On average over half your customer’s email inbox is made up of promotional emails. That means we have to work hard to shine through the ‘noise’ to get noticed, but to get that critical click-through can be even harder. A quick Google will throw up a tonne of advice on dos and don’ts but here’s a quick summary of some of the things I like to try.
#1. Relevance is king.
Many small business owners are so proud of what they do (quite rightly), they get over excited and send too many emails. Clearly, your products and services can and should be promoted in an email campaign; new customer welcome messages, seasonal offers and helpful content (advice) are all relevant. But if you don’t have something relevant and compelling to say, do not fall into the trap of emailing because you think you should and just because you always send an email campaign every Thursday. Less is often more here. I hate to break it to you but most of your customers are not sitting there actually waiting for your email each week (sorry!). Much better then to email them less frequently but with better content and relevance.
#2. Search out the inactives
An inactive is usually defined as a subscriber who has not responded, opened, clicked, or acted on any email sent in the past 6-12 months. The average list’s inactive rate is around 60%. Building up your contact list can be one of the most time-consuming but critical aspects of your marketing plan. If over 60% of that list is completely unresponsive, it can feel like a lot of wasted effort. See the next tip for what to do about it!
#3. Be brave about trimming your list
Don’t be scared to remove inactive subscribers. Sometimes sending them an email asking them if they would like to continue hearing from you can actually re-engage them. You could also take the opportunity to ask them if they would like to ‘opt down’ rather than out, so they might indicate they are still happy to hear from you but less frequently; monthly instead of weekly for instance. It builds their trust in you as a business owner that cares about its customers, and it’s much better to focus your time and energy on a smaller number of subscribers who do want to hear from you.
#4. Ask your list what they think of you
You could run a survey to find out more about them and what their challenges are. In return, give an incentive such as a discount on your latest product. A 10% participation rate in the survey is acceptable and will give you results you can base insight on. If you do this as part of a re-engagement campaign, a response of around 3% would be deemed a success. You will not recapture all of your prospects, but this is a good thing. The ones who do not respond are not worth your effort. Instead, you can now focus on the 10% who do care.
#5. Lose the sales pitch
Instead of sending subscribers a sales pitch, send them useful information that will impact their lives in some way. A list is a great way to do this (just like this blog post) – for instance, a health and wellbeing business might create a blog ‘5 ways to better sleep’. Link to this post in your email campaign and you are helping your subscriber with helpful and relevant information. This builds a relationship of credibility and trust with you, making them more likely to contact you/purchase from you/head to your website – depending on your end goal.
#6. Use Facebook Custom Audiences
This is a great way to engage customers who are active on Facebook but not on your list. You can upload your contact list to Facebook and then create ad campaigns to your email list. There’s loads of help and information on how to do it here on the Facebook Business page.
#7. Ask customers to update their details
Showing you care that you have the right contact details for your clients and prospects speaks volumes to your list. Clearly, this might be a once a year activity, but asking your list to confirm any changes to their email address, their subscription preferences or to follow you on social channels all helps to sustain a positive and trustworthy relationship and can have really positive results on engagement levels.
Have you got any top tips to share? Maybe you’ve tried something else and it worked a treat, or equally as important to find out, it bombed! Let us know in the comments below.