I have had a number of clients that set themselves goals recently all about improving their list size.
This, in itself, isn’t a bad thing, but is it the whole story? The answer i must give, is no
when anyone says to me that all they want to do is increase their list size I always come back with, ‘Well what about your list quality?’
It doesn’t matter what your list size is, if they aren’t responding to you. This is why you should always look to improve the quality of your list, the accuracy of your marketing and the value of your lead magnets.
In 2015, for SMEs according to GetResponse’s investigation (The State of Email Marketing by Industry, January 2016), the open rate across all industries was 21.73% with a click-through rate of 3.57%.
That’s an interesting number right there. I have had clients unhappy with open rates of over 40%!
This all comes down to individuals not really knowing what to expect from email marketing.
Your open rate is directly linked to a number of factors:
• The quality of your list
• Your understanding of your list
• The expectations of your list
• The wording of your subject line
• The value of what you give away
Firstly, the quality of your list; If people are on your list that you haven’t talked to for years, haven’t had any enquiries off, haven’t opened any of your emails then do you realistically expect to make a sale?
Infusionsoft have recently added the Unengaged Marketable email status. Have you checked it? Have you tried to re-engage these people? Are they simply on your list, sitting there but not actually doing anything?
Secondly, understanding your list is vital. Who are these people, when are they most likely going to interact with your emails? If it is a leisure product going business to customer, then is sending your emails during day-time appropriate? If you are targeting a market when the customer is likely to be parents with young children, would an email mid-evening have a better open rate?
Thirdly, the expectations of your list are vital. If you say that you are going to have a monthly newsletter and then bombard them every week, that is going to turn some people off immediately. If you don’t deliver your promised newsletter, then are you going to deliver on any sales?
Fourthly, what makes people initially open your emails? They are not sitting at the desk waiting with baited breath for your next email to drop into their inbox. When it does, it needs to sell itself. Now, it could be that you have the type of relationship with the client, that when they see your name on an email they know it is going to be valuable and worth their time, and time is money, right. However, you will probably need to catch the attention of some of your list, so think about what will grab people’s attention.
Finally, you have to think about the quality of what you give away. If it is of low quality or not relevant, then people are going to unsubscribe from your list and not want to do business with you in the future.
So, how do you improve the quality of your list?
You need to have targeted the right people to work with you. You need to fulfil your promises so your list stays engaged with you. You need to remove people that don’t want to talk to you.
Increasing the size of your list is a good thing but only if you get quality.
A side note story that you need to consider is Kids Bowl Free (KBF) in the USA. They do advertising for bowling alleys, and it’s pretty obvious what they do, they advertise that if there is a paying adult, then the kids bowl free. What they also do however is have a call team that contacts anyone who unsubscribes from their list to make sure the person understands what they are unsubscribing from.
KBF have found that this is a lucrative source of leads. We have to consider why is that? Well some people respond well to email, some to video, some to a physical person talking to them. The ‘cheap’ option of email marketing failed in this case and a more expensive version (the physical person) worked.
So where does that lead us? In my opinion opt-outs are a good thing. They have decided your product is not for them. This improves the quality of your list as you are then only talking to the people who want to hear from you via email.
However, you might want to reach out to the opt-outs in a different way.