Email marketing is still golden and still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your target customers.
Even though there are many advanced methods and strategies for marketing, email marketing still stands as one of the most effective one-to-one mode of communication.
With blogs, social media and other avenues, we have a mass reach – but they get personal only to a certain level.
Here’s where email marketing comes to rescue. But before you could use email marketing to market your business and products, you’ve got to build an email list.
Not the easiest thing on the earth, you know. But once you build a list, say a really BIG list, the story doesn’t end there.
It is not enough to have people on your list, but you should make sure they’re responsive. Let me explain –
What is a Responsive Email List and why is it important?
A responsive list is one where your subscribers are really engaging. They eagerly open your emails, click on your links, reply to your emails and take all sorts of “positive” action that helps your business.
On the other hand, if your list is unresponsive, a majority of your subscribers do not take any action – they don’t open your emails, click links or even bother.
Such subscribers are dead weight; pardon the language but that’s literally it. Coz, most email autoresponders charge you on a number basis.
That is you pay for the number of subscribers you have and as your subscriber number increases, the money you pay also increases.
In order to keep your list “sharp” in this sense, you can review your list on a monthly basis and delete those subscribers who are unresponsive.
For instance, review your list every month and delete those subscribers who have not opened any of your emails over 2 months. You can use the “last mail opened” (or something similar) search feature to filter those subscribers and then delete them.
However, this is in fact additional work. If you manage to so some legwork before you add those people as your subscribers, you can avoid much work load in analyzing and removing them manually afterwards.
Not only that, having a responsive email list help increasing your open rates. If you have a list of 1000 people while only 100 of them are actively opening your emails every time you send them your open rate is going to be just 10%.
On the other hand, if you have a list of only 200 people and 100 of them actively open your emails, your open rate will be 50%. See the difference? That’s huge.
Here’s a handy presentation that summarizes this post:
Why should you worry about open rates in the first place?
OK this is just a metric and not even accurate. You know why? We can find the answer to this by learning how email open rates are calculated. Email autoresponders (all of them, including the popular ones like Aweber and GetResponse) put a small, invisible image in every email you send out.
Once your subscriber opens the email, the image is downloaded from their server to be displayed in their emails. This download is recorded and an open is counted.
Note two things important things here –
(i) The subscriber should have enabled or have chosen to display images (html) in your email and/or
(ii) Your email should be html.
So if your email is either only text or if the subscriber has not enabled images, his/her open won’t be counted unless he/she clicks a link in your email (provided, there’s a link in your email).
But still it gives you an idea of how responsive your list is, and how engaging they are.
Having a responsive list is a crucial part of your email marketing campaign.
Further, if your list is responsive, you can be rest assured that your list is of high quality and that your email marketing campaigns will do well (in terms of action taken by your subscribers.
So now you know how important it is to have a responsive email list, right? It is not about the numbers but it is about the “quality”.
You cannot boast about your email list if you have 10K subscribers while 95% of them don’t even bother to open your emails. Rather you can for sure boast about having a small list of 1000 subscribers who are highly responsive and engaging.
On the next post (Part 2), I’ll explain how to build responsive email lists, in detail.