Archive | July, 2020

Why Consumers Subscribe and Unsubscribe from Email

13 Jul

 

 

Think email marketing is dead?

Think again.. Email marketing is actually thriving.

In HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing Report, roughly 80% of marketers said their brand’s email engagement had improved in the last year. Our researchers also discovered that brands make an average of $42 for every dollar spent on email advertising.

Email marketing is still widely used and continues to offer many benefits to marketers. It can boost brand awareness, increase web traffic, delight your audience, and ease subscribers through the customer funnel.

While email marketing isn’t a new strategy,, many marketers still struggle to grow and maintain the size of their subscriber lists.

But you shouldn’t throw in the towel if you’re struggling to build your list of contacts. Like any great marketing strategy, you’ll need to get in the mindset of your customers to determine why they’re likely to subscribe — or unsubscribe — from your email list.

 

Why Consumers Subscribe to Marketing Emails

1. Deals, Discount Promo Codes, and Coupons

Roughly 28% of consumers say they subscribe to branded emails because they “want to be notified about sales, promo codes, or coupons from a company.”

It’s not shocking that emails promoting deals and sales are the top preference of consumers. By now, many of us have either subscribed to an email like this for personal use, or skimmed our inbox looking for promo codes before a big shop.

Although these emails are primarily for announcing deals or ways that your prospect can save money, you can still also use them for other promotions. For example, while prioritizing a sale, deal, or coupon code at the top of the email, you can also share news about a new product or blog posts at the bottom. Just keep in mind that your subscribers signed up to get the best bang for their buck, then continue to come up with ways to delight them.

2. Links to Valuable Content From the Brand

Not all audiences are looking to get the latest deals on products. Sometimes, people subscribe to emails just for the sake of learning new things. This explains why one-quarter of participants say they subscribe to emails because they want to regularly receive “a brand’s content (i.e. blogs, videos, graphics).”

Although creating an email for your blog posts or branded content might not seem like it will benefit purchases or ROI directly, these types of emails still offer a number of benefits that can impact the bottom line.

For example, those who subscribe will get to see content from you that demonstrates why your brand is a trusted voice in your industry. After seeing and consuming valuable content from you regularly, your company could be the first that comes to mind when a subscriber needs to purchase a product that you sell.

Additionally, although content-based emails might not focus on promotions, this doesn’t mean you can’t include one within the mix of links shared in an email. Aside from subtly including promotions in one of these emails, you could also link to blog or video content aimed at lead generation.

3. Company Announcements

A number of brands choose to use their emails to show audiences the inner-workings of their company. These emails might include press release-styled announcements, information about the staff, or posts from the company’s corporate blog.

While this content might not directly value audiences as much as coupons or educational content, it still helps brands to establish themselves as credible and successful to audiences who are interested in watching them grow.

4. Mixes of Content, Promotion, and Company News

As you get to know your email audience, center your emails around the content you promised email recipients on their subscriber form. But, consider including one or two promotions that break your usual email norm to see if you can diversify your emails a bit more.

For example, if you have an audience subscribed to your company blog’s email, consider subtly including a coupon or discount at the bottom — after your blog content — to see if you can gain conversions.

Why Consumers Unsubscribe to Marketing Emails

Once marketers build out their email list, the next challenge they’ll face is maintaining it.

And, sometimes, even if you have great email engagement or a winning formula for email success, you’ll see a random dip in subscribers. \

Why could this be? Have people gotten bored with your content? Have they found another competing brand with a better newsletter? Are they just over email altogether?

The truth is, a bump in your unsubscribe rate could be due to super simple — and easily fixable — logistical reasons.

1. Email Frequency

While 34% of those surveyed say they most commonly unsubscribe from email lists because “emails come too often. [More than once per day.],” 17% say, “Emails come too often. [More than once per week.]

Despite stats like those above, and the fear that too many emails will result in high unsubscribe rates, most marketers still send multiple weekly and daily emails. According to our State of Marketing Report, more than 50% of marketers send emails between three and eight times per week.

So, how do you stick to an effective email cadence without losing subscribers? Keep reading to learn about a few preventative measures.

