Email Strategies?

Clean and Nurture Your Email List

Be sure to perform a thorough cleaning of your email lists. This does not mean blindly deleting a bunch of names, but rather using segmentation strategies to treat historically inactive recipients differently than people who are actively opening and clicking on your email messages. Here are some suggestions for cleaning house:

 
  • Take a close look at your lists and list segments. Are there some list segments you are never using? If so, clean them out.
  • Today’s email success is about quality, not quantity.Review lists of people who have not responded to messages in the past few months and contact them in a different way than the rest of your list. If they still do not respond, consider removing them.
  • Review any new list segments you may want to make. Are there any ways to segment and strengthen messages to various groups? If so, segment them now and start communicating more effectively to those groups.

Enhance Your Segmentation

Email marketing data offers incredible segmentation power and the ability to take advantage of small audience segments that might otherwise be financially or technically difficult to reach. If you haven’t started segmenting your list and sending more targeted messages based on recipient data or behaviors, start now. Most of the research in the email industry indicates that segmentation yields significant gains in email conversions. Some typical strategies for segmentation include:

 
  • Geography – This is an easy, fairly obvious segment. For example, your customer in Florida is likely not interested in a snowmobile. And your customer in Minnesota probably isn’t interested in a jet ski—not in the winter, anyway. Geography can also be an indicator of buying patterns and other influences on the purchase cycle. Take the technology industry, for example. In high-tech pockets like Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin, early adopters are far more common.
  • Demographics – This is another easy one, and can make a lot of sense. For example, we know men and women can interpret information quite differently. Younger vs. older audiences take in information in different ways as well.
  • Job title and function – Are you emailing potential users with none–or all–of the buying power? An owner or CFO may want to know about ROI, while a middle manager may just want to make his or her job easier. An engineer or programmer may want to find better ways to work, and so on…
  • Purchasing frequency – Less frequent purchasers may require a time-sensitive offer to encourage them to act. Another approach would be to reward frequent buyers with exclusive privileges via email.
  • Monetary spending – Adjust resources so you’re dedicating your efforts toward customers who spend the most money with your company.
 
 
 

If you have been segmenting your email audiences, don’t stop. Try to find new ways to segment and look at segmentation based on historical email activity, perhaps treating people who are frequent “clickers” or “openers” differently.

 
 

Review and Refine Your Opt-in Campaigns

 
 

Now is a good time to perform a checkup on your opt-in processes. Review everything from the data fields you’re collecting to the confirmation emails you are sending afterwards. Small changes can mean big gains in new audiences, as well as setting the proper expectations for subscribers.

 
 

Can you increase opt-ins by reducing unneeded data collection?

 
  • Are you prominently directing web visitors to sign up for email? Can you place this on more pages, or in more visible locations?
  • Do you clearly define significant benefits for subscribers signing up for your email? Does the email you send confirming the opt-in restate the benefits?
  • Can you set expectations and ask subscribers to “add this address to your safe list” in the opt-in process?
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    The language you use, the support graphics, and the staging techniques you employ can make a huge difference between being ignored and creating an evolving, dynamic relationship that can enhance database precision, enrich dialogue, and help you showcase a larger scope of services.

    If you’re not using strict opt-in policies, now is the best time to start. As consumers continue to tire of unwanted email, you’ll continue to see declining response rates if you are not using an opt-in-only process.

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