Used by permission http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ renjith krishnan
A recent client of mine hired me to do an email marketing conversion to a new provider due to a massive ‘misunderstanding’ between herself and her subscribers. At one point in her business, she achieved a massive number of email subscribers- over 8,500. But being a busy entrepreneur, she only emailed them about once every 6 months. Each time she emailed the list, she would have opt-outs and spam flags.
Because of the high number of subscribers and the low frequency in which she contacted them, the number of unsubcribes and spam warnings were exceptionally high. Her account became flagged and she was required to contact her email marketing provider. She finally negotiated with them a deal whereby they would send an email to her entire list and allow everyone to re-opt-in. Until then, they would remain opted-out. Her ENTIRE list!
At the time when she hired me, the people who wanted her email and thought they were subscribed to get emails from her were actually unconfirmed and never saw the email asking them to re-confirm. The people who opted-in months ago and forgot who she was in the first place, were angry with her for ‘spam’. Only about 200 of the once 8,500 on her list actually saw, clicked on, and re-confirmed their opt-in preference.
It was a sad situation, and in a way we could all relate. We just don’t know what we don’t know. As entrepreneurs, unless it is our specialty, we’re all doing the best we can and learning this stuff as we go. Had she been able to commit to a more consistent routine of emailing her list early on, the outcome of this situation may have been different. She didn’t really know at the time the impact of her busy-ness and how it would effect her email marketing. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, she learned ‘too little, too late’! But fortunately we were able to recover and ethically opt-in her contacts.
In over 7 years assisting Coaches, Consultants, Speakers, and Authors, one of the fears that I hear is that the people on a mailing list will get ‘too many’ emails, will become inundated, and unsubscribe, the idea being that people are ‘just too busy’. And honestly, people are! But the opposite end of that spectrum is not ENOUGH email. Not enough email risks alienating, confusing, and angering people on your list when they forget who you are, how they signed up and why you are emailing them! And if your email goes out so infrequently that it is overlooked from time to time, you further risk people forgetting who you are or how they got on your list.
On the other hand, even if you email once weekly, whether your subscribers really read them all or not, they SEE your name, that you are active, that you KNOW what you are doing. They remember you. You are visible. You are front of mind. Today more than ever we have so many things coming at us at lightning speed. We have cell phones, high speed internet, and commercialism running rampant. Everyone wants to sell something. To stand out and be noticed, you have to differentiate yourself. You have to be sure you are not forgotten, overlooked, or lost in the mix.
Another issue many entrepreneurs face is feeling as if they are betraying their customers or potential customers by feeling as if they are being too ‘salesy’ or trying to overtly market. One of the very best ways that I have seen this need addressed was something called ‘nurture marketing’. Nurture marketing is about educating the reader and supporting the reader by being of value and displaying your capacity to benefit your client and potential clients. Many business owners are more comfortable with the idea of nurture marketing in blogging and email marketing, rather than marketing right out of the gate.
Today, the ‘newsletter’ format has changed as the landscape of marketing has changed. More and more, the traditional newsletter has been replaced by a blog post or digest of articles from a blog post. A great benefit of this is generating click-throughs to a website and greater SEO as well as social media interaction and greater integration with web/social profiles. It creates a truly flat landscape encompassing a newsletter list, website visitors, and social media followers; thereby increasing audience base and potential customers and improving marketing efforts.
For more information on upgrading your email marketing, contact me anytime.
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