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Days 6 & 7: Six Geese A-Layin’ Seven Swimmin’ Swans in a Pool of Unsubscribes

I’m inspired by the sales and deals at my favorite online retailer, so today’s installment of the “12 Days of Email Marketing Tips” gives you two tips for the price time of one.

This year, JupiterResearch reported 53 percent of email recipients unsubscribe when the offer or content is not interesting to them while 40 percent unsubscribe because we send to them too frequently. Both of these can be overcome by implementing new email deliverability strategies. We may never achieve 0% unsubscribe, but we can improve our programs to reduce the number of recipients who break-up with us.

Problem - Offer and content is not interesting:
In-Message Segmentation: Replace content portions of your messages to include only content you can use your database to key from. For example, I live in Atlanta and frequently travel to San Francisco. Please only send me the routes relevant from my market. Wading through fare pairs of Dallas to Seattle mean nothing to me except more work and aggravation to find the fare pairs I truly care about. Recipients will tell you what they want to know about. Ask them. Opt-in is not the time to be timid. If your programs are already in-progress, try a survey.

Behavioral Targeting: Sounds sexy, effective, and hard to do! I talk to all sophistications of email marketers and all admit it’s challenging. Just because something is hard – don’t give up. As they say – if it wasn’t hard everybody would do it! I always advise marketers to start with email metrics such as opens or clicks and remarket. Remarketing on click-throughs is easier when you categorize links and key off those categories when including content blocks.

In the end, the key to relevance is more data than copywriting. Remember the 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing and apply here.

Problem - We send too frequently:
Email and Greed: Let’s face it - email marketing is inexpensive compared to other marketing channels. Plus, it’s wicked fast. You can literally send a campaign in seconds from your desktop. How many times have you received an internal email or a cubicle drive-by from your boss lamenting that sales are down and the cure is yet another email campaign? This lack of strategy and forethought results in recipient fatigue, spam complaints and list attrition. Set standards and frequency caps per program type and stick to them. In my experience the only way to defend this long-term is to know the value of an email address for your organization. Place a number on it and the loss of an address to an unsubscribe becomes tangible and real.

Join me next week for the exciting conclusion of my “12 Days of Email Marketing Tips.” I promise to do my best to cleverly tie eleven pipers piping to a tip. Suggestions welcome.

Posted by: Sam Cece at 10:08 AM
Categories: email frequency management, email marketing, email marketing optimization, email segmentation

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