Posts Tagged ‘email relevancy’
Posted by Matt Rotroff on September 29th, 2010
Earlier this week we went over the ins and outs of Gmail’s new Priority Inbox. The biggest challenge the new inbox will pose will be continuing to get your message seen by your email subscribers. Many of the tried and true email marketing best practices that you should currently be using will increase the likelihood of your message being seen by your audience.
Consistency - Be consistent with how often you’re sending as well as the “feel” of your content. Everyone likes something they are familiar with and can rely on.
Relevancy - How many email messages do you get daily that you consistently check? Probably not too many, but there’s a reason you check the ones you do, they interest you. Once again put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and make sure each mailing is not only consistent with relevant content, but also widespread enough to catch the eye of people interested in different areas of your services or products.
The Basics – Don’t forget where we started. Your reputation, delivery and use of best practices need to stay intact while focusing on the points above. You need to make it to the inbox before worrying how to save your heated seat there.
Overall, Gmail Priority Inbox is another flavor of categorizing your email messages. It gives the user the ability to separate what they feel is important and leave the rest to either be deleted or read at some other time. The mailbox being separated into different sections may steer early interests away – people are for the most part still used to the traditional list style of their inbox. Whether the new Priority Inbox becomes widely used or not, it is still wise to make sure your email campaigns are as effective as possible.
Posted by Dave McCue on September 23rd, 2009
There was a time when I was, indisputably, the most feared pitcher in my small town Little League—for all the wrong reasons. Let’s just say that if you were within three feet of home plate, you had best be wearing a helmet, or you might soon be wearing a fastball. It got to the point that umpires asked my coach not to let me pitch, because my taking the bump meant a long afternoon of hit batsmen and/or walking the bases loaded each inning.
But it wasn’t always like that. Early in my Little League career I was a fine pitcher, but one season I got a new coach who decided that I should change my grip on the ball. Being so young, I didn’t know that the grip my coach insisted I start using was a curveball grip. Suffice to say, not everybody can control a curveball.
My being forced to throw wild curveballs is very similar to the situation faced by email marketers who must contend with “coaches” who don’t realize the damage they are causing. It’s a tough situation to be in; defy the authority of someone who could bench/fire you, or follow orders and hope for the best. Marketers are being told to send more often. Marketers are being told to find more people to send email to, permission-based or not. In a survey SubscriberMail conducted earlier in 2009, one reason cited by marketers who were not conducting adequate testing of their messages was “a C-level aversion to testing.” If that isn’t bad coaching, I don’t know what is.
Occasionally I’ll come across an article in my RSS feed or a post to Twitter that says something to the effect of “Email marketing study finds that relevance is key.” My initial reaction is usually to chuckle and think of similar headlines, such as “Drivers report difficulty when blindfolded,” but even though the importance of relevance in email marketing would seem to go without saying, it’s something that can easily be lost when a misguided mindset of “more more more” controls the strategy of an email marketing program.
For a pitcher in baseball, the ability to throw 100 miles per hour doesn’t mean a thing if the ball isn’t anywhere near the plate. The story is much the same in email marketing; the power is only effective if you can control it.
Posted by Dave McCue on July 1st, 2009
Earlier this year, SubscriberMail engaged a vendor to assist with an online advertising initiative. Just a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from this vendor that—despite containing elements of personalization, such as my name and company name—amounted to little more than a “canned” message that may as well have been aimed at a total stranger.
Even worse than the “infomercial” style of writing used in the message was the fact that it’s From address was that of a representative I had spent quite a bit of time working with before, both via email and over the phone. Having already established this relationship months before, I was a bit insulted to be given such a generic sales pitch—as if I had never heard of or been in contact with the vendor in question.
A week or so later, this same representative sent me a follow-up email that, while still a bit generic, seemed as though it was actually written to me. So I wrote back and we had a normal email exchange over the next couple of days.
The moral of this story is pretty simple: don’t treat email recipients as if they are all the same. The original message I received was sent through an email service provider (indicated by the ESP logo in the footer), so it’s safe to assume that at least basic segmentation tools were at this sender’s disposal. How then, could a completely generic sales pitch end up in the inbox of one of their former clients (i.e. me)?
There is a reason the second message prompted me to take action, while the first message left me cold. While elements of personalization—such as addressing recipients by name—are a nice touch, they can’t make the heart of the message itself any more relevant when it is way off the mark. Combining personalization with segmentation gives your message a much better chance of achieving the level of relevancy it needs. At the very least, some basic list segmentation—separating clients, former clients, prospects, etc. into their own lists—could have prevented this type of irrelevant communication now and in the future.
It can be easy to overlook the basics sometimes, but it’s also easy to see why it’s never a good idea.