It is essential to make sure you are in compliance with legislation regarding anti-spam (Can-Spam in the United States), privacy (PIPEDA in Canada), and other rules and regulations related to commercial email throughout the world. It is important that you realize you need to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the country to which you are sending email.
Measure, Measure Measure
You want to improve your effectiveness as you learn from experience. This can happen only if you keep track of past performance. You want to track such things as delivery rate, number of undeliverables, number of unsubscribes, click-through rates, gross response, and net response. You want to compare response rates within different timings, different types of creativity, different formats, different segments of your list, and different target markets. Once you analyze what is working and what is not, you’ll be in a better position to improve your conversion ratios.
Why Email Is Not Dead
There has been lots of a debate recently that with the rise of RSS and everyone communicating through social media that email is, well, dead. While the current situation is showing us that open rates are declining, spam filters are blocking good emails, click-through rates are low, people are experiencing list fatigue, legislation is putting stricter rules and regulations in place concerning sending email, and RSS is an alternative, email is still the killer App. There are a few very important pros to email that RSS and social media just do not deliver:
- Email is trackable (open rates, CTRs, etc.) down to the individual level.
- ROI is easily understood and measurable.
- It is a mature channel with industry-standard metrics.
- Email can be personalized. You can include such elements as the recipient’s name, company, and city in the Subject field, in the To field, and in the content of the message. Through dynamic personalization you can also personalize on the recipient’s priorities, preferences, and past purchases.
- Email can be segmented.
- Email can be highly targeted, designed, and branded with rich content.
- Email can and should incorporate viral marketing.
With a private mailing list you can plan how you will measure and quantify success before you start. RSS does not allow you to test different elements of your campaign to see which yield the highest conversions. Private mail list marketing allows for such testing of things like:
- Timing—day of the week, time of the day, etc.
- A/B creative
- Format—HTML versus text, long paragraphs versus bullet points
- Response rates
- From line—company name, person’s name, destination
- Subject line
- Top offer
- Featured offer
- Bottom offer
- Ad copy effectiveness
Your private mailing list gets you in front of your target customer on a regular basis and it helps build repeat traffic to your site. With private mailing lists you are able to promote your destination, attractions, or operation, which helps bring visitors to your Web site. Private mail list marketing helps reinforce branding and conserves your contact base.
It is important to realize that for business your communication doesn’t have to be either/or—either email or social media, either email or RSS; these are not mutually exclusive. You will do both.