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Monday, August 10, 2009

Email Marketing - Standing Out From the Crowd!

I saw a newsletter the other day ... it discussed planning now for Christmas. The article went on to say that the way to generate sales via email marketing in a tough economy was to NOT do the same thing you did last year ... in other words, you have to stand out from the crowd!

Well, that doesn't just apply to Christmas sales ... it matters ALL of the time! If you don't stand out from the crowd, your email won't even get opened half the time ... or more!

According to a survey by MAAWG (I'll tell you about MAAWG in a bit), only 9% of email users consider marketing emails important. That means it is not an important part of the email experience for 91%! What this really means is that most users can easily do without email marketing. Clearly, then, you want your email to stand out, so it will get noticed!

Standing out is going to become even more important in the future, because the competition is only going to increase. The economics are undeniable: more than any other form of marketing, email marketing has the potential for very low cost and high return. In today's economic climate, this is a compelling combination!

Before we continue, I want to tell you a little about the organization that conducted the survey.

What Is MAAWG?
MAAWG stands for the "Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group". It is a global
organization that works for safe electronic messaging: legitimate messages
should get delivered and spam should get dropped. Almost one billion
mailboxes are represented, by the service providers and network operators
that are members of the group. The survey results are based on 800
interviews with ordinary consumers ... not Internet or email experts.

Standing Out!
You now know that you need to stand out from the crowd. What can you do to accomplish this?

Here are a few ideas ...

Ask Them!
Ask your subscribers what they want. This is an excellent way to segment your list. Let's say that you have two major product lines: Widgets and Gadgets. If you just ask your subscribers which they are interested in, you can then send email that is targeted to their interests.

Hook Them!
Send a series of messages that build on one another, rather than single emails. Get them interested and waiting for the next installment.

Personalize Them!
Personalize your emails, addressing the subscriber by name and presenting offers that are likely interesting to them, based on previous purchases or on preferences they have set.

Odds and Ends!
Then there are things like how the email renders in different clients, what is visible in the preview window, and the length and contents of the Subject line.

Don't Forget About Deliverability!
Remember that no matter how perfectly targeted, personalized, and intriguing your emails are, there is no value in them, if they don't make it to the Inbox!

Users clicking on the email spam button is the biggest factor for sender reputation, which, in turn, is the biggest factor for deliverability! So, continue to monitor your sender reputation and adapt when necessary, to reduce subscriber dissatisfaction, to prune inactive names or uninterested members of the list ... always maintain a good sender reputation.

The real objective here is to give your subscribers an excellent experience. They've asked to receive your marketing messages, now make sure they are glad they did. can help you with any and all aspects of making your emails stand out from the crowd!

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