The idea of sending an opt-in (or "re-opt-in") campaign to subscribers to verify email permission is not new, but interest in these campaigns is increasing. Over time, a portion of your email list will become unengaged -- which has several negative effects. Unengaged subscribers result in lower response rates and wasted marketing dollars. Re-opt-in campaigns are useful for cleaning old or unengaged subscribers off your list by confirming which subscribers want to continue receiving marketing emails. This results in a healthier list and increased return on investment.
Dear E-mail Diva: We recently used an email marketing company that said they would send out over a million emails to opted-in customers for $160. We used Google Analytics to track the emails and found out this company was a complete fraud. The company was reporting hundreds of clicks on our Web site, but Google Analytics was telling us a different story.
Since I'm such a consumer of and loyalist to Starbucks and Peet's, I thought it worthwhile to use them as an example of how they are missing out on using the email channel and generally eCRM to help create loyalty and value in a low-cost advertising tool. The winner of this great market chase will find ways to connect the national brand and customer loyalty to the life-stage events and local market trends of their customers, while using email to build incremental value.
The email open rate is simply a tired, inaccurate and irrelevant metric that no longer measures what it was originally intended to. As a result, it gives you the wrong picture of your subscribers' interest in and involvement with your mailings. ("Engagement," if you want to use the buzzword).
Bad customer service is easy to identify; it's lukewarm soup or an unreturned phone call. Good customer service can be elusive -- it's more difficult to describe -- yet we always know it when we experience it. So let's put ourselves in our subscribers' shoes and explore how we can use transactional, triggered and personal messaging to provide exceptional customer service via email.
Dear Email Diva: I was wondering if you knew when the first email campaigns started, in general? Or perhaps an approximate year when the bulk of companies (Fortune 500 and innovative companies) used email as a marketing strategy?
This title spurred either one of two thoughts: "Oh my gosh, there may be some cool tips buried in this column" or "About time someone got on the bandwagon and beat this shameless channel down". Either way, there are some fundamental things wrong with email as a tool today.
Recent studies show that a majority of email users look at the sender name and address when deciding whether or not to open an email. If they recognize your sender line and think well of you, they'll likely open. If they don't recognize you, they'll likely delete you on the spot -- or worse, mark you as spam.
One of the most challenging aspects of managing an email program is the delicate balancing act required to satisfy multiple constituents with different (and often conflicting) priorities. The challenge is intensified when stakeholders take a more hands-on approach, claiming to be "helping" your program when in fact they are more interested in using your program to serve their needs.
Dear Email Diva: I've been trying to persuade management (and Marketing!) to try out new content that is relevant and engaging to the reader rather than a perpetual hard sell on our services. They always chicken out at the very last minute and we end up with the same hard-sell spiel -- and then wonder why our subscription numbers are falling.