I was speaking at a LinkedIn seminar only to have someone comment about how email is just not effective for business anymore. I have heard this many times and so I typically pause, take a deep breath, try not to reflect on the 100 emails I responded to yesterday, and just get curious. What I typically find in this conversation is the dirty rumor that email marketing is dead. On the contrary, marketing statistics reveal that email is in fact a very strong part of effective strategic marketing campaigns. We simply couldn't achieve the kind of success we drive for clients without email. I simply don't know what would remotely compare.
But I get why many VPs of Marketing and Small Business Owners think this way. They hear from their own sales staff that people are ignoring their email. On the corporate side, they have spent years sending out emails with either little results or no idea exactly WHAT the results mean. On one hand, many need help fixing what is wrong with the messages they are sending. Those issues are in one of six areas for improvement:
- Relevance of Topic
- Quality of Content
- Subject Line
- Accommodation of Device
- Proper List Segmentation
On the other hand, even if they were winning, they don't know it . What exactly are the numbers we are hoping for and how do we know when we are, indeed, better than your average bear? The five measurements to be looking at include the following:
- Open Rate
- Click Rate
- Soft Bounces
- Hard Bounces
- Abuse Reports
According to MailChimp as of July 2016 averages are as follows:
|Industry||Open||Click||Soft Bounce||Hard Bounce||Abuse||Unsub|
|Agriculture and Food Services||24.92%||3.18%||0.61%||0.47%||0.02%||0.29%|
|Architecture and Construction||24.81%||2.96%||1.55%||1.17%||0.03%||0.37%|
|Arts and Artists||27.23%||2.88%||0.66%||0.50%||0.02%||0.28%|
|Beauty and Personal Care||18.75%||2.10%||0.42%||0.43%||0.03%||0.33%|
|Business and Finance||21.18%||2.77%||0.71%||0.60%||0.02%||0.24%|
|Computers and Electronics||21.14%||2.29%||1.07%||0.75%||0.03%||0.30%|
|Education and Training||21.70%||2.69%||0.57%||0.50%||0.02%||0.20%|
|Entertainment and Events||21.37%||2.36%||0.52%||0.45%||0.02%||0.28%|
|Health and Fitness||22.25%||2.74%||0.46%||0.49%||0.03%||0.38%|
|Home and Garden||24.24%||3.68%||0.62%||0.45%||0.03%||0.38%|
|Marketing and Advertising||18.01%||1.99%||0.80%||0.66%||0.03%||0.28%|
|Media and Publishing||22.09%||4.66%||0.30%||0.20%||0.01%||0.12%|
|Medical, Dental, and Healthcare||22.56%||2.48%||0.78%||0.80%||0.04%||0.30%|
|Music and Musicians||22.85%||2.91%||0.61%||0.46%||0.03%||0.29%|
|Photo and Video||25.89%||3.74%||0.76%||0.67%||0.03%||0.41%|
|Recruitment and Staffing||20.16%||2.24%||0.56%||0.61%||0.02%||0.31%|
|Restaurant and Venue||21.84%||1.37%||0.58%||0.51%||0.03%||0.41%|
|Social Networks and Online Communities||21.77%||3.42%||0.39%||0.31%||0.02%||0.23%|
|Software and Web App||21.20%||2.35%||1.10%||0.90%||0.02%||0.39%|
|Travel and Transportation||20.49%||2.26%||0.68%||0.51%||0.02%||0.24%|
The quality of your list can be measured by the above numbers, but what about the size of your list? It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of an email campaign is to CONVERT a lead into a sale. That may be a short sequence (email delivers offer and offer is redeemed) or a long sequence (nurturing a prospect down the "sale funnel" through a series of emails). The quality has to be there, but once that is established what do you do about increasing the quantity?
Almost every marketer I know would place email list building as their number one priority for any client. I work with businesses of all sizes and discover quickly who was thinking about list building early and who has just woken up to its importance. We know that email marketing lists have about a 25% annual attrition rate so setting your sights on a 10% increase this year is going to leave you well behind. Here are a few quick considerations for growing your list this year:
Consider a Meaningful Partnership
Have a local event coming up? Partner with a like-minded business and share the expense of some giveaway in order to garner new emails. Here are a few ideas:
- An "Enter to Win" contest - splitting the cost of an Apple Watch or a $500 gift card gets a better draw and is easier on the budget.
- Photo Booth Fun - split the cost of a professional photo booth and get email addresses on the model release form. This not only gives your participants a branded giveaway, but you build your email addresses and get to upload the fun photos to your social media channels.
- Offer a Joint Seminar - If what you offer is your expertise, team up with a complimentary business and offer a free seminar. If you have the tech skills on your team, you can explode this to a free webinar and take the hassle of the event venue off your plate! You can really think out of the box on this one:
- A hair salon could team up with a shoe store to talk about what is trending this season.
- An insurance broker could team up with a financial planner to offer their top 5 tips for every age decade. (Think "Top 5 tips for financial success in your 20s, 30s, 40s, etc.)
Review Your Website
When was the last time you audited your own website? Before you fly there directly, consider how a potential client might find you. Start with a Google search and get to your site from there. Once there, ask yourself these questions:
- How hard was it to find the "subscribe" box?
- Was I given a compelling reason to opt-in? "Sign up for our FREE newsletter!" - really?
- Do I know what I will receive if I give out my email address?
Meaningful email list building happens when you offer truly valuable information to your ideal client. The offer resonates with them so much that they don't feel they are "giving up" their email to a marketing machine, but engaging with a brand. If you increase the value of the offer, you increase the value of the email being given. That is a simple rule of inbound marketing.
Email is here to stay and marketers are looking to increase conversions through meaningful email campaigns. But we know that email is changing. Subscribers are becoming more savvy and discerning, and more internet service providers are creating new rules for getting into inboxes. What worked in the past may not keep working, but this important information should help you set meaningful goals.
Unsure of what to do next? It's either time to celebrate if your numbers exceed the above, or it's time to get some help. Hit us up for a free marketing assessment and find out what the next actionable step is for your success!
Not ready to chat with us? Consider our free guide: 9 Reasons People are Ignoring Your Email.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, but mostly you'll start crafting better emails.
This post was written by Priscilla McKinney, Momma Bird at Little Bird Marketing. As a full service agency, we provide full branding overhauls, website development, and extensive digital strategy including inbound marketing packages. Hear more from this Momma Bird in her podcast, Ponderings from the Perch or follow her on Twitter @LittleBirdMktg.