Marketing. Mention that word to anyone involved in growing a business and you’re likely to be met with a look of pain or loss. Why? Marketing has become quite a challenge—especially for smaller and mid-sized companies. So much so, many businesses have turned to the likes of South American software outsourcing to get the job done.
That’s right. Even marketing efforts are being outsourced on some levels. One such example is email marketing. This tool is, for many businesses, crucial to customer retention. After all, what better way than having a great mailing list to get the word out for new products and services, customer loyalty specials, and so much more?
But not every mailing list is created equal. First and foremost, you have to have the right tool for the job. There are, of course, platforms such as MailChimp that do nothing but mailing lists. Naturally, you don’t have to go with such a company. If you already have the means, you can outsource the job to your favorite third-party provider.
Once you’ve decided on how to get your mailing list off the ground, the next step is making the most out of it. This can get really tricky, as how that list is used will be defined by your audience. Even with that variable in play, there are some universal best practices that apply to nearly every possible type of business.
Let’s break this down.
We’re going to start off with an idea that can be challenging for some and time consuming for others. The idea here is to not just have one general mailing list. Instead, use multiple lists, each of which is geared toward a specific clientele. Say, for instance, you have one type of customer who is focused on the services you offer, whereas another type of customer prefers a product. You wouldn’t want to be sending mailings list about services to product-oriented customers, or vice versa. That could lead to a loss of interest in what you send for many customers.
What’s more – that can lead to customers unsubscribing to your list. Why? Consumers already get a ton of email. The last thing you want to do is add to the crowding of their inboxes. Instead, get granular with your customer needs and only send targeted mailings.
This granular targeting can also encompass other factors. Say, for instance, you do software development and your target audiences are North and South America. For that, you’d want to only send mailings focused on software outsourcing to North American clients to, you guessed it, South America. Or what if you have specific products or services that target certain ages, genders, or specific interests? You could create mailing lists for those specific markets.
Make the Launch Count
So you’ve collected addresses for your first mailing. That initial launch is going to be pivotal in determining the success of your mailing list. For this particular campaign, you want to make sure to include the most compelling information you can distribute. Do not flood those first-time subscribers with too much information or too many special offers. Narrow the focus and really wow those readers. If you cannot catch their attention with that first mailing, you’ll fail to retain them.
Because of this, you want to launch with the absolute best content you have to offer. You will also want to make sure the marketing content in these initial mailings doesn’t sound like marketing content. Your intent here is to build relationships, not sell products or services.
Check Your Frequency
This one is very tricky. If you send out mailings too frequently, you’ll lose subscribers because they’ll grow tired of your insistence. However, try to get in touch with them every once in a while and they’ll forget about you.
In order to find that sweet spot, you must monitor subscriptions based on the frequency of mailings. If you find you gain subscribers with a once-a-month mailing, but start to lose them with once-a-week, you know that the monthly mailing is the ticket. You can also try sending a campaign once every two weeks. Should that see even more subscribers, you know your optimal frequency.
Once you find the frequency sweet spot, it is absolutely crucial to be consistent. Your subscribers will come to expect those mailings. Should you neglect them, they might very quickly lose interest. This cannot be stated enough, as people do not like change … even on such a minute level. Stay consistent with your mailing list and you’ll see how retention grows.
Purge Your Lists
Analytics are key. Hopefully the product you are using for your mailing list (be it from a company or an outsourced provider) offers tools for you to view how your mailing list recipients are responding. These analytics tools will be your best friend, as they can help you discover which users are reading your mailings, which are clicking through, which are bouncing, and more.
After a while, you’ll start to see patterns develop, such as those users who never bother to click through or users who never read the mailings. Consider purging those users. Why? Some mailing list providers place a cap on how many users you can send to before you must pay a higher price for the service. Keeping those lists clean of duplicates, bounced users, or users who don’t click through can save you money.
Use Images Wisely
Finally, you want to make sure to use images wisely. If you send out a mailing that is heavy on the images, you’ll probably find subscriptions will plummet. Why? One issue is data costs. Some users have ISPs who charge for data usage. In some countries, this can be costly. Or you might have users who only view your mailing via a smartphone. Loading those images costs data. Add too many and users will be turned off. Another issue shows itself when recipients of emails configure their email client to not show images. If your mailing is mostly images, your message won’t get across if the recipient only views text-based email. Another issue centers around the visually impaired. For those clients, they use text-to-speech engines to read out their emails. Should you send an image-heavy mailing out, the bulk of your content will be missed by that segment of the population.
It might take some time for you to optimize your mailing list to where you’re getting the most out of it. The time you take will pay off.