DoubleClick conducted a survey in 2004 that indicated 65% of men and 56% of women define spam as, “e-mail from a company that I have done business with that comes too often.”
This statistic is very telling. Nothing can trigger subscriber dissatisfaction like frequent e-mails that don’t meet subscriber expectations with respect to content. Did you promise valuable, informative content but deliver only pitches for product or services? Did you promise a monthly newsletter but send weekly promotions instead?
It’s also critical to establish communication frequency expectations with your subscribers. How do you determine what the right frequency is for your small business? The answer (still) varies on your business and the expectations you establish up front with your subscribers.
Here are a few ideas to help you engage your new subscribers immediately with an organized communication program that reinforces the right expectations:
- Start with a welcome message upon confirmation. This message should include information to manage subscriber expectations, including the e-mail program’s value proposition, frequency, opt-out, type of content and privacy policies.
- Follow this with an informative newsletter. Make it heavy on valuable information and light on promotions. This key to minimizing opt-outs; you want your subscribers to feel they are a part of something exclusive.
- Send e-mails that offer a set of best-of newsletter articles. This will provide instant value for your subscribers who don’t have a lot of time to read all your e-mails.
- Set up an exclusive e-mail offer just for newcomers. This is quite effective and is a soft way to introduce “pitch” material mixed in with “value” and “information” material.
By integrating these tips and the ones I suggested last week, you will be able significantly lower your opt-out rates and spam complaints. In addition, you can increase your sale conversions by maintaining stronger relationships between your prospects and customers.
So, this is easy, right? Don’t e-mail too often and stay in touch “just enough” to maintain your ability to continue to communicate with your subscribers. Fix your follow-up failure by establishing the right frequency and content expectations in the beginning of the e-mail relationship and reap the benefits of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with your subscribers.
[Image credit: idogcow on Flickr]