This post is part of a series of guest posts authored by popular bloggers and internet business consultants. Today's guest post is written by Dean Shanson, a professional marketing writer and a regular contributor to some of the Web’s leading marketing blogs.
For many marketers, email marketing is just one small part of a sales campaign. It’s a technique that they might use once a month in addition to search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click advertising and a host of other techniques.
It would be great if every email marketer did more than that. It would be great if every email marketer, even those who simply try to capture emails on their websites and shoot out a promotion every now and then, took the time to segment their lists, prune out old email addresses and make sure they knew where each subscriber had come from.
It would be great for the people on the list, and it would be great for the sellers too. It would help them to increase their clickthrough and conversion rates and allow them to personalize messages for different kinds of readers.
It would also make writing the permission reminders a lot easier.
These have become a part of good practice in email marketing. They shouldn’t be more than a single sentence reminding the subscriber where they signed up so that they know why they’re receiving the email and understand that they haven’t been spammed. Something as simple as “You’re receiving this email because you subscribed at [mywebsite].com” is good enough.
The problem comes when marketers don’t segment their lists. That single sentence with its single, specific source becomes something more like: “You’re receiving this email because you subscribed at [mywebsite].com, gave us your card at a conference, bought one of our products or joined our mailing list.”
It may be accurate but it’s also clumsy, unclear and draws too much attention to itself.
Ideally, it would never happen because everyone would segment and maintain their lists, allowing them to put a different source on each email. But it does happen because in practice, not everyone segments and maintains their lists.
So if you’re an occasional marketer with a single mixed list, how can you create a permission reminder that isn’t clumsy but which still covers all the bases?
Use the Permission Reminder to Reinforce the Relationship
By being friendly. Start with a question: “Why are you receiving this?” or “Where’s this coming from?” Then answer it with all of your possibilities: “You’re receiving this message because we met – perhaps when you subscribed online or perhaps at a conference. Or it may be because you liked one of our products so much you bought it. You asked then to keep you informed. If you’ve changed your mind, you can change your preferences here.”
It’s an approach that takes up more space but it uses the reminder to maintain the relationship between you and your subscriber, the factor that’s most important in successful email marketing. It’s not as good as segmenting your lists, but it should keep your subscribers happy and the spam complaints low.
About the Author
Dean Shanson is a professional marketing writer and a New York Times bestselling business book ghostwriter.