Over the next several posts I’ll be addressing a series of email marketing conundrums. A “conundrum” is defined as a puzzling question or problem, and in email there are a few persistent ones I have been asked about on a regular basis since the channel’s earliest days. In fact, these challenges seem to keep so many people up at night that I believe they’re always worthy of discussion and a fresh perspective. So let’s begin with a classic: How do I prevent or minimize unsubscribes from my email list? First, make no mistake about it: over the course of their life cycle with you a certain percentage of subscribers will choose to leave your email list despite your best attempts to keep them and believe it or not, this is good. It’s the nature of any permission-marketing channel for the ultimate choice and control over receiving messages to rest in the hands of subscribers. Plus, we know from the channel’s nearly 15 years in existence that commercial email works best when it is deeply rooted in permission. So, your first step is to
How often and what to send are top questions facing any email marketer today. Yet all too often, frequency for the sake of frequency alone trumps relevancy in this channel. It's a classic catch-22: email works so well it runs the risk of undermining its own potential. Email programs tend to start with slow and cautious frequency, produce easy ROI, and become stars. Management assumes if some email is good, more must be even better. Yet as with all good things (wine, chocolate and pizza come to mind) increased consumption eventually leads to a point of diminishing returns. The correlation between cost and benefit is neither linear nor constant.