Monday, January 28, 2013

Number One Email Marketing Mistake

Number one mistake marketers make with email marketing is to send “Irrelevant” messages to their customers. It is not because they don’t understand that sending relevant messages drive higher conversions. It because they think that email messages are “Free” and incremental cost of sending messages to “non-target” customers is Zero. They hope that, by sending emails to everybody, some of the “non-target” customers will respond to their message thus causing overall conversions to go up. However, this is a big mistake because what they don’t realize is that ultimately they will lose the privilege to this “Free” marketing. Here is how you can see this unfolding and ways you can measure the impact
  1. In the beginning, engagement with the “irrelevant” email starts to slow down. People still open emails with a hope (if brand is one that they trust) that they might find something relevant to them. This issue will be evident in your declining (or low) click-through rate.
  2. Then when people get tired of opening irrelevant emails, they start to rely on subject lines to see if there is anything relevant for them. This issue will become evident in declining (or really low) open rates of emails.
  3. Over time, all the irrelevance ultimately annoys people. Nobody wants a clutter of irrelevant emails. Next step they take is to remove themselves from them madness. You will see this manifest itself in higher or constantly going up unsubscribe rate.
  4. All this madness will ultimately lead to SPAM complaints. As these grow the domain will be blacklisted and with it will go the privilage of “Free” marketing.
So if you are one of those who think “Email” marketing is free, it is time for you to stop and reevaluate how you are doing your email marketing. Here are few tips to ensure that you continue to do you “Free” marketing:
  1. Segment your customer base and only send relevant message to them , e.g. if a customer has never bought Women’s products from you then don’t send them an offer for 50% off on Women’s Clothing (See my post about Nordstrom’s email marketing Relevancy Matters in Email Marketing and 7 Ways to Create Relevancy in Emails)
  2. Continuously test your segments to improve your Open Rate, CTR and Conversion Rate and Conversions
  3. Based on your learning, further segment and develop micro segment to further drive relevance and effectiveness
  4. Keep in Mind: Always be Relevant and Always be Testing