In 2010 we saw huge changes in the email marketing world. There is a lot of buzz in the industry about this, yet I want to focus on what will matter most to company’s bottom line in 2011, in order of impact to your most businesses:
- The new Yahoo! Mail inbox and contacts features. Yahoo unsubscribe feature.
- Hotmail Sweep , and its bulk filtering based on an individual’s historical interaction with an email sender.
- Gmail priority inbox.
- Facebook email.
- New IP addresses and the advent of IPv6.
What does this all mean to you?
- If you simply “blast out” email that isn’t highly relevant to your recipients you will have noticed that your open rates have taken a nice dive through 2010. That will continue in 2011.
- Failure to optimize delivery, message content, calls to action, and landing pages, will lead to significant decreases in profit as your competitors develop more relevant, targeted, and social email marketing programs.
In addition to continually testing your message body and landing pages, you will need to do the following:
- Offer truly valuable information that keeps people opening again and again. We follow a 70/30 split in messaging. This split is 70% great, useful or fun information and 30% hard-sell. The only exception to this rule is if you have a database which is very loyal to your e-commerce products and they truly want frequent updates about what you are selling. In all messaging, just make sure you put your best 30% hard sell calls to action in the hot spot, high click-through rate areas of your emails.
- Get recipients to add you to their contact list in their email client by aggressively asking them to do so. You should do this on the thank you page after sign up, in the initial welcome email that goes out seconds after they sign up, and in your normal weekly or monthly communication with your database. Make sure you always send from the same from and reply-to email address across your messaging channels. In the past this was not recommended. Now it is. You can use the demand for your highest open rate and click-through rate emails to increase the deliverability of your less in-demand messages.
- Integrate Facebook social media heavily into your email campaigns so that people “friend” you, “like” you and share your message on Facebook. This will likely have a positive effect on your Facebook deliverability but it will also improve your ROI and revenue as your email campaign ripples through social networks bringing in more and more revenue.
- Send emails that require people to open and click in order to get the information that they want from you, for example, order information or a white paper. This increases their interaction with your email messages which then increases your chances of making it into your recipient’s priority inbox.
- Integrate SMS permission into your email marketing strategy. In the email world open rates are dropping a bit across the industry. This is another way to combat that. SMS has just about a 100% open rate so you need to do it as a compliment to your current email marketing.
If you do all of the above in 2011, you can see your email marketing profits and revenue soar in 2011 just like it did for ALL, yes ALL of our email marketing clients in 2010.
Check out our white paper for 6 secrets to improve email deliverability. You’ll learn how making the inbox can mean big dollars for your business. Includes a case study of adaptive deliverability that boosted customer response by 19%.