A home based entrepreneur who sells candles on the Web complained about the poor performance of his email campaigns. He finds it hard to get the response he wants from his email campaigns sent to his existing customers and newsletter signups, which suffers from low open rates to low clickthrough rates.
My suggestions to him are:
- First, make sure that your list is indeed 100% opt in — without trickery. When you ask people to sign up for the newsletter, make sure that they actually not sign up and not have the newsletter signup box checked by default. By having the newsletter signup checked as a default, many people fail to realize that they have been signed up and agreed to receive the newsletter.
- Don’t buy email lists. With the ever growing spam complaints, you want to make sure that people actually want to receive your mailings.
- Clean up your list. Look at your mailing list, and segment your current subscribers. Remove those that have not opened your emails for the last year (or some other timeline). If they have not opened your emails in the last year, chances are they are not going to open it again.
- Remove from your list those who have blocked you, or bounced emails, or emails no longer exist. It may cut your list by half, but you will be left with the more responsive half.
- As part of segmenting your list, send different sets of emails to those who have just purchased from you, as against those who have purchased from you 5 months ago.
- Then of course make your offers more compelling. Look at your past emails and their open rates. What types actually got the best open rate? Then tweak the best performing ones some more