A recent performance indicator study of over 1.6 billion emails across 95 countries and 6 continents shows email fatigue is becoming a real challenge.
The study by Implix of mail sent from the GetResponse platform found:
The AU low unsubscribe rate makes sense if Aussies aren't opening email I guess :)
Snappy subject line
An attractive subject line can be very important in encouraging opens, but if that's the highlight of the communication, then no matter how snappy a subject line is in future mailings, people just won't open it.
Buy now! Buy now!
Something I think that pure-play ecommerce merchants need to do is to tone down the sell a little and turn up the information - include something else except for just "buy me" statements - add a little more value.
For example, if you sell golf balls, don't just sell golf balls in your mailouts - create news items on the golf ball industry; topics your target market will be interested in. You can then back up the "sell" with advertising in the article you send them to.
The merchant who cried wolf
Another trap that merchants fall into is emailing super specials that are less than stellar. If your subject line is Super Special On Flombles - then it needs to be just that. A minor discount or an offer that involves too much hoop jumping will soon see open rates drop as you repeat the exercise.
Splitting subscriber lists
If you can split your list up into special interests or geographic regions, you can deliver ultra-targeted campaigns. This usually requires a few extra selections at the point of sign up. This can be difficult to achieve if you want to keep subscription forms as brief as possible or to have the forms embedded in side menus, but without them taking up too much space. If this is a challenge you face, it's something you can do once the person is on your list by asking what their preferences are in a future communication.
Mailing too often
I get some email newsletters that come in daily. I read them all for a while, but now I hardly bother to open most of them. The ones I do tend to be text only and are more of a digest; bullet points that link to a particular news item or special.
Not mailing often enough
I maintain quite a few lists, but there is one I haven't contacted for months. When I do finally get around to sending out a blurb or newsletter, many of these folks won't remember who I am and my communication will likely be relegated to the deleted items folder. Don't make this mistake - you need to contact your list at the very least once a month to maintain some sort of freshness in your subscribers' minds. A list is a valuable asset, don't waste yours like I have done.
Run a survey
We tend to believe we know what our subscribers want to see, but often this assumption is a projected one - we know what *we* want them to see. It doesn't hurt from time to time to ask for feedback on how to improve your email communications by running a survey.
Remove inactive subscribers
If you're hammering the inbox of someone who simply isn't interested, but who couldn't be bothered unsubscribing, nobody wins. It affects your open rate which can come into play if you generate revenue through providing ad space in your newsletter. A very low open rate can also trigger flags on some spam filters. These inactive subscribers are also just adding to the time it takes to send out your newsletters, which can affect sales.
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