How To Optimize Your Subscription Forms

ID-100287069Signing new people up to your mailing list is an important task of your email list maintenance routine. Offering something of value to potential email contacts and including a sign up form on landing pages, have both proven to be highly effective.

By optimising your subscription forms, you can improve your business’ website conversion ratio and generate more leads. This should then lead to greater sales and the potential for business growth.

Here are several tips on how you can optimise your subscription forms and see better results:

1. Move Your Form

Many of your website visitors will not read all the page’s content. Most will abandon the page before they have to scroll down the page. So while your visitors may share your content or even move to another page; if you don’t have visitors completing the signup form, the page has failed.

Therefore, the first option is to move the form so that it is above the fold and more visible to everyone who lands on the page.

2. Headline

There are a number of different ways you can encourage individuals to complete your forms. Calls to action are extremely powerful at helping guide your visitors. To make these more effective; make the call to action the headline on the webpage.

3. The Number Of Fields

The shorter your signup form, the more conversions you will have. At the same time, you’ll decrease the value of your offer if you don’t request enough information. So when designing your subscription form, think carefully about what information you really need and what the consumer will expect you to request.

There are a couple of aspects which can also help you decide how long the form should be:

a. The offer’s position in the buying cycle: the further down the sales funnel the more information you’ll want. If you are requesting information towards the top of the funnel, you’ll only need a name and email. Later on in the sales process you might want more information like company size and revenue.

b. How many leads you generate: if you have too many leads to process, then you should use lengthen your forms to decrease the response but increase the value of each lead.

4. Required Fields

Not all your signup fields are likely to be required. Nor will all your visitors want to complete every field, especially if they are short on time. You can encourage those short on time by highlighting what fields they need to complete and which are optional.

One of the easiest ways to identify important fields is to include an asterisk (*) next to the tags of those required fields.

5. Don’t Use Submit

The button your visitors use to send their information to you is more than a submission button – it is an opportunity to further sell your offer and prevent form abandonment. So make this button another call to action to encourage the visitor to complete the offer and signup to your email list.

6. Privacy Policy

Ensure you are providing your visitors with a chance to read your privacy policy so they can be reassured that you have their best interests at heart. This not only helps convert visitors to email subscribers, but it can also help with your site’s search engine optimisation as Google considers this very important and will rank sites with these pages higher than those without.

Conclusion

Optimising your email subscription signup form is an important part of your maintenance task. It is also an essential task for generating leads, as the more leads you generate from your site, the more chances you have to sell. This will allow you to grow your business and gain a better return on your email marketing investment.

What tips do you have for your email sign up forms? What have you tried to improve the conversion rates?

Let us know in the comments.

Take Action:

  • Using the tips above optimise your email sign up subscription pages.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How To Use Email Opt-In Offers To Attract More Subscribers

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

You email subscription list needs constant maintenance. Part of that job is removing old subscribers from your list so that those who are hard bouncing or not responding to your emails are no longer receiving your content.

The problem is that when you remove contacts from your list, your contacts list shrinks, giving you less opportunity to make a return on your email marketing campaigns. To avoid this you should look into adding names to your list. This is mostly done via an opt-in form that is either embedded on a web page or ‘pop-ups’ after an action has occurred.

Simply requesting the users details may persuade some people to sign up to your email list, but the vast majority of people will not just sign up. Instead you should look into giving something away for their contact details. This is a much better way to entice your website visitors to sign up.

Why Are Offers So Effective?

Email addresses are valuable. When businesses are sold, the number of addresses on their contacts list can form part of the valuation. Consumers know this and they have a vested interest in keeping the number of organisations who have their contact details down to a minimum.

Therefore, you need to give them a reason why they should sign up to your mailing list. Simply stating that they’ll receive more information every so often is not going to be highly effective – every business could offer that promise. You need something unique; an offer that will invoke their imagination and will be highly valuable to them.

What Can Be Offered?

There are a variety of options for your opt-in offer. Many organisations offer a free quote. This can be good for those businesses where customers have bespoke prices depending on the work that needs to be done.

