Email Marketing – 5 Steps To Make Your Email List Hum

Email Marketing Is Still King

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Fans

Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Fans

Or should I say Queen in light of Queen Elizabeth’s recent Jubilee celebrations?

Why focus on old email marketing  when there’s Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and Quora and on and on you ask?

One big reasons is because it is the one way you can carry on an one-on-one discussion with people who say they are  interested in what you have to offer.  Your email list of subscribers are a lot like your own personal fan club. Just like Queen Elizabeth’s fans who stood out in the rain and wind to see her on the  River Thames.

They like you!

They really do like you!

Or at least they did initially.  And then, well, things happen.  Someone else caught their eye and offered more value.  They got distracted and they aren’t nearly as responsive as they were before. You got distracted and weren’t as dedicated to your email list. Perhaps you stopped delivering value and just focused on selling.  It doesn’t matter who took their eyes off the ball first.  What matters now is how do your rectify the situation so your email marketing remains effective.

Action Steps To Avoid Email List Malaise

1.  Qualify your email subscribers from the get go.  When your email subscribers sign-up give them a choice of what type of information they might be most interested in.  This ensures you will be able to tailor your messages to their needs and they’ll be far more likely to open your email when it arrives in their inbox.

Don’t make the process laborious.  Offer them a few topic areas to select or give them the opportunity to tell you, in their own words, what they would like to learn more about.

2.  Prime time is the first 30.  Research shows that email subscribers are far more responsive in the first 30 days.  Use this sweet spot to bond with your email subscribers by sending them short, sweet emails educating them about you and what they can anticipate by being your email subscriber.    Explain what you will be sending them, how they can use the information and why it is of benefit to them.  Consider using autoresponders to do this work for you.

Resist the temptation to sell or promote during this ‘dating’ period.

3.  Segment and refine your list. Your ESP (Email Service Provider) offers you tools to segment your email lists and you should use them. This one act can truly refine your email marketing.   If someone has already purchased your product, you don’t want to continue to barrage them with sales messages for the same product.

Yes, segmenting your email list takes work, but it is one way you can clearly demonstrate appreciation and respect for your email subscribers.

4.  Re-engage the still ones.  Identify those who haven’t engaged with you in the last 6 or so months.  Send them an email with a two fold purpose.  One, you’d like to find out why they’re not engaged and how you might change that.  And two, present them with the option receiving your emails less frequently.  Explain that you don’t want to be pestering them, but you still believe you have valuable information to share with them and perhaps a weekly or monthly round up of this information would be of more value to them.

What’s the worse that can happen?  They can ignore you, which is what they’re currently doing.  Right?

5.  Get ready to clean house.  After you’ve solicited the still ones and they’re still not responding, be prepared to drop them from your list after 12 months or so.

Why?  Don’t you want as many subscribers as possible?

No!  You want as many responsive subscribers as possible. You want your list to represent a truly dedicated and engaged fan base.  You don’t need to eat up space in their inbox if they’re not truly interested in what you have to offer.  Honest.

What steps do you take to keep your email subscribers engaged?  Share them below in the comments section.


Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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