Preventing Frequency-Related Unsubscription

If your audience begins to cite frequency as a reason for unsubscribing, or you suspect you might be sending too many emails based on the lower click or open rates throughout the week, consider dropping one to two of your regular emails, or combining two emails scheduled for the same day.

Once you consolidate your emails, see if your unsubscription or spam rates lower, while paying attention increases in engagement metrics like open rate or click-through rates. If you see your metrics fluctuate for the better, you might want to identify more ways to consolidate your brand’s email.

If you absolutely can’t consolidate your emails, make sure that you’re transparent about how many you’ll be sending subscribers on your subscribe form. This will ensure that all subscribers know what type of content and email frequency they’re signing up for upfront and might weed out audiences who will quickly unsubscribe.

2. Low-Value Content

Although content isn’t the biggest driver of unsubscriptions, it still can be a factor.

While 17% of participants commonly unsubscribe from emails that feel “spammy or over promotional,” 9% will unsubscribe if the content is “no longer valuable.”

The result above isn’t that surprising. When’s the last time you unsubscribed from an email that you used to love getting in your inbox?

Luckily, there are a number of tactics you can try to prevent your content from getting too stale or spammy.

How to Prevent Content-Related Unsubscribes

First, do a deep dive into your email metrics.

If you’re seeing low open rates, click-through rates, high skim-to-read-rate ratios, as well as unsubscribes or spam reports related to poor content, it might be time to audit the content you’re sharing in each email, test out new types of content, and avoid any sharing things that might disengage your audience.

Along with looking at hard metrics, you should also consider the content you’re creating for your audience before you hit send. Ask yourself questions like, “Is this email valuable to my audience?”, “Does it over-promote my products?”, “Does the content in this email align with how I marketed this email subscription in the first place?”, and “Is this content on brand?”

If you have a large audience with a number of different interests. You might also worry that some audiences will love the links you’re sharing in your email while others might be interested in other topics. If that’s the case, you can also consider email segmentation.

With email segmentation, you can break your list of contacts into separate lists to ensure that people with vastly different interests are only getting sent content that will interest them.

3. Unexpected Promotions or Content

Along with content that isn’t valuable, 10% of participants primarily unsubscribe from emails that don’t provide content they expected to receive.

Roughly 5% of participants say they most commonly unsubscribe from emails that they “didn’t sign up for” in the first place, while another 5% says they primarily unsubscribe from emails that “don’t offer content, promotions, or coupons” that the brand described when marketing the subscription.

Avoiding Unsolicited Email Content

As an email marketer, it’s your job to understand your audience and send content they’ll engage with. Meanwhile, consumers that sign up for your email will expect you to send them the valuable content they asked for when signing up. When you blast them with emails they won’t like or didn’t ask for, they might trust your brand a little bit less.

For example, if you market a daily newsletter that promises expert tips from thought leaders, blog posts, or coupons, and instead send semi-daily newsletters that promote only products with no discounts, your audiences might not be too happy.

As you manage your email strategy, remember what you promised your subscribers when they signed up. Focus on promoting links that are valuable and align with their interests, as well as your brand.

Because consumers don’t appreciate or trust unsolicited email in their inboxes, we don’t condone purchasing contacts from another company. Not only is this against GDPR mandates, but it could also annoy contacts, cause unsubscriptions, and hurt your IP reputation.

As an alternative, consider co-branded emails. With this strategy, you can market one brand’s email subscription and content in your email while they market your email and content to their subscription list. This way, the brand’s audience can choose whether or not they want to subscribe and might be less likely to remove themselves from your list after signing up.

Tips for Winning (and Keeping) Email Subscribers

Email marketing best practices aren’t always the same for every brand. That means that it will take experimentation and practice to grow and maintain your email subscriber list.

Because building a list can be challenging in the beginning, it’s important to not give up when one or two tactics don’t work. Although you’ll want to personalize your tactics to your audience, here are a few overarching tips to keep in mind as you aim to grow your list.

1. Create email tactics and content that audiences will value.

First, and most importantly, you’ll want to develop and execute on an email strategy that prioritizes valuable content and avoids over-promotion.

For example, you could create an email with a mix of sales, coupons, and promo codes, or focus on promoting your most engaging blog posts. Or, if you have a giant audience with a few key interests, you could segment them by creating separate marketing emails and subscriber lists.

