Why Isn't Your Email Marketing Program Working?
by Josh Amidon
Every week, sometimes every other (depending on if I want to be lazy that week), a couple thousand local small business owners open and read my email marketing newsletter. I wasn't always as proud to give out that number. When I first accepted this position, our email marketing program was in trouble – with an open rate of less than 2% and a click through rate of less than 1%, it’s safe to say our program was a disaster.
Fast forward over a year and a half later and our stats have improved considerably – open rates are now sitting at 38% (industry standard is 18%) and click through rates have reached 26% (industry standard is 12%). Not the mention the number of opt-in subscribers have gone up over 70%. This wasn’t by accident and many things had to be fixed. Here’s just a few:
Don’t sell, sell, sell. People HATE being sold to. The first thing we did when we changed our email program was we put an end to the constant sales pitch. We gave our subscribers real content, something they can sink their teeth into – but the goal was always the same, the reader would walk away with something they didn’t know before and maybe (just maybe) they were entertained at the same time.
Track EVERYTHING. I know it’s going to sound a little “Big Brother” of me, but I know who’s opening and reading our emails and who isn’t. It’s my own little “naughty and nice list.” I can even tell you what types of emails are the most read (social media topics always gets the most opens).
Consistent Look & Feel. Our old emails were changing every week, a different color, a different layout, different formatting – there was no consistency. How are people supposed to put a name with a digital “face” if you keep changing it? I like to give ours a nice little facelift once a year.
Timing Of Distribution. I love testing different times for different types of emails to be sent out throughout the week and measuring the results, it's become somewhat of a hobby (I've never hidden my nerd-ness from you and I refuse to stop now). I feel like if my life was a movie, this is where a video montage would be of me pouring over analytical information and measuring possible outcomes - all the while a cheesy 80's song played (Paul Engemann's Push It To The Limit).
I believe strongly in email marketing – it works when done correctly. If you ever want to have a chat about setting up an email marketing program that gets you more customers, please feel free to give me a call at 315.258.8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org - also, if anyone has a better 80's video montage song, let me know!