Monthly Archives: October 2013

Recipients can help spur greater success with email marketing lists.

Recipients can help improve targeted mailing lists

Targeted email lists help businesses find new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones. However, merely acquiring a list isn't enough to boost engagement and purchases. Rather, lists require constant tweaks and updates to ensure each one is performing to its potential.

Email list maintenance: Where do you start?                    
A recent article from Business 2 Community explained that one strategy companies and organizations can implement to better manage and tailor their email marketing lists involves handing over some degree of control to recipients. 

For example, the news source said marketers could establish email subscription centers. All communications going to a customer's inbox must include the option to opt- out of receiving the messages, but why not offer exiting recipients a few options that could get them to stay, including choosing the frequency with which they receive messages or contacting them directly to deliver a personal touch?

One action firms can take is including a button that recipients may click, called "Manage my Preferences." Business 2 Community highlighted how men's clothing line Bonobos accomplished this successfully.

"Through the use of appealing language and humor, Bonobos is savvy about offering options that decrease a subscriber's likelihood of unsubscribing," Business 2 Community wrote. "As a result, Bonobos retains 25 [percent] of those who would have otherwise opted out."

Sometimes the problem may be your content                                            
If businesses are seeing an exodus of recipients, establishing a subscription center may not be enough. Companies facing this issue could be targeting recipients incorrectly, failing to segment them by interest and demographics or simply not providing content that grabs ahold of their attention.

Folio magazine suggested breaking a few​ of the tried-and-true rules to see if anything sticks. For one, many businesses are advised to avoid the term "free," as it often has the effect of shuffling messages straight to spam. However, the news source asserted that in some cases, using this word can work.

Additionally, test out both HTML and text versions of the same email. "Text may but ugly, but ugliness did not stop Frankenstein's monster from getting a bride," Folio noted.

Winning over an email marketing list is just as much about industry best practices as it is knowing your customers. A targeted, dynamic message is always more likely to win over consumers than a generic blast.

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Email Subject Lines That Will Get You Noticed

Email Subjects Lines That Will Get You Noticed

You’re competing for inbox space. Craft a subject line that will get you noticed in the clutter!

Email Subjects Lines That Will Get You Noticed

If you’ve read my last couple of posts, you’ve figured out that I’m on a mission to share with you all that I know about email marketing. Since this is such an important part of any business’ marketing plan, let’s keep rolling with it. You know firsthand how an email subject line can attract attention. If you’ve been the victim of spam, you know exactly how the subject line can attract the wrong kind of attention. I won’t go into any gory details, but we’ve all received the “enhancement” email. You obviously wouldn’t use that subject line for a business email, but you can’t use anything else that might result in your email being slam-dunked into the cyberspace circular file either. You’ve written the perfect marketing email, now write a subject line to entice your recipients to actually open and read it.

Get to the Point

Although I started out by saying that the “enhancement” email subject line isn’t the way to go, and it isn’t unless that’s what your business sells, it does one thing right. It lets the reader know exactly what the email is about. This should be rule number one when crafting the perfect email subject line. Don’t try to be mysterious to pique your reader’s curiosity. Get to the point so you aren’t wasting your reader’s time. The title of this blog post is a prime example of what I’m talking about. What is the blog post about exactly? Email subject lines that will get you noticed. You knew what I was going to discuss when you opened this up. Use this same approach when giving your marketing email its subject line. What are you marketing? Tell your reader right off the bat.

Keep it Concise Yet Specific

Keep the subject line concise while getting to your email’s point. There’s a misnomer out there that you need to craft the shortest subject lines possible to ensure a “Read” click, and that is neither the case nor what I mean by concise. Being brief isn’t going to guarantee that your email will be read over another one that you send with a 25-word subject line. A good rule of thumb is to keep the subject line short enough so that all of it will appear in the inbox – usually around 50 characters. Say everything you need to without having the tail end of your subject automatically replaced with ellipsis. Remember, you want to get your reader’s attention by being direct and informative. It’s much better to craft a subject line that says “French, Columbian, Ethiopian Gourmet Coffee Beans,” than it is to say “Gourmet Coffee Beans.” If you take the latter approach, your reader will probably think, “Yeah, and…?” and hit “Trash.”

