VIDEO: Email Marketing List Hygiene and Deliverability Essentials for Success (and Pitfalls to Avoid)
With the first quarter of the year behind us already, what will you do to maximize email marketing’s contribution to your bottom line from here on out? Although raising email open and click-through rates seems to be forever on the agenda, there’s a lot more to creating a successful program than focusing on boosting response and engagement. Here are three worthy challenges to put in place for the remainder of your marketing and business year that will have you
Last month we explored the first of two important digital marketing list subscriber metrics: CPA, the cost to acquire a new list member (see Part 1 here). I also presented a process for determining your maximum allowable CPA – that is, how much it’s worth paying or investing to acquire new subscribers on a name-by-name basis. This month we’ll explore various approaches to assigning economic value to every subscriber already on your list. Let’s start with the clearest way first: the Revenue-Per-Subscriber method also known as RPS.
I was just paid $16.56 for my email address. You read that right: CVS, the drug and pharmacy chain, paid upwards of $15 to acquire my email address. There I was in my local store buying about $40 worth of health and personal care items when they offered me an instant 20% savings on my purchase in exchange for my email address. So I gave it to the clerk, resulting in a discount of $8.28, which somehow (likely by mistake) was applied twice for a total savings to me (and cost to CVS) of $16.56. At two recent business events (which did not provide exhibitors and sponsors with attendee lists) I noticed exhibitors actually paying attendees cold hard cash in exchange for their email addresses. Yes, they were handing out the green stuff in a blatant, unmasked trade for data. One business coach offered passers-by $1 for a name and email address and $5 for a completed lead qualification questionnaire. At another event, an exhibiting sponsor held a stack of crisp, fresh dollar bills and asked each visitor if she would like $1 in exchange for her email address. Most attendees cruising the exhibits at these events happily gave up their email addresses and took the money!
This faithful servant deserves to be treated like royalty instead. Here's why . . .After over a decade in successful use there is abundant proof that email is not only the connective tissue of all data-driven marketing but also the revenue-producing juggernaut of digital efforts. Yet despite claiming the highest ROI of all direct marketing channels at 28.5%1, the highest driver of online conversions2 and the number two spot (second only to search) in new customer acquisition3 email marketing is still too often swept out of sight, called upon only when we need miracles worked. In over a decade of experience with the channel, I am too frequently surprised and dismayed that email is not receiving nearly the attention and investment it economically deserves.
After focusing on specific email marketing conundrums over the past several months, the Enlightened eMarketing blog is taking a breather to focus on a major business conundrum we all face: hiring effective help. This month's guest post on the topic is courtesy of small business optimizer Melanie Benson Strick (pictured here). Melanie's advice isn't just for small businesses: whether you're a solo-preneur, small local enterprise, entrepreneurial start-up, or marketing professional in a large company, everyone eventually needs to hire help. (As you know, here at Synchronicity Marketing we offer digital and email marketing help: if you're wondering how we can become part of your Dream Team let's talk).
In my ongoing series of email marketing conundrums, I couldn’t possibly overlook this one: declining email marketing open rates. Although much has been written on the subject, my goal is to provide you with not just a diagnostic checklist for investigating why open rates are falling nor to hand you a “best practices” list of what to do to reverse the decline, but to go beyond that by (most of all) giving you a “reality check” on the subject and presenting a new, more constructive way to see this situation, as well as a new mindset on email marketing performance measurement altogether. In short: while we do need to pay attention to declining open rates, there’s too much focus on them at the expense of more meaningful email marketing performance measures.
Last month we explored how to begin mailing a list of email addresses gathered both with and without explicit permission. You can read about how to handle the “never-been-emailed” list here. While many email marketers have the best of intentions when it comes to obtaining the clear permission of people they want to email, their inexperience with or reluctance to getting a program started can cause both permission and data to age. But there’s a more serious degree of this problem in which permission is not simply lax or questionable, it is ignored altogether. Hence our conundrum for this month.