It's simple, effective, and allows you to engage prospects daily to maintain interest in your business. Moreover, with [amazing CRM software that's available for your marketing], you can automate almost every process within your business, allowing more free time to enjoy the fruit of your labors.
Unfortunately, because email marketing is so easy, many marketers abuse it and have set forth a new wave of regulations that greatly affect businesses all over. If you don't abide by these new rules, you risk losing your email mass-marketing rights entirely.
So today, I'm sharing very important information with you that could save your business from hitting a brick wall.
You'll learn the real metric that email providers consider to see if your prospects are engaged…
When to drop a lead or even a client from your email list, no matter how much they've bought…
And the best way to revitalize customers who have lost interest in your messages…
What Email Providers Want
Believe it or not, it doesn't really matter how often people open your emails.
There is a much more important metric at play, determining your fate as a marketer. But first, you need to understand a little bit about ESPs and ISPs and their differences.
An ESP is an email service provider; a service that enables and automates your email marketing so you can create campaigns and send emails en masse. It allows you to maintain your list, segment it properly, stay in touch with your list, and track what your prospects do. Most CRM systems are ESPs and provide this service.
An ISP is an Internet Service Provider, like Google, Yahoo, or MSN; most people use one of these for their personal email account. ISPs have very strict restrictions on mass emails and what users view as “spam.”
Because of the necessary relationship, ESPs must ensure that ISPs are always happy and don't think their users are being exploited or annoyed.
Generally, when we go through our personal email accounts, we are bombarded by advertisements. Google has gone through efforts to separate email into Personal, Social, and Promotions, so our main inbox isn't so flooded, but it still can be a problem.
When we delete emails, especially if we're doing it on our smartphones or through an email software program on your computer, like Thunderbird, Outlook, or Mail, we often open them first. It happens automatically.
Click-throughs are a measure of when the recipient not only opens the email, but clicks on any given link inside it. If they don't do both of those steps, they are considered uninterested and “disengaged.”
ESPs risk losing their business relationships with ISPs if their clients abuse the service without taking that into consideration. And so they have started cracking down on businesses that don't monitor the health of their email lists.
This has been the death of a lot of Internet Marketing gurus and Affiliate Marketers that generate huge lists and barrage them with email, with no regard for response or interest.
Not only have those marketers been singled out for these actions, they've had their accounts cancelled, forcing them to transfer their whole list to a new Email Service Provider and go through a troublesome process of starting anew.
And more often than not, they get kicked out again, for continuing the same poor practices.
So What Can You Do?
The good news is that if someone doesn't click on an email once or twice, you are still safe. But if that persists for six months, most ESPs say you must drop them from your list. If you don't, you could potentially be dropped from your ESP.
So, how can you make sure that doesn't happen?
Well, for one thing, by law you must have an unsubscribe link in your email. It should be automatically included in every one you send – this will allow unwilling recipients to take themselves off of your list, saving you a lot of headaches. A good proactive practice is to occasionally use language in your messages that encourages those who are not interested to unsubscribe.
Next, you need to make sure your emails encourage a click-through to get to the bulk of the information you are sending to your list.
For example, if you are sending something out because you posted a new blog entry (much like I do), you don't want to give away everything in the email. If you do, the customer won't have to click-through to read it, and even if they are interested, the ESP will think they aren't.
You want to make them short and sweet, with a little bit of a tease to entice the click.
Last, you can implement software that monitors the activities of your list. This will allow you to take appropriate actions when necessary.
One system essentially uses a “red, yellow, green light” method of dealing with the problem. If your prospect is active and clicks through your emails, they stay in the “green light” segment of your list. You can email them at will because they are likely to want it.
If a lead in the green group doesn't click through an email in 30 days, they get moved into the yellow group. This is the “limbo zone” before you have to decide what to do with them. If they click on another email you send, they move back into the “green group”. If in 30 more days, they don't click (so 60 days total of not clicking anything), they move into the red group.
The red group is where you have to start taking action. You either need to remove these people from your list when they have been inactive for 6 months, or enact a campaign to try and win them back.
Reviving the Dead
Having prospects in the red zone is detrimental not only to your ESP, but to your business. There is a way to potentially “win back” those customers if you play it smart.
When you buy something from a company and they receive your contact information, you receive advertisements periodically from them, right?
If you haven't clicked through those ads, or bought anything in a long time, you may see a very special email from them saying “We Miss You!” This generally includes a coupon or a free gift to entice you to come back.
This is referred to as a “win-back campaign”. It is exactly what it sounds like – a campaign to win a customer back.
They are very easy to implement for any customers who have started to drift away. It might not always work, but it will definitely draw some attention.
Since you have a lot of content that you've put together to market your business, hopefully you have put aside a few things here and there to use as bonuses. These can be given out when people sign up for your list, purchase something, or even “just because.”
Well, if you have a bonus with a high-perceived value, it can be a great tool for this campaign.
For example, if you are a life coach and you have an old client in the “red zone”, you could send them a link to a free infographic with life-affirming quotes and actionable steps to be taken each day. This is both useful and reminds them of your mission statement, so they think about what they loved about your business in the first place.
Which creates a small action (a click) with a huge result for the health of your list.
You Don't Have to Worry
No matter what, you have to make sure to monitor your email marketing.
The worst possible scenario is losing your good reputation and having to start over. Imagine having to explain everything to a new ESP… go through the hassle of moving your list, and even have many of your contacts not qualify to make the move. Not worth it, right?
Between cleaning out your list regularly, implementing “win-back” campaigns, and continuing to do the lead generation you have been doing all along, your business will be fine.
Remember, all of that content marketing you have been working on, along with product launches, your own lead generation, and the Affiliate/JV relationships you've cultivated, are constantly bringing in new qualified leads. So don't beat yourself up if someone loses interest – it happens and it's okay.
So long as you remain aware and on top of things, your business will continue to grow and prosper without any hiccups at all.