I don’t think this is new, or cause for panic for any marketer out there but there always seems to be a lot of questions about what is best when it comes to managing an email marketing campaign.
People often make a bit to-do about when email should be sent. A while ago I found some great infographics from the folks at KISSmetrics and their Science of Social Timing Series which helped me answer some of the basics like when to send, post or share information either on the social web or via email. They also were great in pointing out when most people are checking their Facebook, reading their email or creating their own content.
But what about the list?
Your email list is probably the most important part of your email campaign. There are plenty of services that allow you to download a list of people that have “opted-in” to receive information from that company and it’s affiliates. But most people, like many of you, probably don’t read the terms of service on any website and really don’t know what you’re signing up for. So when you innocently send an email to a purchased list, the people on the list are surprised and feel like they are being bothered or even spammed because they weren’t expecting to hear from you.
A recent article on ClickZ points out the big difference between the performance of Opt-In and Opt-Out lists. I won’t regurgitate the article here but here’s a statement from Jeanne Jennings that pretty much sums it all up:
Open rates for the opt-in business units were, on average, 82 percent higher than the open rates garnered by the opt-out business units. To put that in perspective, let’s look at Q3 2011. Here the opt-in business units had 14.9 percent of their email messages opened, compared to just 8.5 percent of those sent by the opt-out business units.
Over the past 21 months data was collected for both opt-in and opt-out mailing lists. They examined some of the basic metrics such as open rate, click-through rate and click-to-open performance over the previous 21 months.
So what’s the data tell us? Build you list from the ground up.
Take the time to cultivate leads and follow up with them. The response rates speak for themselves – you can’t really go wrong once you’re market to someone that has opted-in to receive more information from you. They will continue to open your emails and interact with your business as long as you are providing content, information, and/or services that is pertinent to your subscribers.