Miscellaneous Thoughts on E-mail Marketing

I recently updated my website to incorporate video.  I’m pretty confident that video marketing can add a lot of value to a website (though I guess I won’t know for sure for at least six months) and so I’m doing everything I can to encourage my contacts to take a look.    About a month ago, I sent out my newsletter with a link to a video e-mail message announcing the new site.  The “v-mail” received very positive reviews (as did the website), but the click through rate was disappointing.

Today, I sent out the same “v-mail” to my mailing list; but this time, I said very little in the message other than “please click here”.  So far, the click through rate has been dramatically higher.

There are a number of lessons to be learned from this.

First, it is important to experiment when using e-mail marketing.  While you may think you know what will get your contacts to pay attention, until you do some testing, it is hard to know what will actually work.

Second, it is okay to be pleasantly persistent (even with the same message), because a good portion of e-mail never catches the attention of the intended recipient.

Of course, every time I send out my e-newsletter, I’m always wondering if I am being appropriately persistent.  If a large number of my contacts “unsubscribe”, then I know that at least with respect to those contacts, I’ve crossed the line.  (In reality, this never happens, though sometimes two “unsubscribe” requests can feel like 40.)

E-mail is still a valid medium for marketing but it is a cluttered field out there.  The best e-mail marketing involves sending out high value content (i.e. not simply an advertisement for your services).  Whatever you decide to do, don’t afraid to be a little persistent and make sure to test different types of content and subject lines.  With any luck, you’ll penetrate the mental filter that most of us have erected to keep out the explosion of spam and e-mail which is sent with malicious intent.

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