Courtesy of Hal Licino, DIRECT MAGAZINE
You were one of the early adopters of email marketing—and your campaign shows it. You have emails going out that could have been pitched to the Flintstones.
If your emails are more stone tablet than iPad, you might want to consider some innovative ways to shake up your campaign and get those open rates out of the hibernation they’ve been in since the Emailocene era. Here are some tips:
* Announce huge changes. Nothing succeeds like a total revamp. If you announce to your customers that there are enormous changes in store, preferably with a countdown calendar to the big day, you will build up anticipation, which will pay off in renewed interest in your former snoozefest.
Everything has to be new and exciting, from your images to your layout right down to your fonts. And you can’t get away with just cosmetic changes; your campaign’s offerings have to be new, exciting, alluring, innovative, and relevant as well. It’s time to jettison Urkel and replace him with Robert Pattinson.
Reward your customers for their loyalty in myriad ways, by providing profound and overarching value your competitors can’t match. Make sure the accounting department is not looking and give away all the dusty old stock in the warehouse. You’ll be rewarded soon enough.
* Send out surveys. The essence of online life is that everyone is empowered to have his or her say on everything from the local dogcatcher to the president’s birth certificate. If you inform your customers that you’re listening to their feedback and that the survey you’re sending out is the best way to have their voices be heard, you may be surprised at the sound of clicks. Prospects who never have opened your emails previously might rush to get their two cents’ worth in. You can amplify your response if you announce that the more-relevant comments will be placed on your Website.
* Post the top 10 favorite products. Curiosity Got the Click, so the recipients who have been avoiding your emails like swine-flu vaccinations may be tempted to open one if they can compare their personal preferences against your top ten products. Just about everyone wants to be firmly seated on the bandwagon, as it provides a sense of belonging.
If you include a way for recipients to vote on the 10 favorites you’ve listed, and perhaps have a follow-up People’s Choice Top 10, it can provide a further incentive to get the recalcitrant laggards involved.
* Ask them to reconfirm their subscriptions. This piece of advice will actually cut down your list size considerably and runs counter to everything you were taught at Email Polytechnic: The ultimate goal of every email marketer is supposed to be to accumulate a list that encompasses all 7 billion people on earth and their pets as well.
In reality, however, there is an overwhelming amount of dead weight on your list right now, and continuing to flagellate the defunct equine is not going to do anyone any good. If they don’t want your emails any longer, then exercise the catch-and-release program. It will free up your resources for the prospects who are actually interested in what you’re selling.
You don’t have to roll over and placidly accept abysmally low open rates. Injecting your email campaign with some excitement, innovation, and flair will help to get your results out of the flatline mode they’ve been in and back to vigorous, vivacious, bouncing health!
Hal Licino is the author of two books and an e-mail marketing advocate for Benchmark Email.
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