- Tue, February 13 2007
- Filed under: How to improve emails and newsletters
The best thing about having a blog is all the brilliant people who read it. The newsletter posts on this blog of recent days have generated a stream of really smart emails to both me and guest blogger Carey. I’ve learned a lot from you, namely:
Ike Pigott, Communications & Gov’t Relations Director of the Southeast Service Area of the American Red Cross writes to point out:
Microsoft has made some severe changes in the Office 2007 package, which means that formatted e-mails like newsletters will be rendered in Microsoft Word instead of Internet Explorer. This threatens to set back e-mail marketing by several years, as companies and NPOs will have to go back to clunky coding and ditch the pretty HTML layouts—which, by the way, made it far easier to personalize those newsletters as you had suggested in your recent post.
1) The lifetime value of an email address is 3-4 years. Think about it. Did you have the same email today that you did 4 years ago? Probably not.
2) Most people have between 3-4 email addresses. We have a work email. We have a home email. Others have a school email, a subscription email and others.
3) On average we obtain 1 new email address per year. It could be from starting a class, starting a new job, starting a new website or changing email providers.
4) CNN reports that 9 / 10 emails are now spam. So if you are toggling between 3 email accounts and deleting 90% of your email - you, and others, aren’t just inundated with spam we are flat out existed and frustrated by it.
He then advises:
YOU MUST DEVELOP A GAME PLAN STARTING RIGHT NOW ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THE CONFLICT OF DELIVERABLE ISSUES.
1) Follow my lead generation system. If you are not doing an OPT IN list you are going to be in a lot of trouble. I promise you. On the next page after sign up WALK THEM THROUGH how to white list your website. Finally, direct them to a thank you page after the opt in to keep them engaged.
2) YOU MUST start considering how to integrate audio and video into your email campaigns. Mark my words - if you delay too long on developing a well thought out and budgeted game plan your email list will be unresponsive because of the industry change that will be happening soon. Some are converting to video newsletters, or video lead generation sys ems that are small infomercial type news settings.
3) Start to keep an archive of your newsletters. If your viewers are not receiving your email you better give them a place to find your news. Also give them an easy contact box on that page that asks them if they are having problems receiving your newsletter so you can resolve it.
4) Focus on your Evangelical customers. The 20% that bring in 80% of your foundations revenue. These are your family members. These are your mavens. Love them!
5) The more you ask for interactivity on your website or newsletters the more responsive your viewer will be. Become the master of surveys. Engage your viewer or loose them forever.
6) Get everyone in your foundation involved. If you have a message board or a chatroom, dedicate time in there to answer questions or just to say hello. Let them know your position. “Hi this is Carey, the online marketing director, I just wanted to drop in to say hello. Are there any questions I can answer for you today?” They will start to become a novice of your site and start to act as moderators with out even knowing it.
7) Get out of the habit of only sending HTML emails. They are getting harder and harder to make it through the spam filter and there is an annoyance factor going with some who don’t know how to right click and view the image. Refer back to my notes above with exploring with audio and video.
8) You have to start focusing on the educated consumer. Email marketing is becoming very transparent. It is still early in the game. Create shock and surprise in your industry. I have some tricks up my sleeve that I will send you when testing is done.
9) Be bold. Implement my 5 minute rule. Start calling your donor right after they donate. If you could hear how excited they are to hear from us, you would have started yesterday. If you would like the script of the call we make, just email me, I will send it to you.
So there you have it. Smart people. If you have something smart to add, please comment or better yet, be a guest star with your own blog entry here. I am always happy to turn the spotlight on you.