Do’s and Don’ts of Email Opt-Ins

Marketing to a permission-based email list is a proven, cost-effective way to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty. How do you grow your own email opt-ins list? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind from the minute you start building your list.

DO: Leverage Marketing Programs you already have

No one can opt in to receive emails if they don’t know you have information to share. Include a line in your emails that links to the sign-up page on your website. You can also bring a computer to tradeshows and ask visitors to your booth to sign-up for your emails. Remember to keep sign-up cards at your location so you can make your customers aware of your mailing list and have them sign up there.

DO:  Make it Easy to Opt In

Once people are on your website, make it easy to opt-in by having a link on the homepage to subscribe to the mailing list. Signing up should take as little time as possible, so don’t ask for too much information at this point. Only ask for the basics, such as full name, email address and birthday.

DO: Consider the 4 Cs

Clear. Concise. Compelling. Customer-centric. When you write an email, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Ask yourself how valuable this email is and why someone would want to read it. Your readers are not opting in because they want to hear a sales pitch. They want to save time, money and effort. They also want to improve productivity and success. Your message must be compelling enough to convince, be valuable and useful.

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DON’T: Offer Fabulous Prizes for Signing Up

While this might seem like a good idea at first, you’ll end up with subscribers who are just in it to win a prize. Your prize should be the useful information you provide so offer them a newsletter or more information about your products & services instead. If they stick around long enough, give them a coupon or a discount on their next purchase to show them that they are a valuable customer.

DON’T: Spam Your Subscribers with too Many Emails

How much is too much? Let people know what they’re in for before they hit the submit button. After they’ve had time to digest the information, poll a sample from your list, and ask them what is the right number of emails. Otherwise you’ll find out the hard way through an unsubscribe request.

DON’T: Spend Too Much Money Acquiring Names

An email opt-ins list is a valuable asset and that means an investment on your part to build and maintain it. But budget appropriately and ahead of time, find the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience and know how much each name will cost. Keep in mind potential revenue, lifetime value of each customer, and choose accordingly.

What do you think are some of the important do’s and don’ts to follow when expanding your email opt-in list? Let me know in the comments below.

8 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

According to eMarketer there will be around 236.8 million US email users by 2017!

With the average return rate of $44.25 for every dollar spent on email marketing, you better start implementing this in your marketing plan if you haven’t already. Let’s go over some do’s and don’ts of email marketing before you jump in and start creating your first newsletter.

  • DON’T buy an email list! First of all, you will probably be violating your Terms of Service (ToS) with your email service provider. If you go back and read over the ToS again, you will see most providers don’t want you spamming or using purchased lists. Using a purchased list can also hurt your IP address reputation as mentioned in one of my earlier blogs.
  • DO put a subscribe box on your website, as well as a Facebook tab, allowing people to sign up to receive your newsletters. Also, put a link in each email that brings people back to your website or Facebook.
  • DON’T overlook the importance of subject line. The shorter, the better. Email topics with 10 characters or less have over a 55% open rate. Frame the subject line as a question that your customers might have.  Avoid a subject line that reads as an advertisement. MailChimp says it perfectly: “When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”
  • DO make your emails mobile-friendly. No text-only newsletters. Make sure you have an eye-catching graphic to grab people’s attention. People are busier than ever these days. 66% of Gmail checks occur on mobile devices according to Litmus.

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  • DON’T think of this as a quick way to success. Building an email list with loyal followers takes time and patience. It might take months before you start getting higher open rates and better responses.
  • DO make a schedule of when you are sending out a newsletter each month. You don’t want to bombard your followers with too many emails, but you also want to regularly remind them of your brand. I recommend two a month. This gives you the freedom to add another on here or there for special occasions without overloading your subscribers.
  • DON’T make your newsletter a sales pitch. Just like in social media people will quickly tune you out or unsubscribe if you are constantly trying to sell them your products or services. Use these emails to educate and inform your email followers while giving a clear call-to-action.
  • DO pay attention to your analytics and track your links. Constantly testing out different strategies will help your open rate improveu over time.

What have you found works best when sending out newsletters?

Email Marketing Strategies You Often Overlook

Email marketing strategies usually lead to great debates among marketing teams. How often you send an email, how often you try and sell them something and what type of subject lines are a few of the discussions you will likely have along the way. Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association).

In the past, almost every email contained some sort of sales pitch, but times are changing rapidly and so is your consumer’s tolerance. Developing a well-balanced email strategy is the key to building and maintaining a list that will drive sales in your business. Here are a few strategies that are often overlooked but are working well today.

Personal Email Campaign: Every company should have a campaign set up that sends out personal emails on birthdays, holidays and any other special day of the year. This is very easy to set up. Be sure to change the message every year to keep it fresh and current. Never sell on this campaign. For best results and maximum effectiveness, give them something valuable such as a coupon or discount.

Engagement Emails: Getting your customers to engage with you over emails can be a challenge. However, it is important to keep and encourage an open line of direct response communication between you and current and/or future customers. People love voicing their opinions and thoughts, so create email marketing campaigns that solely serve the purpose of customer involvement.

Coming out with a new product or celebrating an event? Whatever the reason, get your customers’ input. Ask them to participate in polls or actually respond to the email. This is very rarely used by most marketers today but can be very effective. If you want, you can throw in an incentive like a special discount on their next purchase to those who fill out the survey.

Consistency: None of the marketing that your business conducts should be too spontaneous. The only exception to this should be current events that affect your readers. To keep your email marketing scheduled and organized, add the blasts to your content calendar. Once you decide how often your company should send out an email, stick to that schedule so your audience has a sense of consistency. Over time, your readers and their reactions to your emails will help you to dictate the frequency of your emails.

Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your emails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately. What do you think are some great email marketing strategies that people don’t use as often anymore? Let me know in the comments below.