Putting Your Email Contact Database to Work

 

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Now, wait just a minute. Before you roll your eyes and say that email marketing is passé and “so three years ago”, consider this: A recent study by predictive analytics firm Custora discovered that,

Customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the last four years and now accounts for almost 7 percent of customer acquisitions.

Most medium size businesses have spent a small fortune on their websites, yet have given little attention to their customer and prospect email addresses and how these can be leveraged to drive more people to that website. The good news is it’s fairly inexpensive for you to farm these lists and use them to drive revenue.

By the Numbers

Consider your own interactions with email marketing. Are you receiving regular updates from stores like Costco, Best Buy, Staples, The Gap, or Dick’s Sporting Goods? Chances are you are a customer or prospect of a company that sends you regular email communications. You probably already know instinctively what makes you open these emails, trash them, unsubscribe or even worse, report them as spam.

Below is a sample of data from Constant Contact showing average email campaign stats by industry.

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Here are some quick metrics to think about with email marketing

  • If your email list is a mix of customers and prospects, about 15-20 percent will open the email.
  • Of those who open it, about 10 percent will click on a link within the email; these links could include articles housed on your website, or links to your social media pages.

Even if you are not strictly an ecommerce website, regular email communications are important because they can work to keep you top of mind with customers and prospects. This is much different than your website, which in many ways is passive in its approach. Customers will likely not visit your site monthly to find out “what’s new.” Prospects most certainly will not, but by communicating with them regularly via email, say, once or twice per month, you stand a much better chance to be selected when they finally do make a purchasing decision.

When Emailing Your Contact Database

Do…

  • Use an email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Both of these systems offer great post-campaign analytics such as open rates, who clicked on which links, and which contacts are bouncing due to non-active emails or spam filters. There are also legal regulations you must respect, and recipients must be able to easily unsubscribe to your email communications, if they so choose.
  • Provide original, useful, insightful and even (dare we say it) fun content to your contacts. The best tone you can take in email marketing is an authentic one. Avoid hammering your contacts with a sales pitch. Instead, share information, tips, and tricks to help them run their business better, invest their money smartly, stay healthy, etc.
  • Consider mobile users. About 1/3 of your customers likely view email on their Smartphone. A sure way to upset them is to have the content formatted for a computer screen only, rendering the information unreadable on their Smartphone.
  • Keep email subject lines simple, to the point, free from all-caps and exclamation points, and not “spammy” looking. More on effective subject lines can be found here.

Do Not…

  • Buy a list. Not only will this leave you open to potential litigation, it will lead to many users reporting you as “spam”, possibly getting you dropped from your email service and killing any potential of you developing a relationship with the prospect. You need to earn the right to communicate with these contacts; not buy it.
  • Abuse the contacts’ email. Depending on your business, a monthly update will serve just fine. The more frequent you send out literature the more you risk the contact unsubscribing.

Here are some samples of a few campaigns we have helped build for different markets

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At Tangent, we were recently recognized by Constant Contact as a 2013 All Star company in email marketing, a recognition given to only 10% of all Constant Contact clients. Qualifiers for the award include consistently high open rates (greater than 25%), click through rates, and low bounce rates, plus regular contact with audience, among others. We are pretty chuffed with this recognition and plan to work to maintain it for years to come.

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As always, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. You can do it yourself, but if you need help, drop us a line and we can work with you to get started.