Thursday, 31 March 2016

Marketing opportunities of a double-opt in email list

A  well maintained database of opt-in email addresses is a marketers dream

Two small dogs in red sunglasses lying side by side in a beach towel in the sunshine

When your email opt-in system is designed you have the opportunity to capture data and build a solid email list from the ground up, complete with fields for segmentation, groups, preferences, behavioural patterns, net worth values and buyer interests. Consider how you can capture passive and dynamic data and use it in the future. For example, what did they buy, did they sign up for a warranty? Did they ask for a gift certificate - was it for a birthday? What does their zip code say about them? Do you have any partner brands on their high street?

Flip your opt-in email opinion

Opt-in email address processes get bad press and are sometimes viewed as being onerous or restrictive, just a legal requirement getting in the way of building a huge email address list... At Email Hippo we look at this from the flip side. By making your email address list a well planned, well maintained resource, you are giving yourself the opportunity to deliver some really great marketing communications. An opt-in system is a blank page on which to build a marketing plan. It’s a perfect place to consider initial touch-points; work out what you want to get from people and what they want from you. Reverse the usual process and build more detail in your opt-in; ask people who have opted in how often they want to hear from you, and what they are interested in. Then use that to place them in a group with a rule that they can’t be mailed more than x times in any period. Keep your promises.

Here’s an example of opt-in relevance and timely email marketing

Twenty minutes ago I was finishing some online research, looking at some big brands to compare and contrast how they manage their email lists. I opted in to a few lists, had a look at some products and generally fished around their systems. Ten minutes ago I had an abandoned cart message from one of the brands, along with three product suggestions, a free-delivery deadline reminder and a news link to a blog piece on how the article I was looking at was made. That's great isn’t it? Proper marketing. Getting me at the time I was reflecting on a buying decision, with information to make me feel more involved, an incentive to act and alternatives in case they could remove the barrier to my purchase. Being a cynical old marketer, I’ll give it another day to see if they send me a voucher… But joking aside, it’s a really fine example of how they used the little data they had on me to send me me something relevant at a relevant time. Do you do that for your brand?

Your email address list is a valuable gateway

Even at its most basic, without automated emails and whistles and bells, an opt-in email address list gives you a gateway to communication with people who’ve expressed an interest. You can engage them more with newsletters or the occasional flash sale offer. See where they click and then send them more content they should be receptive to. By building a profile of data gathered passively when they click around your content you can develop plans to create new content that should be more engaging and relevant. You can use data from click throughs to develop plans, to ask for input and to make your marketing more dynamic and successful.
Your goal is to build a list of email addresses that are a valuable resource, the start of personal conversations and long term loyalty. You won’t do that by measuring volume as success, and growing your list on the fly with pre-ticked boxes and contorted opt out statements.

Come over to the Hippo side, put your sunnies on and consider the double-opt in a friend and be inspired by the data it offers.

Links to make you feel happy about using permission based email marketing well

Hub Spot - for smaller businesses, but packed with good ideas

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