Are Your Email Lists Tip-Top?

As Marketers, we all know that email is a powerful tool for our marketing mix. Did you know just how powerful? Check out these stats from the DMA’s 2013 study

  • Twenty percent (or more!) of overall revenue is generated through email marketing for more than half of the organizations surveyed 
  • Email marketing makes up 60% (or more!) of all digital business revenue for a quarter of those surveyed
  • An estimated 30% of email revenue comes from segmented targeting
  • Median ROI for customer emails is $28.50 for every $1 invested
    • To compare, search’s return on investment is $19.71, display is $22.38, and mobile is $11.37 (for organizations surveyed)

Clearly email is a good idea, especially for eCommerce. Once you decide to pursue this tactic, it’s important to remember the other side of email: list management.

Tips for Keeping Your Email Lists in Tip-Top Shape

Don’t Cheap Out

One of the reasons email has such a great ROI is because of the low cost – often pennies on the dollar – for sends. But, that doesn’t mean that you should blast your entire list the same message because casting the widest net is the “cheapest way to go.” You’ll quickly find that it’s the least effective way to go when your unsubscribes skyrocket and open rates tank. Segment your lists and target your messaging so that people get what they expect to get when they sign up – which will keep them coming back for more.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and walk around a little – would you want to receive an email that has nothing to do with what you signed up for? No? Then don’t do it to your audience. They gave you their precious information for a reason; don’t abuse that privilege to save a buck.

Reward the Sign Up

People often need a little nudge – whether in the form of an offer (Get 10% off your first purchase!) or a piece of content (Sign up today for a free webinar!) to encourage them to give away their personal information, so don’t be afraid to dangle that carrot. Think of it as a small tradeoff for a big return (see email survey stats above). Let the customer know that you’re willing to give something to get something. It will pay off in spades.

Keep the CTA Clear

As the saying goes, “Time is money” – both for you and your audience. Don’t waste your customers’ time with unclear copy. Tell them what you want them to do clearly and concisely, so that they can do it quickly and easily (and don’t be afraid to test that call-to-action for optimal results). They’ll thank you for it by joining your email list quickly, and will often tell their friends about the list, too. (Do you know how many people I’ve told about the Kate Spade Surprise Sale email list? You’re welcome.) If it’s easy to sign up and you get a little something extra for doing it, why not, right?

Easy Does it on the Form

Speaking of easy… make sure your email sign-up form is as simple as possible. People generally don’t like giving away their information, especially if your form makes it exceedingly difficult for them do so. As you’re designing your form, ask yourself: how many fields are really necessary? How are we going to use this information? Oftentimes, you don’t need as much info as you think to have a solid email list. First name and email (or sometimes just email) may be all that you need.

If you’re after more data than a few fields on a form will provide, create a quick sign up form at first, and then a “behind the scenes” preference center where you can ask consumers to update their info later. If they’re engaged enough, they probably will.

Keep these four things in mind when you’re managing your email lists to be on your way to attaining that awesome ROI we talked about earlier – keeping you, your boss and your clients happy campers!



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