fbpx
 
 

Hello there!

I hope you’re ready for your little bite-sized bulletin of marketing goodness, because today we’re talking about email.

We’re just going to talk about a very specific part of email and email marketing, which is your email list.

Your subscriber list.

The amount of people that you have that you can email at any one time, preferably with a piece of marketing and communications.

There’s a good many businesses that I have encountered over the years that haven’t got around to creating an email database.

They might have a collection of email addresses in the system and a collection of email addresses in their personal inbox because they email to and fro with clients or customers all the time.

That’s great.

That’s a start, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about a list of people that have opted in to hear from you whether you have tempted them with a specific offer or to ensure that they’re the first people that know about any special deals or sales that you have.

Perhaps you have swapped out something really valuable, like a download or an e-guide, or invited them to an event, or maybe you provided them with some information in exchange for an email address.

So, you’ve got a list of prospective customers there.

This list may also contain a list of previous customers and existing customers or clients. It can also be a mix of all three.

As I said, a lot of businesses that I’ve come across don’t have this all compiled in one spot.

If that’s you, I suggest that you start to put an email list together, even if it’s just based on your previous customers and your existing customers.

I will publish a completely separate episode of Snacktime about how to build an email list so that it is spam compliant, and that we make sure that we’re emailing people that want to hear about us.

For now, I’m talking about an email list that we have compiled and that we are using for existing marketing that we’re sending out to the people that have subscribed.

Let’s call them our tribe.

 

Your email tribe

This particular podcast episode came about because I decided to do an email list cleanse.

I’ve been collecting my email database, gosh, for about eight years I think.

I collect my email list on a software called MailChimp.

This is what I use for all of my email marketing, and it’s what I use for a lot of my client’s email marketing as well.

No matter how I’m collecting email addresses, it could be via Facebook, via my website, adding previous and existing clients and also prospects that I might’ve gained from events, et cetera, all of them end up on the one list in my MailChimp account.

These are the people that I email on a regular basis.

Because I’ve collected this list for so long, I have only just realized recently that I hadn’t ever actually gone in and cleansed that list, which is mistake number one.

It’s not really something that I had placed a lot of thought around.

I’m about to start using my email database a lot more in my business.

So that’s what has prompted this.

Whilst I emailed people quite regularly, I’d never actually gone back and had a look and seen what the quality of my email subscriber list was.

So, I did that a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would share an activity that I recommend that you all do.

What I found when I went back and audited my list was that there were some really concerning things happening.

 

Email personalisation

I use personalisation in my emails that I send.

What I mean by that is when I send out my email, I’ll write hello, and then I’ll insert the first name.

Whether that be, you know, Miranda or Bob, within the software itself I can put a mail merge tag and it should pick up the first name of all the people that are on my database.

What I found was that only about 10% of my database, or 20% if I’m lucky, actually had the first name in the listing in the email details that I had.

Now, I don’t know why.

I think there was some sort of a malfunction that’s happened along the way when I was importing names. It for some reason hasn’t uploaded the first name.

So that was disturbing because I thought, wow, that means 80 or 90% of my list aren’t getting the true value of the personalisation in their email.

Personalisation, particularly if you use it in the subject line, can sometimes freak people out. But, if you’ve nurtured your email tribe, it actually makes it a little bit more personal and it can actually really help with open rates and engagement rates.

So, that was disturbing.

I found that all the fields weren’t filled out properly.

So, I spent a very long time on the manual process of going through each and every person on that database and making sure that the basic fields, particularly the ones for personalisation, were completed.

While I was there, I was having a good snoop around and found some other things.

 

Subscriber activity feed

One thing that you can do when you use a tool such as MailChimp, is it actually collects a history of how people have engaged with your email list and you can find that under activity feed.

If you go into your email database and look at one of your audiences, if you click into anyone in that audience, it will have all of the details that they’ve entered and then it will actually list their activity feed.

That will basically give you information as to which emails they received, which emails they opened, and which emails they engaged with.

When I was clicking into a few of the different email subscribers that I had, I found that there had been people on that list for maybe six or seven years.

They had received all of my emails and they had opened like one, four or five years ago.

So, that meant they had actually received a whole bunch of emails and not opened them.

Now, they hadn’t unsubscribed themselves or taken themselves off the list, but I did at that point.

I don’t want people on the list that just don’t value the content or aren’t going to engage with or open emails because that really affects your open rate and your metrics.

 

Email marketing success metrics

So, when you’re trying to get a good idea as to how well your email subscribers are engaging with your email content, you want to look at things like the open rate.

How many people are opening the email?

How many people are clicking through?

If you’ve got people that haven’t opened emails for years and years, they’re irrelevant.

They’re not going to buy from you.

They’re not even opening your emails, so there’s no point in having them on there because it will skew the data.

I could see that some of the healthier email subscribers that were on there might not open one or two and then they’ll open one and then click through and then they might not open the next one.

