How do you know when your email marketing is failing? Perhaps you don’t realise until it’s too late and rectifying it takes time to build up a pool of fresh non-fatigued customers. Here are some checks we suggest you make to ensure you are not heading for email doomsday.
Declining open rates and large groups never opening
This might seem an obvious sign to look for but usually there is a long, gradual decline in performance as customers realise the emails they are receiving are no longer relevant to them, which in turn means they stop opening them. New customers coming into the programme will mask some of this happening. If you want to shock yourself, run a report to see how many subscribers haven’t opened a single email in the last year.
List growth is less than those dropping off
This is often seen where email frequency has shot up but list growth activity has stagnated. As you increase the number of campaigns you send, unsubscribes usually go up in a proportionate manner – so doubling from 1 email a week to 2 will mean twice the unsubscribe rate. If you are not finding more ways to gain customers you will see list numbers gradually fall over time.
Previous successes aren’t working
A particular common theme for marketers, where promotional activity is high, is the impact of offers that starts to wane over time. Whereas previously 20% off would generate good results you now have to go to 30% to get similar results. And in time 30% will stop working as well.
This cycle is usually from a short term outlook where the golden goose of the email database is killed with too many offers and promotions in too short a time period. The role of email marketing teams is to take the long term view and try to influence the wider business that constant promotion activity will work this week, but in 6 months’ time there might be a different story.
So how do you solve these issues? Unfortunately there are no quick fixes but with all things email there is one place to look – relevance. A good place to start is putting in a programme of activity to personalise and segment campaigns, so every customer receives content relevant to their interests. Targeted triggers timed around key points in the customer lifecycle will always be at the heart of active as well as responsive and successful email programmes. So the earlier you start, the quicker you will reach the end of the journey.