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You Can be an Email Marketing Supergenius #217

#2.17: The “Prodigal Readers” Issue

Most lists are filled with old/dead email addresses. Jumpstart results by reactivating your readers.
1> Danger of Dead Emails
2> Purge Dead Weight
3> Reactivate Readers

1> Danger of Dead Emails

Dead emails don’t just bounce — they hurt your entire email marketing campaign. Bad or inactive addresses artificially lower your open and click rates by padding your list size. Clear them out, to get an instant number boost (and a more realistic picture). Even worse, bouncing emails often trigger spam filters at ISPs who assume that a dirty list is a sign of a bulk operator. Get blocked and no one will get your messages.

2> More Subscriptions? Check!

People are constantly changing their email address. Studies show that more than 30% of emails change each year. This means that your list is probably filled with junk email addresses that haven’t been used for a long time. Chart the readers that haven’t opened over a long period, delete their subscriptions. Purging your list will shrink its size, but increase your open and click rates.

3> Self-Segmentation

Sometimes a call to action will re-ignite interest from readers. Before purging them off your list, offer one last chance to keep their subscription active. Send a bold “This Is Your Last Issue” message, maybe with an offer, or coupon, for something like a free download. Give them a re-subscribe link to confirm their interest. If this doesn’t get a response, delete them — they aren’t there anyway.

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You Can be an Email Marketing Supergenius #210

#2.10: The “Recognition” Issue

You get one second before your emails are deleted — unless the reader recognizes it as yours.
1> Connect It to Your Brand
2> Stay Consistent
3> Keep It in the Family

1> Connect It to Your Brand

Your emails should be similar in look and style to your website. If it’s too different, customers won’t recognize that the email is coming from you, and it’ll get deleted. Match primary design elements to your site, such as fonts, colors, and imagery. Make sure your logo is front and center, visible from the preview window.

2> Stay Consistent

Creative design can destroy an email campaign. Big photos or changing layouts work on the cover of a catalog. But they’ll get you lost in the inbox. Radical changes in look often mean that your most loyal readers won’t recognize an email from you, even if they are expecting it. We recommend locking down a good template that builds recognition over time.

3> Keep It in the Family

If you have multiple lists, you want to build a family of related designs. Each email should be similar enough to the others that readers recognize that it’s from you. But — if the designs are too close together you risk readers thinking that there’s one big list that is mailed way too often. Use color or prominent newsletter titles to separate each list, while maintaining the fundamentals of the templates.

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You Can be an Email Marketing Supergenius #207

#2.07: The “Getting Real Customer Data” Issue

Everyone is jumpy when it comes to privacy — but we’ll give up personal data if you ask the right way.
1> Ask on the Second Screen
2> Give a Good Reason
3> Offer an Offline Incentive

1> Ask on the Second Screen

Whatever is in the main body of your emails, you should use the footer to tell your background story. The emails you send may be the only exposure a reader has to your company. Every message should include an “about our company” section, along with “about this newsletter” and links to the main sections of your site. It won’t get read every time, but the message will sink in.

2> Give a Good Reason

You scare away subscribers when you ask lots of personal questions without providing a good reason. If you want detailed demographics, give them a basic purpose for the questions. Good reasons: personalized service, improved products, a contest, a gift, or “to help us better understand our customers”. People just want to know what’s going on. Tell them and they will respond.

3> Offer an Offline Incentive

Tired of getting garbage data in response to forms? Too many 123 Main Streets in your database? Try offering an incentive that has to be sent in the postal mail, such as a coupon, catalog, or small gift. People will cough up the most protected private data for the simplest reason. And it’ll be accurate if they want the gift in the mail.

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You Can be an Email Marketing Supergenius #203

#2.03: The “Use the Preview Window” Issue

Newspapers know that the top of the first page drives sales. In email, it’s what shows up in the preview.
1> Don’t Waste the Space
2> Use Your Action Areas
3> Bury that Banner

1> Don’t Waste the Space

If people don’t see something they want in your email immediately, they’ll delete it. Put the most appealing information right at the top: Table of contents, logo, and primary offers. Make sure they see something that entices them to open and scroll down. Look at your own email on a small monitor. Do you see more than a blotch of color or half a logo?

2> Use Your Action Areas

The top left and top right corners of any message get the most clicks, so put your most important offers there. Choice #1: Your main sales objective, featured product, or discount that you want people to see. Choice #2: Links to promote your list, including “subscribe” and “forward to a friend.”

3> Bury that Banner

If you take ads in your newsletter, make sure there are no big banner ads for other companies at the top. Readers scanning their inbox will see the banner first — and they won’t realize that it’s a newsletter from you. They may even think the advertiser spammed them. Put your identity first. Advertisers will appreciate the increased response from increased open rates.

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