7 Reasons People Subscribe to Email Newsletters

We often examine the content to put in emails and how to reuse it. Today we’re going to examine the reasons people signup for email newsletters in the first place. After all, if you don’t get people to signup there is no reason to worry about the content. Some of these you’ll recognize, but hopefully there are a few surprises. And it’s good to bookmark a post like this and save it as a reminder anytime you’re under pressure to increase those email addresses on your list. 1) Entertainment People have things that entertain them. It could be a movie or a TV show. It could be celebrity gossip or the NFL. Everybody has something they pay attention to for entertainment and usually those people subscribe to some kind of email program that fills the entertainment void. Entertainment is a way you can get people to sign up for your newsletter. Maybe you could do a series of videos that are funny and entertaining. Maybe you have a design company that does entertaining images or illustrations every couple weeks. There are lots of ways to be entertaining, but it’s not for every business. If you are in the entertainment business make sure you focus on that fact in your email signup call to action. 2) Useful Tips People will signup for emails when they have some knowledge to gain. This is actually one of the big reasons people subscribe to B2B email newsletters. If your business has helpful information that

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New Tool Analyzes & Compares Email Marketing Effectiveness

By Elizabeth Yin, CEO and Co-founder of LaunchBit and  NewsletterDirectory.co, an ad network for high quality email newsletters.  I’m pleased to release Email Newsletter Report Card, a free tool to help email marketers grade their emails in 2012 and show specific areas of improvement for the new year.  We built this tool, in part, to help us understand what to focus on in our own email marketing. Here’s what we learned from using the tool to analyze our own email campaigns from 2012: 1) Using too many links Presumably, most marketers send out emails in effort to convert their subscribers on some call-to-action or upsell.  As it turns out, the best way to do this is to have fewer than five links and place the call-to-action in link #1 or #2. At the time of this writing, the average number of links is 23.3 per newsletter (the average changes as more people use the tool), and our newsletter called Startup Frontier has on average 9.4 links.  I did not realize before that I had been including so many links — it turns out it is really easy to go link-crazy! 2) Sending newsletters at the wrong time For our newsletter called Anime Goodies, I typically send our newsletter at 7pm GMT, while most people on open our newsletter at 6pm GMT — almost a whole day later! Although the ideal time to send email will vary across newsletters, for this particular newsletter, I know that I can definitely change our send-time to

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How to Give Feedback to Email Designers

Everybody takes feedback differently. When it comes to managing your email program you have an important relationship with your email designer. That person is responsible for coming up with the brilliant creative that will sell thousands or maybe even millions of dollars each year for your company. It’s important to understand how this relationship works so you can get the best out of email designers and out of yourself. Here are some tips for making the managers and designer relationship as good as it can be. It will be good for you, the designer and for the company. Tip #1: Always Provide Positive Feedback, Too When we think about feedback we often consider what we want to see improved. We’ll tell the designer what is wrong or what we don’t like about an email and we forget to tell them what we do like. Positive feedback is just as important. You want the designer to know what you like about email design. When they create something let them know the elements you like and why you like them. This process lets the designer know they’re on the right track and it also gives them knowledge they can use for future designs. You’re helping them and you’re also helping yourself because the designer is getting to know what you and your customer likes best. Tip #2: Provide Concrete Examples Ahead of Time All email managers should subscribe to a ton of email lists. You want to see what is out there

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Down with Do-Not-Reply Emails

As much as email has evolved and progressed these past few years, with segmentation, personalization, and dynamic content, it’s shocking that do-not-reply emails still regularly show up in our inboxes. Can anything be less customer friendly than that? A do-not-reply email is any email you can’t reply to. The sender usually lets you know you can’t reply to it by using a dotnotreply@ email address and/or including text in the body of the email telling you not to reply to that email. Reasons against do-not-reply emails There are many reasons to do away with the do-not-reply. Let’s start with the most obvious: It’s just downright rude. It puts you ahead of the customer in importance, never a good place to be if you’re in business. I’ll even go so far as to suggest it dehumanizes your customer. It’s also old-fashioned, unnecessary, and out-of-step with modern day marketing. If customers can write on your company’s Facebook page and get an immediate response, or tweet your company with the same expectation, shouldn’t they be able to immediately reply to the email you sent them? If they can be on your website and instantly chat with a company representative while there, is being able to reply to an email so outrageous? It could also affect your open rate. The From address is the first thing people typically look at when considering whether or not to open an email. They will ask themselves, “Do I know this person?” or “Is this from someone I

