Let’s face it, email marketing has changed over the last decade…
The transition from simple text and links to elaborate HTML and design-rich newsletters is one primary example.\
And so is the backlash those fancy emails caused – when consumer trends showed that simpler, more straightforward emails garnered better response
Google, who is one of largest providers of email service, has been the driving innovator in a lot of these changes.
They are notoriously dedicated to the user experience, and specialise in giving customers what they want.
When they saw that people hated bogus ads, they banned hundreds of thousands of accounts – and forced advertisers to change their tactics.
When people complained about their inboxes overflowing with promotional and affiliate messages, Gmail introduced the “Promotions” tab.
And now, based on more user feedback, they plan to make it even easier for their customers to unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists.
Yep, that’s right… The users have spoken, and they want to be able to unsubscribe before they even open the email!
Some marketers are up in arms about this – they think Google is out to destroy them…
But as any Strategic Entrepreneur knows, it just means we have to step up our game!
Step Up Your Marketing With These Three Tips
Don’t let Google get you down – there are still plenty of methods to make an impact… in ways that your customers and prospects actually want.
#1 – Capture Physical Mailing Addresses
Direct mail works.
And the more people get frustrated with spammy and unwanted email marketing (and the less the average business uses direct mail), the more impactful and special direct mail becomes.
You can collect mailing addresses after someone opts in to your email list – just offer to mail them a free gift, coupon, or even a “surprise.”
In person, you can collect mailing addresses through coupon offers at the time of checkout…
Here’s why this is important: 59% of new subscribers are not engaged, neither opening nor clicking on emails – whereas 73% of consumers say they prefer direct mail for brand communication because they can read the information at their convenience.
#2 – Offer More Than Sales Messages
One of the big reasons people get sick of marketing emails – and emails in general – is that they don’t provide any value. It’s either a sales pitch… a flashy picture with a bunch of untargeted products… or some other piece of barely relevant “information” that doesn’t do anything for the recipient.
If you want to make a splash with your email messages – make them worth something to your contacts!
Send them useful, informative content that is simply for their own benefit. Provide them with expertise to build a relationship, not just drive sales.
You want people to look forward to receiving your emails. In fact, you want your emails to be so valuable, people won’t to delete them at all – much less unsubscribe or filter them out of their inboxes.
You can change your whole approach to email “marketing” with a basic shift in understanding.
Sure people like to buy products, but what they really want are solutions.
If you’re providing expert information to help them solve their problems, they’ll seek out your products and services on their own.
#3 – Track Your Metrics
So, maybe your unsubscribe rates are low – that’s great! Maybe your open rates are above average – that’s even better!
But what about engagement? Are people actually clicking the links in your emails? Are they visiting the sites or watching the videos?
If people aren’t taking action, no amount of “opens” will result in sales, stronger relationships with your customers and prospects, or increased awareness for your brand.
Depending on how you send out your email messages, there are likely tracking measures built into the service. InfusionSoft certainly makes it easy to see what’s happening with your emails – who’s clicking, who’s opening… what’s working, and what’s not.
Other email services like total business cart, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, and others, will all have their own methods of tracking, and may even have some options for adding on 3rd party tracking services.
Explore the tracking options available through whatever service you use, and make sure you’re paying attention to real engagement – not just opens.
Look, technology is going to keep changing. Companies like Google and other online giants are going to cater their services to the needs of their customers (just like we should all be doing)…
As customer needs evolve, our strategies will have to evolve along with them. It’s not enough to simply send out sales messages anymore. And what’s more, that’s not what customers want.
If we, as online Entrepreneurs, are providing true value, it doesn’t matter what changes Google (or any other communication system) throws at us… People will seek out the information that matters to them.
P.S. Want us to take care of your email marketing so your customers look forward to your emails? Then get in touch here