The Only Influencers Blog

The top thought leaders in email marketing share their insights and thoughts.

If email isn’t your number one priority, it’s time to shift gears and focus solely on email.

I’m only halfway kidding. Obviously, any good marketing mix consists of a variety of different programs, channels, and strategies. That being said, I really want to focus on explaining why I think email is the digital glue that holds all other communication together, and why email is very far from “dead.” In fact, if anything, it is probably the most alive and well it has been. I see great strides in the email space happening now and the future is bright.

It is truly remarkable how often I hear some variation of the statement: “Email is dead.” Whether it is because someone has jumped on the social bandwagon or because they heard some sort of statistic that says people prefer checking social to email, it’s always something. It’s almost like people want to come up with just about any reason they want to ditch their email marketing program and put all their efforts into something else, which is bizarre to me, because it produces more ROI than any other channel. Follow the money!

So, I want to use this opportunity to briefly touch on why I think email is probably the most critical communications tool out there right now, especially in the digital space and why it can be seen as the backbone to your social, content, and other efforts.

Let’s begin by addressing social media. Email supports your social strategy from inception. When you first go to create your brand-spanking-new Twitter account, the way you activate it is through your email. Without a valid email address, you can’t even begin to Tweet. Once you’ve gotten your handle secured, and you send out some tweets, how will you know people are tweeting at you? If you’re not logged in to your account at the time then you can see you’ve been tweeted via, wait for it, your email.

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I have just completed compiling the data for the 2014 Only Influencers Salary Guide for 2014. Below are some of the highlights and OI Members can download the full 25 page report HERE.

This year I decided to break out the findings by sex, in order to see if there was a discrepancy between what Female email marketers make versus their Male counterparts, and boy, what a discrepancy it is, almost completely across the board. 

This blog post will be available to the general public for a few weeks and then taken down. OI Members can download the full report at any time. 

First, the top line results: 

We had a 103 respondents to the survey, 61% Male and 39% Female. The salary ranges for all respondents was $32,900 to $290,000. The Median Salary was $95,000. And the Average Number of years in the business was approximately 8.5 years.

Email Marketing Salaries Broken Down by Title

Email Marketing Manager/Director: 

Salary Range $35,000 to $240,000 

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Tagged in: Salary Guide

Posted by on in Insights from the Influencers

Spamtraps are considered by many as the gold standard in proving that someone is a spammer. Secret emails/honeypots/blackholes are the canary in the email coal mine- heretofore absolute proof that you’re a bad actor in the war against spam. We’ve all been taught to believe that spam traps can only end up on your list if you’re mailing old/dead addresses and/or purchasing lists.

The problem is…what happens if neither of those is true? What’s the explanation for hitting a spamtrap when you’re NOT buying a list and NOT bringing back old names? According to some, this is impossible - there’s no way a spam trap address can end up on your list unless you’re engaging in bad practices.

Here’s a quote from an article I recently read talking about spam trap list operators- “For example, often a blacklisted marketer will claim their list is 100 percent opted in when the DNSBL operator has irrefutable evidence in the form of spam traps that it’s not.”

But guess what…”spam traps” can actually open. And even click. How do I know this?

  1. I looked at the results of our own data.

We run a site that is fortunate enough to get between 20,000 and 50,000 new users per day. They sign up, we validate the address as best we can using a third party. We keep non-responding sign ups on our list for up to 5 days, then stop if they haven’t opened or clicked. We only mail opens/click inside of a 45 day time window. Once a month we send to our full 12 month file because, hey, people actually did sign up for our emails.

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Getting customers to opt-in to email communications is a priority for many companies as a means to increase revenue. However, email also serves its purpose as a fantastic cost reduction mechanism when converting customers to go paperless. Now, companies are looking for ways to get their customers to convert from paper bills to eBilling. What better way to do that, than to send email bills instead? In this blog post, we’ll focus on getting consent via email, to maximize customer take up of email as a billing channel.

The key to continued success it to leverage every customer touch point to create that paperless opportunity, but today we want to focus on arguable the top opportunity – the proactive consent email.

We’ve talked before about email collection strategies (check out my previous blog here), so the next step is actually using those emails collected to get customers to go paperless. Sending a proactive consent email generally results in a fairly quick consent rate of 20% - 35% as a percentage of emails opened. This depends on a few factors, in addition to the basics of email testing, which will give you the highest open rates:

  • One-click to consent: The biggest deterrent to going paperless is a lengthy registration process on a company’s web-site. Show the customer you know who they are by displaying partial data on their account in the consent email, and keep their activity to a single click on a call to action button or link. Remember that each additional step will reduce that subscribe rate.
  • Design with consent in mind: Don’t over-complicate the email. The call to action should be the first thing that the customer sees when they scan the email body. Using too much text, too many links or other opportunities and too many paragraphs will take away from the only action that you want the customer to take, which is to go paperless. Where possible, use links in the pre-header or copy of the email body too.
  • Optimize the process for mobile: Mobile usage is rapidly increasing and this will not slow down any time soon. Many companies are seeing over 50% of their email bills and consent emails being viewed on a mobile device. Nothing will be a bigger deterrent than a lengthy registration process for customers who are trying to go paperless from their smartphones. The single call to action in a simple mobile optimized design caters to mobile users.
  • Develop a triggered email consent strategy: This is important to implement if you aren’t willing to leave potential paperless subscribers out (which you shouldn’t be!). A client recently implemented a triggered email consent process, and after just two additional emails sent to customers after the initial email the results are:

-        The first triggered message currently generates a 21% subscribe rate

-        The second triggered message currently generates a 19% subscribe rate

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Tagged in: Best Practices Billing

I love "what if" games, don't you?  Recently, in a group to which I belong, this question was posed:  What if the boss gave you $10,000 to improve your brand's email marketing ROI?

How would you spend it?  What would you do?

Well, for me that was a no-brainer.  But before I tell you how I would spend that $10k, and why, let's cover some basics.

First,  just to be sure that we are all on the same page, when we say "ROI", we are talking about a Return on Investment (stay with me here, I don't mean to insult your intelligence).

Second, let's assume that your brand is in business to make money.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Even the most altruistic of organizations need to make money, otherwise they would have to close their doors.

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Tagged in: ROI