It’s rather remarkable how fine a line there is between online marketing that is strong, powerful, and effective and online marketing that comes off as desperate, obnoxious, and careless. The differences between helpful and bothersome online marketing can be a little hard to detect from up close. Let’s take a step back and look at some marketing methods that might be considered a menace…and how you can avoid them.
The Mailing Menace
When people subscribe to your email, it is generally because they believe that you have something of value to offer them. Your email content must be relevant to their needs, wants, and situations. When a subscriber receives enough irrelevant emails, the next time he or she opens one will be to hit the “unsubscribe” button. Remember, not every email you send out is relevant to every customer. By segmenting your subscribers (based on their needs, locations, etc.) and sending specialized emails accordingly, you increase the likelihood of your emails being relevant and interesting to their recipients, as well as increasing your sales.
The Me Menace
Have you come across that salesperson on Facebook or Twitter who bombards you with a constant hard sell? You can only hear so much of “Buy MY widget…MY prices are great…Tell your friends to follow ME…” before you are totally turned off, and they are tuned out! Remember, it’s not about you. Of course, you want to promote your business, but do so smartly. You can do your business a greater service by making it less about you and more about others. Small business marketing guru, Melinda Emerson suggests, …”Use the HELP Mantra. Help Others, Engage People, Listen First, and Promote Yourself With Care.”
The Missing Mobile Menace
You don’t have to look far to see just how widespread the use of mobile devices has become. Frankly, we have become a nation of bowed heads…all looking down intently at the little devices in our hands. They have graduated from where we simply make our phone calls to how we find out the weather, how we play our games, how we buy our movie tickets, and, among many other things, how we read our email. Since more and more email is being read on mobile devices than on computers, your email needs to be as easily readable on an iPhone as it is on a desktop. It is important to not only consider optimizing for mobile phones, but for other mobile devices (such as tablets) as well. Failure to do so will result in an enormous rate of deletions, followed by a tap on the “unsubscribe” button.
The Multitude Menace
How many emails are too many? There is really no pat answer to that question. If your recipients find your messages valuable, then who’s to say there are too many? But how are you to know when or if you are over-saturating your subscribers’ mailboxes? Jeff Jewett of Optify, a leading producer of digital marketing software, offers the following criteria:
Signs you’re emailing too frequently:
-Increasing number of unsubscribes
-Declining email engagement (open rate, click-through rate)
-And the obvious: responses from your list complaining that you’re emailing too frequently.
Signs you’re sending too infrequently:
-You’re experiencing higher than average bounce rates
◦ Hard bounces aren’t being cleaned through regular sends
◦ Employee turnover results in poor data accuracy
-Engagement levels are inconsistent
◦ Audience may not recall the value you’re providing
Additionally, he offers these tips for smart email frequency:
- Find out what works best for your business. Every company and list is different. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they prefer — they’ll tell you what they care about and provide an indication of their tolerance level.
- Let your audience know how often you plan to email them. Whether you’re sending daily, weekly or monthly, let your subscribers know how often you plan to reach out to them. Setting these expectations from the get go will reduce fatigue.
- Keep things consistent. If you’re going to do something, do it well and do it regularly. Familiarity and expectation lead to higher engagement and happier subscribers.
- Find the gaps and fill them. Auto-responders are a great way to stay current with new subscribers to your mailing list and a way to not leave them waiting for days or weeks for your next send. Doing so will keep your brand top of mind and if you’re sending great content you begin building value from day one.
With a few little tweaks to your online marketing, you can rest assured that you’re giving your customers what they want…rather than giving them the creeps!