Only one in four e-mail recipients gives businesses permission to send marketing e-mail messages. Here's how to get in the winner's circle.
Your e-mail recipients are ready, willing, and able to whitelist corporate e-mail senders, but your chance of reaching the winner's circle is about one in four, according to a new study of consumer e-mail behavior and perceptions.
Database marketing agency Merkle's "View from the Inbox 2009" study shows recipients will take steps to make sure the e-mail they want gets delivered to their inboxes, but not every sender qualifies for preferential treatment.
How can you boost your chance of scoring inbox placement? Relevance and frequency still matter. Giving recipients ample opportunity to whitelist your sending address doesn't hurt, either.
First, a few statistics from the Merkle report:
These statistics highlight how your deliverability depends on maintaining a good relationship by sending relevant e-mail at acceptable frequencies.
Relevance, however, isn't so easy to achieve until you accept that it's what your subscribers, not you, say it is. This means e-mail that meets your customers' needs and answers their questions.
Are You Listening Where Subscribers Are Talking?
As an e-mail marketer, you probably spend a lot of time making sure your e-mail looks and says exactly what you want, both in content and appearance. But do your messages answer your subscribers' most pressing needs and questions?
These next strategies can uncover questions your customers are asking and guide you in devising strategies to answer them:
Don't Forget: Ask for the Add
The Merkle study shows people are willing to whitelist. So keep asking them to do this, but also promote it early and often:
Find more address-book advice in this earlier ClickZ column, "Address-Book Additions Boost Inbox Arrivals."
Until next time, keep on deliverin'!
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Stefan Pollard, who started his career in online marketing in 1999, was considered a selfless mentor and champion of best practices in e-mail marketing. He held the position of senior strategic consultant at Responsys where he was responsible for developing e-mail marketing and lifecycle messaging strategies to increase clients' ROI. Before that, Stefan led the e-mail consulting program for Lyris clients, frequently speaking at industry events on best practices. Prior to that, he managed the audit process and consulted with clients to improve their e-mail delivery challenges for Habeas. As an e-mail marketer, he spent several years building and executing acquisition and retention campaigns at E-Loan and Cybergold.com. He died May 14, 2010.
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