Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"You-Centric" vs. "Me-Centric"

KobeMail would like to wish all of you Happy Holidays. Here are a couple of tips to wrap up this year which maybe helpful for the coming year -- especially around the holiday season. As always, I hope you find the suggestions useful and they help to bring in a successful New Year.

Historically, during the holiday season the frequency of campaigns sent increases drastically. It is a time of spending, and advertising products becomes a necessity for revenue generation. While increasing your communication may seem like a good idea, for more visibility of your products and services, it may affect you adversely if the campaigns sent are spaced out incorrectly. Our recommendation to you -- allow at least seven to ten days between each campaign. Frequent emails within a short period can actually prove to be counter productive.

Users are less likely to open emails if they are sent too frequently. Like you, your users are busy with their family, buying gifts and planning out their Christmas/New Years Eve parties and are not checking mail as often. Increasing the frequency of emails may result in multiple emails from you waiting in their Inbox. This may rub some of your users the wrong way. Just because someone is a customer does not mean they want your emails all the time, especially when it becomes pushy. The chances of emails being deleted unread increases drastically which hurts your reputation. This may also result in increases in SPAM complaints or increase attrition to your database due to unsubscribes.

From a performance standpoint, you see a decrease in click through rates and from an ISP's perspective an increase in unopened emails generated from your domain/IP. ISPs have ad space within each email. They monitor the opens and non-opens, along with spam complaints on emails. If users do not open emails ISPs assume users are uninterested in your communication which can lower your reputation. The open rates on emails are just as important to ISPs as they are to you.

Planning early can mitigate the need for increasing the frequency of emails sent during the holiday season. Send campaigns in November reminding users of shipping deadlines. Remind them to try and avoid shipping delays due to the rush during the holiday season. This is beneficial to you because it may also help your company generate revenues prior to the shopping season and help your users avoid the stress and plan ahead during the holidays.

I have tried to touch on what you can do to ensure your emails are opened and have click throughs, but you should also be thinking of what your emails can do for your users. Make your emails more “You-centric” than “Me-centric”.

There are steps you can take to ensure your customers want to open your emails. Make sure you brand yourself throughout the year, so they will open the creative based on your "From Name". Build a relationship with them. Test your subject lines. Go through historical data to review which creatives had more click throughs and why. These are important details you need to keep in mind for the coming year, if you have not already.

In the spirit of giving, give back to your users. Instead of giving compelling reasons to buy your product, making your emails look “Me-centric,” take the additional effort to make your emails “You-centric.” Write about the customer benefits and what you can do for them. Instead of thinking “How can I write this email to make sales for my company” you should think along the lines of “What would my customers find useful in this email?” Don’t use pushy sales line and ALL CAPS, which can raise SPAM scores.. Create emails that have useful information and make the user want to read what is inside of them.

I will discuss this in more detail in the next blog. Have a safe and happy holiday season!