Most businesses I speak to are doing everything in their power to pull as much revenue as possible from their lists. It can sometimes seem like every angle has been tested. However, I assure you they haven’t!
This is in no way meant to be a pitch, but simply the facts that prove having your email marketing done by even the most seasoned copywriter, information marketer, or direct-response marketer can cost you up to 30% of revenue!
Why experts and professionals fall short with email:
Many years ago I was running an email system for a membership site that enjoys over 8500 members. At the time they had a half million email addresses and we basically sent the whole list the newsletter every week, as well as, various segments on other days.
At the time, I assumed it was normal that people would go dormant, with hundreds of opt-outs every mailing.
I also couldn’t bear removing people, even if they hadn’t opened or clicked in a year.
Then, disaster struck… a subject line that didn’t agree with the list. We got a slightly higher than average unsubscribe rate which triggered an automated account ban.
Yeah, they actually DISABLED our account!
Do you back up your email lists? If you don’t, now’s a good time to do just that. Don’t think “that won’t happen to me.” Anyway, back to the story. This forced us ‘seasoned marketers’ (but novice email marketers way back in 2010) to seriously look at email server technology, list maintenance, and ESP (Email Service Provider) rules.
Most marketing agencies and long-time marketers don’t actually KNOW what the thresholds are at their ESP (Mailchimp, GetResponse, Infusionsoft, etc.) for getting booted. Not only that, they don’t realize that they’re likely not in-boxing well. This is because they don’t know how they’re viewed by Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other major email providers. Not knowing this is a killer.
So, how about we dig into the TOP 3 things most novice email marketers simply don’t know.
#1. They don’t really know much about inboxing
Sure there’s the obvious stuff like: not using certain spam trigger words, but it goes far deeper. Here are just SOME of the factors that can impact how Google/Yahoo/Hotmail and others see you:
- Mailing dormant email accounts
- Bots, spam traps, and aged accounts
- Sending too high or too low volume over certain periods
- Emailing invalid email addresses
- Getting too low open rates, click rates, and other engagement metrics
- Too many complaints
You might say to yourself: “wouldn’t my email provider just remove these?” Some don’t remove them, but they *do* suppress them. That means you’re not mailing them when you send, but you’re still paying for that in your total contacts in the system price. Others just boot you once you reach a certain threshold of complaints, bounces, etc.
Email experts have a plan for the constant scrubbing of these list dangers.
#2. They don’t use enough automation recipes
What’s an automation recipe you ask? Well, just imagine that with eCommerce there are MANY other scenarios, besides the obvious ‘cart abandon’, where you want to send reminders, or notifications, along the customer journey.
They can be used after a certain period of dormant opening or buying, or to remind/reward customers for certain behaviours.
We typically use seven standard automations for our eCommerce clients (and several more case-by-case ones.) I’m not trying to do the “us versus them” thing, but seasoned email marketers who have been around the block long enough will know exactly when, and what type of email to put in place, to keep the customer moving through the lifecycle for maximum revenue.
#3. They still like to mail the entire email list
You know, in 2007 this was still the only thing marketers knew! Send out your “newsletter” every month, which is as outdated as submitting your site to Google for a better SEO. Heck, if that worked we’d all do it – but it doesn’t. I’m not saying you can’t get SOME results doing this, but it’s not the BEST way to get results.
In the last few years all the big marketers have been preaching segmentation. This is establishing smaller groups of your subscribers and buyers in order to speak to them differently than the whole mass. Segmentation produces FAR more revenue, opens, and results than what’s called ‘batch and blast’ or mailing your whole list with the same stuff.
I’d go on a rant about micro-segmentation, but I don’t think there’s time for that. Let’s just say people like to feel special… and not all people want the same things. There are automated and simplified ways to get people to put their hand up and say “I’m one of these” and be able to deliver a more customized sales funnel for those folks.
Some of the best segments are specific types of product users, obviously buyers, newbies of the product vs veterans of the product, and product evangelists. The obvious openers clickers and engaged… but the real secret juice is knowing when, where and how to segment and automate so it’s not more work.
Don’t neglect the back end.
StarWars films netted 7.5 billion dollars in sales, but merchandise netted 14 billion. There is more money in the back-end of your marketing systems than there will ever be in the front, if you’re doing it right.
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