Q: Lots of people are subscribing for the coupon and then unsubscribing
A: Let them go. This is standard behavior in the email marketing game. It’s better to lose an uninterested subscriber (who has no intention of buying anything else, and may hit the spam button) than let them hang on and cost you money in subscription fees to your ESP, plus the time and effort spent trying to recruit them to become regular shoppers.
Instead, focus on making the newsletter effective to your devoted subscribers who are interested in your interesting, variable content. Use social media to show short time subscribers that you are an involved, responsible brand who goes beyond coupons.
Q: What’s A/B testing and how often should we be doing it?
A: A/B or split testing is when you divide your list, or a subsection of your list, and send them a different version of your email in order to test their response.
For example, you aren’t sure which subject header is better: “30% off onesies this weekend!” or “Carter onesies for your little one.” So you split your list of moms in the NYC area and send half the group the first email, and half the group the second, both at around 5 pm.
Do you see what I’m doing? The demographic group is similar: women with babies, in the same city, at the same time. I only changed the subject header, not the content of the email. If I changed a lot of things that affected the success of the campaign (what scientific researchers call “variables”) I wouldn’t know how to attribute the cause of the outcome.
Look at your analytics over time, such as a week and a month after the test, to see the success of each email.
How often you should test depends on your company, the size of your list, and many other factors. Most importantly, test whenever you change something about your email campaign or its format.
Q: How do we choose software for email marketing?
A: An ESP is an Internet-based company that provides the software to manage your email marketing campaign. Use your ESP to provide scheduling, trigger-posting, email templates, and business tools. Look for an ESP that has useful features like:
- Receptive, supportive customer service who sounds professional at all stages of start-up.
- Easy to view analytics and useful apps to interpret the data.
- Integration with social media so you can combine, for example, your Facebook followers with your email subscribers in order to create full customer profiles.
- WYSIWYG editor — in other words, you can write your emails without knowing HTML (but you may customize the CSS or HTML code).
- A month-to-month subscription plan.
- Other business tools such as website check-out forms, coupon support, lead deliverability, and opportunity tracking.
(The Mission Suite offers all of these features and more, at an affordable price.)