Dating life, let’s be honest – it’s a nightmare.
Have you ever had one of those moments during a first date where you wanted to run for the hills? That time when your date kept going on and on about him-/herself, repeating the same few stories over and over. Or your date was being super-aggressive, and could obviously care less about getting to know you.
How about when you’ve been seeing someone for a little while now, things are going well, you’ve got a nice flow going, and, all of the sudden…. holy suffocation – blowing up your phone non-stop, all-or-nothing ultimatums. Let’s face it, no one likes that.
But wait: What does any of this have to do with email marketing?
When people sign up to receive emails from you, you’ve just entered into a relationship with them. I know – stressful when you think about it, but for better or worse, email marketing is just like dating. Here are a few tips on how to not be “that guy.”
5 Signs Your Email Program is That Guy
1) You’re Always Trying to Sell Your Subscribers Something
I don’t know about you, but super aggressive people trying to sell me something just don’t seem genuine – like, at all. Same goes for your email marketing program.
I get it, we all want to see results, but constantly throwing hard sells in every email will come off as “cold” and “sales-y.” Instead try first establishing a good relationship with your subscribers by having an on-boarding campaign that includes low-barrier soft sells, and watch how your engagement increases.
Don’t believe me? Try adding a softer sell and a hard-sell call-to-action in your next email and see which gets the most clicks.
2) Your Emails Are All About YOU
Only talking about your company’s features is a guaranteed way to be that guy.
We get it, your company is awesome and everyone should know. But isn’t that the reason someone opted in to receive emails from you in the first place?
What do I mean?
Example A throws a bunch of features and a discount in your face, but what is the value behind that? Example B shows the value behind these shorts, and even gives the subscriber fashion tips. Which would you click?
Moral of the story: Make your emails valuable. Do not email just to email, because your stuff will get deleted.
3) You’re Sending the Same Email to Everyone on Your List
This one literally makes me cringe. Seriously, think about how you talk to your mother, compared to your best friend, compared to a date, compared to your grandmother. Would you honestly share all the same details with each of them? Definitely not. You tailor your conversations based on whom you are talking to. Email is no different. A surefire way to be flagged as spam and increase your unsubscribe rate is by emailing everyone the same message.
Get to know your subscribers by monitoring your email stats. See what people are clicking on, and: segment, segment, segment. The key to a successful marketing campaign is to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.
4) You’re Emailing Subscribers Way Too Often
“Boundaries” is a word that doesn’t just apply to dating. I promise you, it’s okay for subscribers who love your brand to not want to receive emails from you all the time. Subscribers are like anyone: At a certain point, they can get annoyed and eventually develop a negative inclination toward your brand.
But when is too much too much?
Feel your audience out and learn from the past – past email campaigns, that is. When does audience engagement drop off? What send schedule seems to work best and how can you evolve it to a sweet spot? It is all about getting to know what works best for your audience, because everyone is different.
And this leads me to a tip that will make email marketing easier on you: Be upfront from the beginning about how much you will be emailing your subscribers.
5) You Have an All-or-Nothing Email Subscription Option
Let’s say your email marketing program is that guy (refer to #4). You managed to annoy even your most loyal subscribers. And now the thought of unsubscribing (even though they truly don’t want to) is better than being bombarded with emails from you. But wait…
…as they go to unsubscribe, they see an option to reduce frequency, the number of emails, or even the content they receive from you. Perfect. Frequency reduced and mission aborted. They stay subscribed. Offering subscribers the ability to control what message they receive will increase the retention of your email list.
So for the sake of all, please don’t be that guy.