Sometimes I go an unsubscribe spree - I unsubscribe from almost every newsletter that comes into my email inbox. Even emails I like to read. After a while, I just get too many, and it becomes overwhelming. I never read half of them anyway. I hit the “select all,” quickly scan to see if anything stands out, then hit “delete.”
I tell my clients that email marketing is a crucial part of a business growth strategy. And here I am, opting out after opting out. So what's the deal? Is email marketing important or not? Here's my philosophy on what email marketing is really about.
The Problem: Too Much Competing Information
I’ve known for a long time that there’s too much information out there. I’m an info junky - I want to know EVERYTHING. If I could, I’d probably surf the Internet all day long and just read article after article.
What I realized - and why I periodically go on an unsubscribe spree - is that I need to choose my information very carefully. If I can only read so much in a day, the sources and topics need to be of ultra high value. I have to stay focused on what I want and need to learn about and let the other information pass me by - no matter how interesting it might be.
The Solution: Keep it Relevant
The key is relevancy. Subscribers ebb and flow as they travel along the buyers' journey. For example, if you are pregnant, you would likely sign up for newsletters that talk about pregnancy. Once the baby is born, that information may not be relevant to you anymore.
People's interests and skills evolve, and they will move in and out of various email newsletters over time. Not necessarily because the newsletter is bad, but because it doesn’t meet their objectives at that particular point in time.
Organizations need to understand their persona's and provide the right information at the right time. And don't be too upset when someone unsubscribes - they likely aren't a viable prospect any time soon anyway.
5 Tips for Improving Your Email Marketing Strategy
If email marketing is done well, it can add tremendous value to your audience and your business. Not everyone is going to be interested all the time, but that’s OK. It can still be a very effective way to build trust, credibility, and interest in your company. However, if done poorly, it can be a total waste of time and resources, and actually harm your brand in the process. Here are a few tips for improving your email marketing strategy:
- Who? Your reader is the character in your story. Visualize who this person is. I always tell my customers and writers that you have to become that person in your mind. You have to think from their perspective.
- Why? Why would someone want to read your newsletter? There is more than a plethora of information out there - how can you add value to your reader’s experience?
- Don’t fear the unsubscribe: Make it easy for people to move on. Keeping an unengaged subscriber on your list has absolutely no business value to you at all. Don’t be afraid to let them go.
- Make it easy to opt back in: Just because someone isn’t interested in your information today, doesn’t mean they won’t be tomorrow.
- Analyze: Closely monitor key performance indicators to get to know your readers better.
I think the key to success is to be thoughtful about why you’re emailing people, focus on providing ultra high value, thought-provoking content, and set realistic goals about what you expect to get out of it.
Here’s a funny video about unsubscribing!
I came across this as I was writing this article and thought it was a hoot. Just wanted to share it!