What Email Marketing is Really About

Posted by Krista Moon on October 16, 2014

I’ve been on an unsubscribe spree - I’ve been unsubscribing from every single newsletter that comes into my email inbox. Even emails I like to read.

Four days ago I reached a breaking point. I couldn’t take the emails anymore. Even though my Gmail has the “Promotions” section which plops the email newsletters in there, I just get too many. I never read half of them anyway. I hit the “select all”, quickly scan to see if anything stands out, then hit “delete”.

What Email Marketing is Really About

While some of you may rejoice in hitting the “unsubscribe” button (you know, that teeny tiny link way at the bottom that you can hardly see), it makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I feel like I’m going to miss out on some important information, or I’m not going to learn something I should know.

As I’m doing this, all I can think of is that I tell my clients that email marketing is an important part of a business growth strategy. And here I am, opting out after opting out.

It’s making me think hard about 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.

It’s really hard for me to look in the mirror and tell myself that I can’t know everything and I can’t solve every problem. There are topics that I’m just going to have to claim ignorance about. There are world issues that I’m just going to have to watch with a sympathetic eye and not get involved in.

What I realized - and why I started unsubscribing - is that I need to choose my information sources very carefully. My goal is to clean house by getting rid of all the emails, then start fresh. I’m going to be much more careful about what emails I allow to come into my box from now on.

Even in just the past couple of days as I get fewer and fewer emails coming in, I find I’m able to focus more on what I actually WANT to read. It’s quite liberating.

The Solution: Ultra High Value, Thought Provoking Content

If I can only read so much in a day, the sources need to be of ultra high value. I have to pick the topics I want to learn about, and let the others pass me by. I anticipate that as time goes on, my interests and skills will evolve, and I’ll move from one set of topics to the next.

That probably means I’ll move in and out of various email newsletters over the course of time. Not necessarily because the newsletter is bad, but because it doesn’t meet my objectives at that particular point in time.

Here’s a list of reasons why I will subscribe to an email newsletter:

  • Educational: I learn something new - about a topic I’m interested in - the majority of the time.
  • Ummmm...hmmm...

Haha! I was going to have a list here, but learning something new about a topic I’m interested in is the only reason I can think of to subscribe. If you have other reasons please list them in the comments section below!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

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