Marketers are afraid to email their lists, because they’re afraid of being spammy. This fear is nearly always unfounded. Let’s talk about why.
If you’ve been in internet marketing for any longer than a week or so, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “The money’s in the list.” With the speed of media and technology moving so quickly, the rules of yesterday are no longer the rules of today.
Here are three surprising things you need to know about emailing your list in today’s online market.
1. Ignore the Open Rate
When you send an email to your list, most email services will send you an email promptly after with a report featuring your open rate. An open rate can become like a game: is this email’s open rate better than the last? Which subject lines convert to better open rates?
There are lists of specific words put together that supposedly help with email rates: lists of power words, catchy subjects, best times to mail, and so on. While clickthrough rates are pretty much always low, email rates seem to be something people have more control over, and thus it’s natural that marketers focus efforts on the area they can control.
It may sound crazy to say that none of that really matters. According to marketing firm Alchemy Worx, the open rate of an email doesn’t correlate to the purchase rate. This is because we’ve been looking at emails all wrong.
Unlike hard mail sent by the USPS, people don’t open every email they receive. They do, however, look at all the subject lines. Unopened emails help contribute to an overall brand message, which in turn, makes purchases more likely.
2. Segmentation Isn’t Necessary
Fancy tricks and tools like segmentation can be more of a distraction than a benefit. This is because segmenting can put a focus on the campaign instead of the customer. By selecting which people get a specific message, you can be wasting time.
It’s more effective to send the email to everyone, because even if they aren’t opening your emails, they’re reading the subject lines.
Segmenting can be another form of pre-judging, which any network marketer will tell you… is a bad thing.
2. You aren’t Spam
Whether or not your email subscribers think you’re spam has less to do with how often you email (or what you say when you do email) and more to do with you as a brand or company.
Similar to blogging, content is king. Send good content and your emails are more likely to be perceived as a gift, instead of as spam.
3. Unsubscribes are Good
Usually, marketers avoid unsubscribes like the plague. When sending emails, the goal is a good open rate, and a low unsubscribe rate.
If we’ve already discussed that the open rate isn’t that important, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that unsubscribes aren’t actually a bad thing.
Unsubscribes are great. When someone unsubscribes, it’s someone who wasn’t going to be your customer anyway. You’re simply culling the dead weight. …And in the case of email lists, where the more emails you have on the list, the more it costs to mail, well…
Each unsubscribe can be viewed as someone saving you money. So, next time you get an unsubscribe, say thanks, and send another email to your list.
…Because you can never really know who your next customer will be.
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