Then they’ll open one and vice versa.

So, they are engaging, just not with all of them.

Don’t expect people to engage with all of them, but you still want them to be engaging and opening some of them.

So, I was able to cleanse quite a few people off the list as well.

Now, the other thing is, because I knew quite a lot of people on the email database because I’ve been collecting this over years of being in business, I was finding names of people on there that I knew weren’t with that business anymore.

I knew that they weren’t in that role anymore so this email at this company was not the best contact for them.

For some reason, their company just hadn’t taken them off the system so the email hadn’t bounced, no one had unsubscribed, so they were just sitting there dormant.

So again, that was a chance for me just to take those people off the list as well.

 

Cleanse your email list

Now I’ve done that email cleanse, I feel really confident that I’ve got a database full of people who want to hear from me.

I’ve got as much detail filled out as possible so that I can confidently personalise those emails when I want to.

Another thing that I can do to really make that email database robust and really viable is segment those people while it’s still at a manageable level.

I’m talking hundreds and hundreds; we haven’t clicked over the thousand yet.

While it’s at that really manageable level, I can actually manually go through and segment the database using tags so that in the future, when I do have thousands and thousands, I have the habit and the structure of the email database sorted out.

It just means that from now on, I’ll collect data and make sure that it’s all tagged and make sure that the columns are completed so that I’ll have the confidence that it is a valuable resource.

So, I urge you to go and have a look at your email database and see if it does need a cleanse.

If you’ve got tens of thousands of people on your email database, that is going to be a big job, but there are probably some ways that you can do that efficiently.

I would talk to your email software provider about how you can do that.

If the number is under a thousand, I just urge you to do that yourself.

If you haven’t yet got an email marketing database, make sure you tune in and listen to all of these episodes of Snacktime because I will publish an episode about how you can build one of those.


Join us in the How to do Marketing group on Facebook.
Subscribe to receive weekly small business marketing tips by visiting our website: https://dragonflymarketing.com.au/

Podcast Transcript:

Jane Hillsdon:

Hello there. I hope you’re ready for your little bite-sized bulletin of marketing. Goodness, because today we’re actually talking about email. And we’re just going to talk about a very specific part of email and email marketing. And that is your email list. Your subscriber list, the amount of people that you have that you can email at any one time, preferably with a piece of marketing and communications. So there’s a good many businesses that I have encountered along the way, over the years that, that haven’t got around to creating an email database whilst they might have a collection of email addresses in the system and a collection of email addresses in their kind of personal inbox because they email to and fro with clients or customers all the time. That’s great. That’s a start, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about a list of people that have either opted in to hear from you whether you have tempted them with a specific offer or to ensure that they’re the first people that know about any special deals or sales that you have, perhaps you have swapped out something really valuable, like a download or an e-guide, or invited them to an event that you provided them with some information in exchange for an email address. So you’ve got, you know, a list of, of prospective customers there. This list will also, and may also contain a list of previous customers and existing customers or existing clients. It can be a mix of all three. As I said, a lot of businesses I’ve come across don’t really have this kind of all compiled in one spot. If that’s you, I suggest that you start to put an email list together, even if it’s just based on your previous customers and your existing customers. I will publish a completely separate episode of snack time about how to build an email list so that it is spam compliant, and that we make sure that we’re emailing people that we want to hear about us. But for now I’m talking about an email list that we have compiled and that we are using for existing marketing that we’re sending out to the people that have subscribed, let’s call them our tribe, our email tribe. So this this podcast came about, this particular episode came about because I decided to do an email list cleanse. So I’ve been collecting my email database, gosh, for about eight years I think.

I collect my email list on a software called MailChimp. This is what I use for all of my email marketing, and it’s what I use for a lot of my clients, email marketing as well. So no matter how I’m collecting email addresses, I might be collecting them via Facebook, I collect them via my website, I also add, you know, previous clients and existing clients and prospects that I might’ve gained from events, et cetera, but all of them end up on the one list in my little MailChimp account. And these are the people that I email on a regular basis, but because I’ve collected this list for so long and just realized recently that I hadn’t actually gone in and cleansed that list ever, which is you know, mistake number one. But it’s not really something that I had placed a lot of kind of thought around.

I’m about to start using my email database a lot more in my business. So this is what’s kind of prompted this. But whilst I emailed people quite regularly, I’d never actually kind of gone back and had a look and seen what the quality of my email subscriber list was. So I did that a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would share an activity that I recommend that you all do. Because what I found when I went back and audited my list was that there was some kind of really concerning things happening. Number one, the first thing I discovered was, I actually use personalization in my emails that I send. And what I mean by that is when I say, when I send out my email, I’ll write hello, and then I’ll insert the first name.

