Archive for the ‘improve email response rates’ tag

Content Dethroned As King?

Relevant Content is KingContent has been dethroned as king and relevant content has taken its place.

Of course relevant content is king. What else would it be? Off-topic content?

The question is: Do you know what is relevant to your audience? Do you know what is relevant to each of your audiences? Do you provide a range of content that appeals to more than one segment at a time? If not, read on for tips on how to improve your email subscriber retention and how to improve email response rates.


A retail furniture store features only what is on sale for three mailings, which, coincidentally, is all bedroom furniture. How many people are in the market for bedroom furniture at the time of each mailing? Pushing what is on sale is fine but feature items in other rooms as well. Fewer subscribers will feel they got yet another email that doesn’t apply to them.

Professional Services
A professional services firm features content that helps prospects understand their services and choose them. What about prospects further along in a project and have started implementation? What content do they want to see? What are the other phases of the prospect’s project? The professional services firm is missing an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and communicate key differentiators in the other phases of a project.

You get the idea. Step back and put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. Even the Pros lose sight of this from time to time. Whoops. I’ve forgotten to update or reference my editorial calendar. Or worse. I settled for what content I could get versus going the extra mile to get what will be effective.

Everything we do online should contribute to building our house list. Everything we do with our house list should be done to retain our current subscribers and acquiring new ones. Don’t blow it on the last step and come up short.

Until you get your content game on, consider breaking out your lists into sub categories so you don’t lose people to the dreaded global unsubscribe.


Instead of the retail furniture store offering a single newsletter or promotional list, they could offer the subscriber the option to customize their subscription preferences. E.g. Receive promotions and offers by room type, furniture type, accessories, etc.

Professional Services
In this scenario, they could offer subscription preferences for a newsletter, white paper announcements, case studies announcements, etc.

You can see where this is going. You can reduce the number of subscribers who globally unsubscribe by offering other subscription options. If they don’t want your newsletter because it rarely addresses their needs, they still have the option to subscribe to something else instead of Globally Unsubscribing.

I hope that these tips will help you with your email subscriber retention efforts.

Download this as a presentation.

Posted: May 19th, 2010
at 9:03am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , ,

Categories: Email Marketing,Email Optimization

Comments: 2 comments

Victim #4: Send me relevant emails

If you’re following this series (#FAIL in the categories to the right), you might pick up on the fact that I subscribe to motorcycle websites… I ride a sport bike. I buy sport bike accessories. I indicate that I ride a sport bike in my subscription preferences. And I don’t click on anything else but sport bike emails and links. Despite all this intelligence I’m giving them to cater to my interests I continue to get off-road emails and I’m unsubscribing.

This email is from a brick and mortar that moved online and still doesn’t completely get it. Cycle Gear.


1) You could get me to enable images if you sent me relevant emails with live text I could see that compelled me to enable images.

2) I’m not a design critic but this email screams print designer that doesn’t get it. (See below)

3) Condense the share icons to mini icons and stick them towards the top.

4) Do everything in the previous posts in this series.

5) Send me relevant emails. Send me relevant emails. Send me relevant emails.

Images disabled:

Scroll way over to the right because height and width were not set and see what you find:

Images enabled:

Lower half of email with images enabled:

Posted: April 19th, 2010
at 10:05am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: #FAIL

Comments: No comments

Victim #3: Heard of auto-preview in Outlook?

Yet another email in my inbox that doesn’t perform with images disabled. This time it’s Thompson Cigar. Love ‘em but their emails are annoying. With a couple of tweaks they could improve their email response rates.

Take aways:

1) Nice effort to lead with text in the top left but test it and see what happens before sending. The auto-preview actually shows two image calls <img src=”…”> before the text offer. See below.

2) (two camps here) I say drop all the administrative text at the top. At least check to see if anyone is using it and then decide. What a mess. Some people say it’s necessary. I say it interferes with the primary message / call to action.

3) There are important calls to action in the images that are disabled. Change it up…

Here is the auto-preview in Outlook. The last stat I heard is that it is used by approximately 25% of those who use preview panes, which is about 60% of email recipients. See the two image calls before the offer that may have generated interest if one could find them:

The auto-preview pane is used by approximately 25% of those who use preview panes

The preview pane isn’t much better. The offer is really small and the rest is administrative text or images.

The preview pane is used by 60% of recipients. 50% of which will not scroll or enable images before deciding to act or not on the offer.

With images disabled there is very little live text to act on and important calls to action are missing.

Very little live text here to act on and important calls to action missing.

When you enable images, you see important links like forward, share, email-only deals, and a new feature – the Daily Deal.

When you enable images, you see important links like forward, share, email-only deals, and a new feature.

Posted: April 15th, 2010
at 2:06pm by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: #FAIL

Comments: No comments

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