An uncommitted potential customer now could be a loyal customer in the future, but only 30% of those who land on your website will ever find their way back.

Therefore, consider creating information you are willing to provide in exchange for their contact details. This information can be presented to the subscriber in many different formats such as:

  • An auto-responder email system.
  • A whitepaper.
  • An ebook.
  • A locked area of your website.
  • A free application (or a lite version)
  • A trial of your service.

The latter of these is very inefficient and should only be considered as a last resort. However, any of the other three options are very common. The first option, an auto-responder series is highly effective as it regularly reminds your audience of your brand.

However, the real power of the offer is that the audience will find it valuable. Therefore, giving advice like “how to…” and “X number of ways to…” are perfect options.

How Can You Deliver Ebooks, Whitepapers Or Apps?

If you decide to offer your subscribers an ebook, whitepaper o app there are various options for delivering on your offer. The first is through an autoresponder. That is, when the visitor signs up for your email you automatically send them an email to confirm their subscription and provide an attachment of the ebook or whitepaper.

If you use this option you should also include a confirmation link, so they confirm they have signed up to your email marketing list. Otherwise you may breech CAN-SPAM laws.

Another option is to send the visitor back to a secure page on your website where your customer can download the document. This can be effective as it is a double opt-in (where two actions have to be taken to confirm sign-up) and therefore conforms with best practices and CAN-SPAM laws.

Conclusion

Email marketing lists need constant maintenance. Removing old contacts is important, but so is the process of adding new contacts. One of the most efficient ways of adding new subscribers is to offer something valuable in exchange for contact details. This could be a free quote, but more than often it is an ebook or whitepaper. These are highly effective and can really grow your marketing list. The more on your email list – the higher chance you have to make a return on your email campaigns.

What offer do your new subscribers have? How many offers do you have?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Create more offers for your website to encourage more sign-ups.

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Why You Need To Make It Easy For Your Subscribers To Unsubscribe

ID-100241063No marketer wants to think about unsubscribers. After all, a person removing themselves off the mailing list is a lost opportunity for a sale and spread word about the brand. However, there will always be subscribers who want to leave your mailing list.

When, not if, they want to unsubscribe, you will have to be prepared and make it as easy for the subscriber as it is for yourself. There shouldn’t be any lengthy process nor should the subscriber have to jump through hoops.

But why is this the case and what makes a subscriber want to leave your mailing list?

Why Would A Subscriber Want To Leave Your List?

There are numerous reasons why a subscriber might want to leave your mailing list. Here are the main reasons:

  • They are no longer interested in your products: There are several reasons why this might be. They might not have the funds anymore or their priorities have changed. Alternatively, they have bought your product or a similar one from a competitor. There is no way to tell the true reason for this as these de-listings will happen sporadically.
  • They think you are sending too many emails: This is when you send too many emails to your list and annoy them.
  • They don’t remember subscribing to your list: This happens when you haven’t sent an email for a long time. Therefore, while it is important not to communicate too often; you should also ensure you keep in contact regularly enough that they remember who you are.
  • Your content is not relevant: If you are not providing them with valuable content they can use, then they are likely to leave your list. In this case, you must adjust your strategy to provide something of worth.

In many of the cases you might not realise why they have left your list. However, if you’ve changed tactics recently, this can be a good indicator. Ensure that when you are adjusting campaigns that you check for changes in your standard statistics. For comparison, your email unsubscribe rate should be roughly 0.5% to meet industry standards.

How Can You Make It Easy For Your Subscribers?

There are several options to make it easy for your subscribers to leave your mailing list. The first is by stating that they could email you a request to be taken off the list. However, there are certain problems with this option. Namely that requests might be missed (i.e. sent to the spam folder) or lost and it requires effort on the subscriber’s behalf.

The second option is for them to go onto your website and fill in a form to remove themselves from your list. This is better because the form is less likely to go missing. However, there will still be work for the subscriber to do.

