I’ve got a professional history with email. Which means I’ve got a history of seeing people roll their eyes when I talk about it. Email gets a bad rap because companies aren’t doing enough to ensure their content is useful and interesting to the subscriber. Companies can easily go overboard, blinded by the cost-effectiveness of email, and start to send too much. Or send what’s easiest for them to write or re-purpose from another source. The consequence? People unsubscribe. Or worse, mark you as spam and hurt your sender reputation, which impacts your deliverability.

My advice? Slow your roll for a second. Take time to determine what your customers actually want to receive. Assessing all of your content with the question, “I know I want to SAY this, but do they CARE about hearing it?” is a great place to start. Then, elevate your approach by bringing facts into the mix.

  • Review what data you have for your customers and members, and consider how data segmentation could allow you to send more personalized and relevant emails
  • Survey your subscribers to find out what kind of content they are interested in
  • Build a preference center that allows subscribers to indicate the types of content they want to receive, and how often they want it
  • If you aren’t already doing so, start tagging your content areas by type/category, and then monitor what content types get the most clicks

Oh, and one more thing, remember an old distribution list often means a decayed list. Before trusting your email performance data, go through a list cleansing exercise where you identify subscribers from your list who haven’t opened emails in six months. Then bravely email them with the request, “Click here to keep receiving our emails.” Lastly, remove the subscribers who didn’t take action on that email. (Deep breath. A smaller, more engaged list is objectively better than a large and out-dated list.)

Overwhelmed by the idea of all this work to make your emails relevant? Confused about any of this advice? Reach out so the experts at Willow can assist you!

Leslie Lewis

Written by Leslie Lewis

I believe every client deserves our very best work and our most honest advice. Never anything less.