Avoid the Delete Key
Assume you’ve done a great job at growing your e-mail list. You’re beating industry averages, and the annual net growth of your file — after removing bounces and opt-outs — is 50 percent. You’re happy! Your boss is happy!
Ah, but that’s only part of the formula for e-mail success. An indifferent audience is the death knell for catalog marketers. You want an active and involved audience.
There are many bad practices that can harm your programs. If you make one misstep, your customers and prospects may give you the benefit of the doubt. If you make several, however, you’ll lose them. And, you have just a few seconds to capture their attention; the average reading time for a promotional e-mail is less than 15 seconds.
Up against such tight parameters, you don’t want your readers to reach for the delete button the moment they see your e-mails.
The Frequency Frenzy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to over-mail your list. I recently took an informal count of catalog e-mails that I receive; here are the results:
* Slightly more than half of these catalogers send e-mails once a week;
* About one-third send e-mails twice a week; and
* The rest send e-mails three times a week.
Mailing three times a week is overkill. Sales may indeed be higher with this schedule, and it’s tempting to fall into this trap. But I guarantee that opt-outs will be higher and bounces will accrue. On top of that, these catalogers will experience many more “report as spam” complaints from the ISPs. Bounces and complaints can impact senders’ e-mail reputations and their ability to deliver future messages.
According to an eROI consumer survey, 56 percent unsubscribe because they’re receiving e-mails too frequently from marketers. This impacts the quality and size of the list.