2. Market the most valuable aspects of your brand’s email.

To get people to actually see your valuable email content, you’ll need to market it in order to get subscribers. When you share your email subscription form on your site or social media, point out what your emails will provide to your audience. Will they include blog content, expert tips related to your industry, or special deals? If so, clearly state this in your messaging.

3. Don’t just focus on just your products.

Yes. You are a marketer and shouldn’t avoid talking about great product offerings when you have them. However, too many product details in an email can feel spammy or over promotional.

When you promote your products in an email, try to include other content, such as links to blogs or videos to balance the email out. This will be even more important if you promoted valuable content rather than just product news when marketing your email subscription form.

Want to learn more about email marketing? Shoot me an email at jessica@salasocialmarketing.com to set up an email marketing tutorial today!

Why Acuity is the Best Calendar

6 Jul

 

Looking for an online booking tool for your creative business?  Look no further than Acuity Scheduling, a mighty scheduling software that won’t break the bank.

What is Acuity Scheduling?

To put it simply, Acuity Scheduling is your new best friend if you’re a solopreneur or small biz owner that needs a better way to keep their calendar from going off the rails.

Acuity Scheduling will keep your calendar synchronized and purring, your correspondence with scheduled clients timely, and offers your clients the ability to easily schedule, reschedule, cancel, and subscribe to your meetings or classes without human interaction.

You can make meetings public or private, making custom calendars for key clients a snap to set-up.  You can create a series of custom e-mail messages to guide your clients from appointment confirmation to leaving you a review after your session.

You can event embed Acuity Scheduling into your website!

Or you can turn your custom Acuity Scheduling into a straight-up landing page.

Is Acuity Scheduling Good for Creative Business Owners?

Acuity Scheduling is an awesome solution if you schedule these kinds of meetings, online and off:

  • Discovery Calls for prospective clients
  • One-on-One Sessions
  • Studio Visits
  • Coffee Dates
  • Phone Meetings with collaborators and contractors

You can embed your Acuity Scheduling into a website, or share the direct link for folks to book space on your calendar.

How Much Does Acuity Cost?

Acuity Scheduling doesn’t break the bank at all. First, they offer a 7 day free trial to make sure it’s the right scheduler for you. The free version works well for many, but I reccomend the Emerging or Growing plans for increased functionality (of course, depending on your needs!). You can check out the full pricing chart for Acuity here.

Does Acuity Replace a Virtual Assistant for Calendar Management?

Yes and no.  Acuity Scheduling is an affordable solution to have your calendar “managed” for you after setting up your available services, payment gateways, and appointment availability.  Acuity Scheduling connects to your Google Calendars to ensure that you do not overbook yourself should you schedule other events or meetings outside of Acuity.  You will still need to set up the workflow for each appointment type to move your client through the scheduling process, but Acuity’s documentation and customer support can help you get set up in a snap.

Even though booking an appointment through Acuity Scheduling is easy-peasy, some clients may still prefer to go through a human to schedule a meeting.  Even if a few clients need a little extra attention, it still is going to save you serious time and money to use Acuity Scheduling as your main calendar manager.

Acuity Scheduling presents a smoother and more streamlined approach to getting clients on the calendar and paid ahead of time.

Acuity versus Dubsado

Dubsado is a fantastic customer relationship management software that recently received a brand makeover and a much-anticipated new feature:  The Dubsado Scheduler.  I’ll admit that I clunked around the new Scheduler Dashboard when setting up my first scheduler template (“Rolling Window what?”).

The Dubsado Scheduler allows you to pad time before and after meetings, secure a deposit using Dubsado’s Invoice feature, and customize Confirmation Messages, similar to Acuity Scheduling.   If you are using Dubsado’s proposal, contract, and invoicing features in harmony, the Scheduler will be a natural fit into your existing Dubsado workflow.

Acuity Scheduling shines as a standalone appointment scheduling software with a robust suite of customization options, payment integrations, and ease of adding varied levels of availability based on appointment type.  It integrates beautifully into exterior CRMs, and you can utilize a range of Zapier Zaps for even more functionality.

Which Calendar and Booking System Do You Use?