If you have something to sell, there’s no denying that email is one means of getting it sold. However, there are a lot of naysayers out there that seem to think that email marketing is spammy or simply doesn’t work. But that just isn’t true.
Then there are others out there who are entering the world of email marketing, but don’t quite know how to make it work for them. Maybe they don’t know how to compose the emails, or how to get the addresses to send them to.
Whoever you are, the truth is that if you know how to compose a solid email marketing campaign, then you can increase sales. With that in mind, I’d like to take a look at some statistics published by various marketing gurus in recent years. I’m going to present some of their interesting findings, and discuss what they mean to you. By carefully analyzing each, we’re going to gain some valuable insight on how you should be going about your email marketing, and how you can keep from doing brand damage along the way.
Trust me, you’re going to want to pay attention…
1. According to ExactTarget, 77% of consumers would rather receive marketing communications (that they’ve opted into) by email than any other medium.
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First of all, let’s focus on the “opted into” part. Rule number one of email marketing—don’t send your sales pitches to people who haven’t asked for them. First of all, it’s technically against the law. Secondly, it’s just annoying. I’ve never clicked on an unsolicited email. On the other hand, I have reported plenty of them as spam. And you can bet that any of the companies that have sent me unsolicited email have zero chance of ever seeing any money out of me. They’re image is mud in my eyes.
Next, let’s not overlook the fact that email marketing is the proposed marketing communication method. If someone is remotely interested in what you have to offer, they’d like it in their inbox. They don’t want a piece of mail. They don’t want a phone call. They don’t want a random text. No, email marketing is number one preferred. Wow. So if direct mail is eating up most of your budget, maybe it’s time to rethink things. Sending email is a lot less expensive.
2. According to Convinceandconvert.com, one-third of emails are opened based solely on their subject lines. Furthermore, as detailed in a study by Adestra, subject lines under 10 characters had over a 50% open rate, with words like “profit” and “money” being driving forces.
Okay, I admit, I crammed a lot into that one. But it all ties together, so let’s break it down. The first take away here is that subject lines are pretty much the most important part of any email marketing campaign. Write good subject lines and your emails get opened. Write bad ones and you and your name is mud and your campaign is toast.
Now, more specifically, let’s look at what those subject lines contain. First of all, 10 characters or less. No, not 10 words. Do you realize how short 10 characters actually is? “10 characters” is actually longer than 10 characters. Talk about choosing your words carefully.
In my mind, what it boils down to is that long subject lines smell fishy. The longer they are, the more “used car salesman” they seem. Do you want your brand to be “used car salesman?” Probably not.
We also need to focus on words you use. Some perform better than others. You don’t want to over-promise in your subject line, but you also want to use words that strike a chord with consumers. And if you’re in the B2B sector, well, businesses are interested in increasing their bottom line. Period. Anything else is useless when you get right down to it.
3. 70% of spam complaints reference a commercial emailer, according to a study by Return Path.
70%. That’s almost three-fourths of all spam complaints. What does that tell you? I think it says that people in general are skeptical of emails that are trying to sell them something. And I would speculate that it’s due to any and all of the following:
- People don’t want their inbox any more clogged up than it already is.
- Many emails are too pushy. This goes back to the whole used car salesman thing.
- Some email marketing campaigns don’t really offer anything useful. Customers in the B2B sector want information they can use. So if you aren’t offering them anything useful, they see you as an annoyance.
The Big Takeaway
You want your email marketing campaign to build relationships. But if you don’t use the information provided in the above stats, you’ll kill the relationships before they can ever begin. Be careful to send email to those who ask for it, and take extra care with how you compose those subject lines.
What other things should you do to make sure you don’t damage your brand with your email marketing campaign?