See What I Did There?

You see what I did there? I just tempted any lover of the three roasts mentioned in the email’s subject line to open and read the email. If your marketing campaign reaches readers who can’t live without their morning cup of Ethiopian brew, you’ve just given them extra incentive to read what you have to say. So add that informative verbiage. And, while we’re talking about specifics, reel your customers in with an added bonus in the subject line sure to get a click. How about: “French, Columbian, Ethiopian Coffee–Free Shipping.” Okay, now you’ve given your potential customers two reasons to open your email. One, you sell their favorite brew; two, you’ll ship it for free.

Use Demographics

If you’re thinking, “Okay, fine. Got it! But how the heck do I know what kind of coffee my potential customer likes?!” you’ve got a good point so let’s address that. Use the same demographics to craft your subject line that you used to develop your email-marketing mailing list in the first place. In keeping with our coffee roasting company example, use additional demographics to entice your customers even further. Say only 25 percent of your list prefers dark-roasted Ethiopian, but 75 percent prefer it light roasted. Add that to the subject line! “Gourmet Coffee” isn’t going to get you anywhere, but “Light-Roast Ethiopian Beans–75 Percent of You Prefer It” just might.

Obviously, not all of you are owners of a gourmet coffee roasting company, and you may not have the exact demographics I’m using in my examples here, but you get my gist. When deciding on the perfect email subject lines to get your marketing email – and company – noticed, you need to be direct, concise, and speak directly to the reader opening your email. Otherwise, your readers just might score a two-pointer as they slam-dunk the correspondence into the trash. Oh, and one more thing: Always, always, always make sure your recipients have agreed to receive your emails and their contact/demographic information is correct. You don’t want to send a French roast email to “Janet” who’s actually “Janette” and a tea drinker! Now, put your thinking cap on and write some email subject lines – and emails – that will get your company noticed!

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Top 2 email marketing tips to live by

Top 2 email marketing tips to live by

Businesses are using email lists for marketing purposes more often than ever before as the digital landscape evolves and becomes more integrated into day-to-day activities. However, companies cannot simply build an email database and hope for the best. Instead, decision-makers must be proactive to establish a targeted list that is reliable and will continue to be relevant in the long run.

The simple truth is that there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to email marketing. This was highlighted in a recent Business 2 Community report, which noted that consumers will typically hold some organizations in higher esteem than others. In other words, there will inevitably be a multi-tier level for brands and being too aggressive may cause prospective customers to drop companies a few levels.

At the same time, there are some general email marketing tips that organizations can follow to build the most effective strategy for them.

Become the consumer
In many cases, organizations build a great divide between themselves and consumers. While this may be good practice for a broad range of business tasks, creating a chasm in marketing can be dangerous. Business 2 Community noted that decision-makers should assess whether they would feel comfortable receiving the amount or quality of content that is being produced by marketers. If not, initiatives should be adjusted.

Enterprises also need to evaluate the niches of their targeted email lists to determine whether contacting certain recipients is appropriate.

Build strong content
Engaging content is one of the most fundamental aspects of any marketing initiative, as failing to capture the audience's attention or awareness will result in less effective promotional campaigns. Experts often say that every email sent as part of a marketing project should have a call to action that enables prospective clients to immediately communicate with service representatives.

A Global Industry Analysts report revealed that companies have no intention of giving up on email marketing initiatives, as the market is forecast to generate nearly $17 billion in revenue by 2017. While establishing email mailing lists and databases can be an effective way to improve these types of marketing efforts, it is important that decision-makers recognize not all clients are created equal. As a result, enterprises need to take the time to develop customized initiatives that cater to the various needs of their specific customers, not necessarily the consumer landscape in general.