The final option is to have an unsubscribe button in your email messages that automatically completes the action. For most businesses, this is the preferred method.

Why Should You Make It Easy For Subscribers To Leave?

There are numerous reasons why you should make the unsubscription process easy. Firstly, and the most important reason, is that many nations enforce laws where it is required to make unsubscription easy. For instance, in the US the regulation is within the CAN-SPAM legislation. In the United Kingdom it is a series of marketing acts.

Breaking these laws can result in a large fine, which would make it hard to justify using email as a sustainable marketing avenue.

In addition, unsubscribers, while no longer financial productive, are still work. If you made the task difficult, it is likely you would have to do some manual operation to remove them from the list. And this would cost you money indirectly.

On the other hand, by using an automated system you don’t have any hard work and there is no chance a request has been missed. This leaves you free to concentrate on those who are engaged with your content.

Conclusion

There are two main reasons why unsubscribing from your list should be made easy. Firstly it is to comply with email marketing laws across the world. The second is to make it easier for you to manage; leaving you with more time to concentrate on those who do want to receive your messages.

Action Steps:

  • Insert an unsubscribe button on your email marketing content.

How do you manage your unsubscribers? Have you had any problems in the past?

Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Email Etiquette Rules To Observe

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways for your business to sell to its target audience. If used correctly, it is highly trusted by those who have opted-in to receive your marketing messages. Research has shown that those who have already interacted with your brand are likely to buy from your email content.

To be able to achieve these results however, you need to be following strict email marketing etiquette. Some of these rules are not just because consumers will dislike your content and perhaps remove themselves from your list, but also because they would violate laws in various countries.

So what are three of the most important email marketing etiquette rules you must observe?

1. Use A Third Party Email Provider

When you are creating an email list for your party or family newsletter, creating a long blind-copy or group list is fine. However, when you want to engage your target audience, you need to use a professional email marketing service.

There are several reasons for this which will impact how professional your marketing content will look to the receiver. For instance:

  • An email marketing provider allows you to include an opt-out link for those who want to unsubscribe.
  • You can’t scale up your email marketing campaigns when you have a successful business or a large list.
  • It is easier to make mistakes when using a general mail client rather than an email marketing software program.

A professional service will also provide you with more functionality such as email list segregation, stylish templates, monitoring of campaign success and automation. While these can be done manually, it would take valuable time away from your business and subsequently lower the return of investment in your email marketing campaigns.

2. Gain Permission Before Emailing A Contact

Don’t assume you have permission because you have received contact details via a business card, telephone call or because they have followed you on social media. Instead seek permission by either having them sign up through your website or getting them to write down their permission on a sign-up sheet.

This isn’t just polite, because no-one likes to receive something they don’t want to but it can also be a legal requirement. According to marketing laws, you must have sought permission from any individual you email. An individual is counted as anyone who is not attached to a business, is not in a limited company or if the email address has identifiable information included within it.

Therefore, legally, you can only send cold-emails to addresses like sales@website.com or customerservice@website.com. There is no telling who will be monitoring these email addresses and it is unlikely to be a decision maker.

3. Give Subscribers The Opportunity To Opt-Out At Any Time And Easily

The final rule is another legal requirement, especially in America where it is part of the CAN-SPAM laws. You must give subscribers the opportunity to say they no longer want to receive your email marketing messages. This can easily be done by your email marketing provider with a simple link to automatically unsubscribe them from the list.

In addition, you should also manually remove those who request via email that you remove them from your mailing list. This may take some time, but is a legal requirement.

It is also important because if too many people report you for sending spam, your server can be blacklisted and this will make it harder for you to send marketing emails.

Conclusion

These email marketing etiquette rules are to protect the customer and build trust with them. Significant benefits can be had from following them, mainly that your company’s server will not be blacklisted allowing you to send content to all your contacts. This in turn will improve the return on investment from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Assess your email marketing behaviours against these rules.
  • Make changes that are required.

Do you have any other email marketing etiquette rules to suggest? What mistakes do you often see from other companies?

Let us know in the comments below.

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