BOO! Email Marketing Statistics That Just Might Scare You

Posted by Margaret Farmakis on

Email marketers, BEWARE! Do not press “send” before you read this, or proceed at your own (and your subscribers’) peril. Just in time for Halloween, we have some gruesome and gory email marketing statistics that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and your blood run cold.

While you won’t be inclined to do the Monster Mash, you may think twice about sending another promotional email with the same “buy now” messaging. A recent blog posting by Jason Baer shared some seriously scary email stats that were used in a presentation at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer earlier this month. They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky all right. In fact, they’re all together “ooky,” but not nearly as harmless as the Addams Family.

But fear not brave marketer – even the most devilish of Halloween tricks can be countered with a deliciously yummy and potently sweet treat. So stop repeating “I see dead people” when referring to the inactive portion of your email file, break out the candy corn and read on.

Trick: 21% of email recipients report email as spam, even if they know it isn’t.
Treat: Make it as easy as possible for subscribers to opt-out of your email program. Be sure your unsubscribe link is part of every email you send, is prominently positioned and the process is easy to complete. The bonus treat is that if you’re sending informative, useful and relevant content, subscribers won’t associate your messages with spam. However, if your program consists of the same one-dimensional messaging that’s all about you and your products, they will not only ignore you, but publicly reject you by registering a complaint to their ISP. After all, you’re cluttering their Inboxes with junk, just like the spammers do. You may be a legitimate marketer whose program they signed up for, but if you’re not delivering what you promised, when you promised it, and aren’t making their lives better, you cease to be relevant.

Trick: 84% of people 18-34 use an email preview pane.
Treat: It’s time to take a long hard look at your email templates. You may have the most beautiful, elegant and creative templates ever, but if they consist mostly of images with little text, only a small percentage of your subscribers are ever going to see them they way you intended. An even smaller amount will open and click on them. Optimize the top third of your email message to include rendering instructions, a text-only headline that clearly states your offer and a text-only call to action. Keep your templates simple and skimmable with bulleted copy and a focused message.

Trick: 30% of subscribers change email addresses annually.
Treat: If you don’t have a preference center, build one. Link to it in the footer of every email message and be sure that it has an email change of address option so subscribers can update their information. Better yet, use it to promote newsletters and include samples for each message type, as well as frequency information. The preference center is also a great place to include personalized whitelisting instructions. Consider highlighting what’s in your preference center in your welcome message (with a link) and include a prominent link to it on your website pages. The more you celebrate and promote it, the more your subscribers will use it.

So what’s the moral of this ghost story? Focus on the subscriber and these treats will pay dividends for many Halloweens to come. If you want to share more tricks or treats with me, email me at margaret.farmakis@returnpath.net.


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