So whether that be, you know, Miranda or Bob, so that within the software itself, I can just put like a little mail merge tag and it should pick up the first name of all the people that are on my database. But what I found was, I think only about 10% of my database or 20%, if I’m lucky actually had the first name in the listing in the email details that I had. Now, I don’t know why, whether that’s, I think there’s just some sort of a malfunction that’s happened along the way. And it just hasn’t been when I’ve been importing names. It just, for some reason hasn’t uploaded the first name. So that was disturbing because I thought, wow, like only that means like only 80 or 90% of my list getting that the true value of the personalized station in their email and, and personalization, particularly if you use it in the subject line, it, sometimes it can freak people out. But if you’ve kind of nurtured your tribe, your email tribe, it actually makes it a little bit more personal and it can actually really help with open rates and engagement rates.

So that was disturbing. I found that all the fields weren’t filled out properly. So I spent a very long time going through each and every, and this was a manual process going through each and every person on that database and making sure that the basic fields, particularly the ones for personalization were completed. So while I was there, I was having a good little Snoop around and found some other things. And one of those things, one thing that you can do when you use a tool such as MailChimp, is it actually collects a history of how people have engaged with your, your email list. And you can find that under activity feed.

So if you go into your email database and look at one of your audiences, if you click into anyone on that audience, you can actually click into and it’ll actually have all of the details that they’ve entered and then it will actually list their activity feed. And that will basically give you information as to which emails they received, which emails they opened, which emails they engaged with. So when I was kind of clicking into a few of the different listings or emails, subscribers that I had, I found that there had been people on that list for maybe six or seven years, and they’d received all of my emails and they, like, they opened like one, and that was like four years ago or five years ago. So that meant that they had actually received a whole bunch of emails and not opened them. Now, they hadn’t unsubscribed to themselves or taking them off the list.

But I did at that point, because I thought, I don’t want people on the list that just that don’t value the content or aren’t going to engage or not going to open that that email, because A) that kind of, it really affects your open rate and your metrics. So when you’re trying to really get a good idea as to how well your email subscribers are engaging with your email content, you want to look at things like, well, what’s the open rate? How many people are opening the email, how many people are clicking through, et cetera, if you’ve got people that haven’t opened it for years and years, you know, they don’t. They;re irrelevant. They’re not going to buy from you. They’re not even opening your emails. So there’s no point in having them on there because it will skew the data.

You know, you really want to understand, there was some of the healthier email subscribers that were on there. I could see that they might, you know, they might not open one or two and then they’ll open one and then they’ll click through and then they might not open the next one. Then they’ll open one. And, and vice versa. So they’re engaging with not all of them. Don’t expect people to engage with all of them, but you still want them to be engaging and opening some of them. So I was able to kind of cleanse quite a few people off the list as well. Now, the other thing that I found is because I knew quite a lot of people on the email database, cause I’ve been collecting this over years of being in business. You know, I was finding names and people on there, and personally, I knew that they weren’t with that business anymore.

I knew that they weren’t in that role anymore. And that this email at this company was not the best contact for them. And again, for some reason, like their company just had not taken them off the system that email hadn’t bounced no one had unsubscribed, so they were kind of just sitting there dormant. So again, you know, that was a chance for me just to kind of take those people off the list as well. So now, you know, after I’ve done that email cleanse, I feel really confident that I’ve got a database full of people who want to hear from me, you know, I’ve got there as much detail filled out as possible so that I can confidently personalize those emails when I want to. Another thing that I can do to really kind of make, make that email database robust and really, really viable is segment those people.

So while it’s still at a manageable kind of level, and I’m talking, you know, hundreds and hundreds, but we haven’t clicked over the thousand yet. Whilst it’s at that really manageable level, you know, I can actually manually go through and segment, you can segment the database using tags. So that in the future, when I do have, you know, thousands and thousands, if I get the kind of habit and the structure of the, of the email database sorted out, it just means that from now on I’ll collect data and make sure that it’s all tagged and make sure that all the columns are completed, et cetera, et cetera. And so that I’ll have the confidence that this is a valuable resource. So yes, I do urge you to, to go and have a look at your email database and see if it does need a cleanse.

If you’ve got tens of thousands of people on your email database that is going to be a big job, and there probably are some ways that you can do that efficiently. And I would talk to your email software provider about how you can do that. If the number is under a thousand, I just urge you to do that yourself. And if you haven’t yet got an email marketing database, well, make sure you tune in and listen to all of these episodes of snack time, because I will publish an episode about how you can build one of those.

 

 

Ready to get started on a project?
Let’s chat about it!

Book a Free Consultation

You want more? Check these out...

Our Blog

Business Banter

Access the first chapter of 'How To Do Marketing - A Comprehensive Guide For Small Businesses FREE

Simply sign up to our small business marketing newsletter to receive really useful articles about how to get the best bang for your marketing buck.




    Follow us on Social Media

    © 2022 Dragonfly Marketing All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | ADMIN