It’s no longer a numbers game.
For too long email marketing has meant newsletters. Get your web visitors to subscribe so they can access a white paper. Add in any customers that have given an email address. And then send them a regular stream of email newsletters. Lo and behold your open rate drops to 20% and your click through rate hits 5%.
Ruthlessly cull your “Graymail”
But the tide is turning. Hubspot recently culled their blog newsletter list by 200,000 subscribers (or 45%) – removing anyone that hadn’t clicked on a link in the last six months. And found there was no noticeable impact.
Don’t delegate your clients
Ultimately with email marketing you get what you give: Play a numbers game with a bloated subscriber list and your customers will see you as distant and sales focused. Or, as Jon Colgan put in his excellent blog on huffington post:
You simply hired some marketing company to handle your email marketing for you, which, if you really think about it, means you’ve hired some snot-nose kid to speak for you… to your clients… whose favor you depend on for your livelihood… and you take no ownership of these conversations. That’s scary.
Use email to learn not sell
The heart of the issue is the collateral damage you are doing to your reputation by continually emailing the 80% of recipients that don’t open and 95% that don’t click. A 1 in 5 chance of opening an email is just fishing.
“The best marketing organizations view every e-mail as an opportunity to learn more about their consumer.” McKinsey: Why Marketers Should Keep Sending You Emails
So what’s the future? Understand your customer, personalize your emails and encourage two way dialogue. Here’s our cheat sheet: