Building Email Lists: Content Is King
"It's really about a little bit of content--three or four sentences," Miller remarked, pointing to a successful email campaign by Hold Everything, which sells home accessories for storage. "It changed it from a promotional email to something that is worth taking a few seconds to read... A little bit of content can go a long way."
And that's not just a qualitative assessment, Miller argued: in the case of Hold Everything, the editorial admixture produced quantifiable gains. "They got more clicks with the inaugural issue of this newsletter than they had with a full year of commercials," according to Miller. At the same time, the digital revolution is putting more and more power in the hands of consumers--and that can be fatal for marketers who are foolish enough to tread heavily in the consumer's inbox.
Miller posed the question this way: "So why bother to worry whether your content is interesting?" She explained: "What happens to irrelevant emails... is that there's a big risk. We did some research around the holiday seasons, and 70 percent of recipients delete everything unread--but more than a third also take actions that are actually harmful to the marketer, like unsubscribing or pushing the 'spam' button."
Still, editorial content is just part of the puzzle. Email registration come-ons should also be closely linked to search functionality, Miller said. For example, Web sites that ask visitors for their email addresses can be closely tailored to the search terms that brought them to the page in the first place.