If you set up an effective way to collect email addresses, the problem won’t be growing your house list, but managing it and fostering the relationship and sales processes. Most people focus on attracting new clients or customers and neglect the goldmine in the email addresses already accumulated. Your house list represents people who already have some kind of relationship with you and, ideally, have purchased something from you in the past. If they were satisfied, they are the most likely people to buy from you over and over.
According to a study by the Winterberry Group, dollar for dollar, email marketing works harder than other campaigns. Email marketing has a 17 percent higher response than direct-mail campaigns and 73 percent more response than telemarketing campaigns. And, the cost is usually minimal in comparison.
When to send emails?
To benefit from increased open rates, a survey by eROI, Inc. indicates executives read most of their emails on Monday or Tuesday during lunch. Other industry experts suggest readers open emails between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday for business mailings. For consumers, emails should be sent Friday through Sunday when they have more leisure time or between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
Make sure you adjust for time zones. If you are in New York with clients in California, you’ll need to adjust the time by three hours so the emails arrive in the optimal window in each time zone.
How often to send emails?
Striking the right frequency balance is important—too many emails aggravate people and too few cools the relationship. How often you send ultimately depends on the content being high-quality and worthy of attention. Can you achieve this one time each month or two?
Here are general guidelines for mailing frequency relative to how often you send e-newsletters out:
- If sent quarterly, you can also send solo emails with promotions, announcements or updates one to two times per month.
- If sent monthly, send additional solo emails one to two times per week.
- If sent twice monthly, send solo emails two to three times per week.
- If sent weekly, solo emails can go out two to four times per week.
Track your results and number of unsubscribers at different frequency levels to find the right balance for you.
Basics to keep in mind.
Be alert to what draws your personal attention in emails and what annoys you. If you’re like most people, you’ll find:
- Short, newsworthy newsletters are read more. Keep content short at 500 words or create two to three short articles with 200 to 300 words each. Keep it interesting; if it’s not people will unsubscribe to your newsletter and the lifetime value of the prospect or buyer will be gone in an instant.
- Strong, compelling subject lines increase the open rate. Avoid capital letters, punctuation, dollar signs and exclamation points in the subject lines. These can trigger email filters.
- Consistency counts. Monthly means monthly, not whenever you happen to get around to it. Keep the integrity of your mailing schedule.
- Personalization matters. Do you respond more positively to Dear Subscriber or to an email personally addressed to your first name?
- Clearly identifying yourself either by your name or company name will increase readership if you have established a good relationship with the reader. In fact mentioning the company name or product increases open rates, but including both in the subject line actually reduces readership.
- Encourage reader feedback and questions. Not only will you develop a better relationship, you’ll see what’s on their minds and use it for future content.
What does this have to do with web traffic?
Building prospect and buyer relationships will increase how often they come to your website for information or to buy more products and how often they forward your newsletters on to others who will visit your website. Email campaigns work hand in hand with your website to drive traffic. It's a process, not a destination!
Come back next Tuesday for ideas on what you can learn from your email list.