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9 Email Marketing Pet Peeves That Will Cost You Money

The fourth quarter is a crazy time for marketing emails. If you’ve opened your inbox today you’ve probably seen tons of emails from businesses. Some you like and some you don’t like. Have you thought about those things that really bother you about marketing emails? Here is a list of pet peeves to avoid in email marketing so you can keep your subscribers happy. 1. Confusing Calls to Action Nothing is more frustrating than getting an email that showcases some great products, but doesn’t allow you to click on a link to each product. This happens more than you might think with email design. The email could have a simple “Shop Now” button, but if the customer is interested in a specific item in the email they’ll have to search on your website for it. 2. Misleading Subject Lines Nobody likes to be tricked. If you promise something in your subject line make sure you deliver on that promise in the email. You want to be enticing with the subject line, but don’t go overboard by being misleading. 3. Incorrect Links This can happen to anybody and it usually happens when we get busy. If a subscriber sees an interesting link in your email and it takes them to a different page they’ll be disappointed. They really wanted to learn more about that product or they really wanted to read that article. Make sure every email is double checked before it ships. 4. Too Many Exclamation Points It’s hard to know when this phenomenon happened, but

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The Pitfalls of Email Marketing Automation

Previously we discussed the rise of email marketing automation and while marketing automation is great for the busy marketer there are some pitfalls. Everybody is busy these days and automation makes sense for many. We talked previously about the various ways you can automate your marketing: Welcome Emails Lead Nurturing for B2B Businesses Promotional Series There are probably other ways you have automated your processes to make sure you’re marketing to your customer effectively without running your team into the ground with too much work. Today, we’re going to look at a few of the pitfalls of marketing automation because it’s good to understand where the trouble is so we can avoid it as best as we can. Failure to Update Automated Emails To save time while still getting response we often create automated emails. These programs are great because they take care of themselves. We set everything up once and then let things go. That’s the point of automation. You can set it and forget it, but this can also be a pitfall of marketing automation. Each of these emails needs to have the design and the content updated. It’s easy to let the automated emails go for months or even years without making any updates. Now, it doesn’t make sense to change things for the sake of change so the best way to make changes is to have a schedule for addressing the automated email programs. This could be quarterly. Look at the performance. Talk with your team about ideas for

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Zombies Don’t Always Eat Brains But When They Do…

…They Prefer Original, Unique Brains. I’ve been thinking a lot about Zombies lately… What are their preferences?  Do they care about anything other than brains? Do they drink Zombie cocktails? Where do they get their shredded clothes?  Do they recycle? Do they remember their email address? Many, many thoughts I have, but the biggest one… Why do companies seem to think their customers/patrons/users are Zombies? Sure, we could chat here about Zombie CRM, but really, that’s not the point, just a limb – I mean a piece. The point is simple and is about regurgitation. Not that kind! The “let’s keep spewing the same old content and look to our customers because it works = regurgitation. <insert sigh here> It’s easy to do – you get some good results and you keep pumping out the same jargon, imagery, offers, etc. But what if you’re successful and then tested something else? Magic sometimes is built upon success… okay, often magic is found that way. And magic isn’t a one-time-only event, it can happen more than once if you keep innovating and pushing the envelope. Sure, it’s a little frightening to push boundaries – not Zombie brain-eating frightening – but spooky for sure. Make it easier on yourself and run clean tests.  A little planning and suddenly it’s not so scary to look under the bed… just a few tools will arm you for proper Zombie hunting: 1) Arm Yourself Start simple – A/B testing is just that: 2 segments with a single variable Don’t

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