AIMS Email Marketing Event Review

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Given I was host and panel moderator of last week’s “AIMS”:http://www.aimscanada.com event on Email Marketing, this isn’t an unbiased review. However the event did confirm for me that there are still a lot of companies and individuals new to the space and needing some encouragement. Which you can find here on onedegree.ca, including the recent post from Stefan Eyram and some how-to’s to come from myself as well.
The event included two speakers from an agency [InBox Marketing Inc.] and a vendor [ThinData], followed by an email marketer’s panel. Here are some of the tips that were shared.


# Testing Subject lines is a priority with most email marketers before rolling out to their whole list. Most are finding that including their company name in the subject line improves response, as many readers don’t see the “From” name in their preview pane. If you have a known brand, I’d agree on including it in your Subject line. But other research I’ve seen indicates the From or Sender name is very important in determining what messages get read by recipients.
# Preference Centres: this seemed to be a new term for the audience, but essentially it’s where your subscribers can manage their subscriptions — and most importantly tell you what subjects they are interested in and how often they want to hear from you.
# Increasing frequency was on the wish list of the email marketer panel. What I would recommend is to learn which of your customers is happy to hear from you often vs. those who will unsubscribe from over-mailing: the 80/20 rule applies here! Emmie Fukuchi of “YourShops.ca”:http://www.yourshops.ca said once a week seems to work with most of her customers. I would argue that might be too often for a lot of other businesses, who should stick to every 2 weeks.
# Retaining site visitors was one of the key issues Barry Stamos of “Inbox Marketing Inc.’s”:http://www.inboxmarketinginc.com/, San Francisco, shared. Marketers spend many thousands of dollars in attracting people to their site, but statistically 80% of site visitors leave without making a transaction or telling you who they are.
One simple way to convert them is to add a Subscribe box. Testing says best practices are to: include a box to insert email address, plus a link to your privacy policy (even if folks don’t click, it’s reassurance) and a link to view a sample. Also, let people subscribe with just their email address, then have them land on a preference center page where they can opt to give you more information that will customize their email subscription. Given the option to get more relevant information, prospects often will provide the data you ask for, within reason.
# Use email as a sales follow up tool. Barry shared that 90% of sales people quit following up with a prospect after 8 attempts, but it takes 12-16 to convert a sale. Use email for the first couple follow ups, with an option to contact a live rep, and help increase those odds. The follow up might include white papers, a link to an online demo or webinar, etc.
# Offers: free gift with purchase often works best. This has been my experience going back to direct mail days, too.
# The panel all said email is an essential channel for them. Alisa Mackay of “Bell”:http://www.bell.ca/ shared her experience of being on the inside of an ISP and therefore understanding how they block email, but also having to work them to get her own marketing messages delivered. She says, “you want to get on whitelists!”

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