One recommended best practice in email marketing is to segment your list. Target your blasts so that only those who have indicated that they want to receive one particular kind of email receive that type and not any other type.
When someone who has subscribed to a newsletter receives a promotional email promising a discount on one of your products, they’re probably not going to open it. Some will. But as a marketer, you can expect your open rates to be much lower when you send stand-alone promotional emails to newsletter subscribers.
The best policy is always to ask people at registration what they want to read. Send newsletters to people who have signed up for newsletters, and promotional emails to people who have indicated that they want to know about offers.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t also offer discounts to newsletter readers. You just have to do it a little more subtly, by working the discount into the newsletter content, or by placing the offer as an ad in the sidebar. It’s a method that allows you to give your subscribers what they expect while still putting your sales message in their hands.
It’s also an approach that goes to the heart of what makes any email marketing campaign successful.
What Subscribers Really Expect
When a subscriber turns to his or her inbox, they do it with a mixture of hope and fear. They hope they’re going to find something interesting, informative and beneficial. They’re afraid they’re going to see an email telling them they’ve won the lottery, can buy medicines or may share in some stolen treasury funds if they’ll just hand over their bank account details.
They’re concerned that they’re going to have to waste their time reading a subject line that doesn’t appeal to them and have to delete an email they wish they had never received.
It’s a fear they have every time they look at their inbox, and marketers have to provide reassurance that they’re not sending them those kinds of messages every time they put together content.
It’s not enough to create a newsletter that promotes your company. It’s not enough to put together a deal that you think is generous. Your email marketing has to provide content that your subscribers will feel is genuinely interesting and worth reading.
And you have to do it every time you produce an email.
Whether you’re creating truly informative articles for a newsletter or promoting a product that your list is likely to be interested in buying, you have to meet your subscribers’ expectations for an interesting read.
It’s the only way to expect high open rates — and high sales.