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.
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.
You’ve probably heard the familiar saying “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. All too often I hear from many marketers and business owners who find themselves in this unfortunate position when either just starting their email marketing programs or trying to build their lists. This month’s email marketing conundrum explores the problem of how to begin sending to a “never-been-emailed” list, especially if it contains email addresses that may have been obtained without clear permission or were gathered offline such as from business cards, membership lists you have access to, contest entry forms, prize drawings at events, LinkedIn, etc.