If you’ve read about The Open Rate Paradox as championed by Dela Quist and Alchemy Worx, you’ll be familiar with the rallying cry of sending more relevant email. Most email experts get up in arms about the topic of email frequency, with both sides arguing the pros and cons of sending more.

At Interact 2013, we were able to hear from Dela Quist himself, who started off with an overview of demand response marketing versus demand generation marketing. While demand response marketing is based on giving the customer what you think they want, demand generation marketing is based on making the customer want what you have.

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Are Email Marketers Leaving Money On The Table?

Anyone without an email address is the digital equivalent of being homeless. If you ask people if they want more email, they will say no, but if you ask people for preferred communications channel, they would say that it was email. Sell to them, because that is what they want you to do. Most brands reach more qualified customers and prospects via email than TV. Perhaps a reluctance to sell is based on email marketers being filled with fear and self-loathing because of the negative image of the industry.

“Engagement is like having a deaf blind canary in a coal mine”

Understanding the nature of engagement is key to email marketing success, yet many people who talk about engagement have no measurable goal.

79% of people who receive email do nothing with it, and only 1 in 2,000 people will mark your email as spam. A particular client’s cost of stopping an unsubscribe was $400, while the cost of acquiring a new customer was $5.  New people on your mailing list are most likely to open emails and transact with you.

According to Dela, marketing emails have a far higher chance of getting into the inbox at 95% and open rates increase on days of higher email volume. He advises companies to hire someone specifically to grow lists, as that is the easiest way to grow revenue – and to fire them if they fail. Two other tactics for growing revenue? Segmentation and increasing email frequency.

“Anyone who doesn’t send an email to their entire list once a week is dumb”

Email drives sales in other channels. Send an email with a different subject line to people who didn’t open it the first time – it can lead to a 40% lift in open rates. Dela says that 80% of email marketers use batch and blast because it works, and also introduces the concept of The Nudge Effect, where subject lines tend to influence people who do not open their emails. Being in the inbox is important, even if emails aren’t opened. It is important to understand that every email you send is affected by the one you sent before and the one after. While 90% of emails are opened within 24 hours of sending, only 15% of purchases may take place then, with the revenue possibly being generated days or months after deployment.

At Alchemy Worx, it is a policy that every email sent is a re-activation opportunity.  You can’t re-engage with an email you don’t get, and businesses with the highest frequency sends have the most engaged database. Deliverability begins and ends with the quality of your data, but marketing should not be driven by deliverability issues.

As always, Dela’s talk was a firecracker of a session inviting rebuttals from the audience and great debate. If you’d like to find out more about the issues that he highlighted check out his book:

Looking to increase your email frequency? Troubleshoot your deliverability issues first with our guide on How To Send Zillions of Email A Day!

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Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

This week, we’re looking at the fundamentals of email marketing – why it continues to be relevant and important, as well as why we need to ensure that deliverability is the top priority for marketers.

If customers do not receive your email, it means that they are not going to buy from you – plain and simple. That’s because they’ve not heard about your great new product, or that huge weekend sale, which means they won’t take action. The result? Your email ROI suffers. That’s a big deal since email continues to be the main channel that businesses rely on for ROI.

Billions of Opt-in Email Messages Never Reach Consumers, Return Path Study Finds 

Return Path‘s Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) Benchmarks Report shows that 22% of marketing emails that subscribers had opted-in to did not reach inboxes in the first half of 2013. 18% were blocked or went missing and 4% were delivered to spam or junk folders. The Inbox Placement Rates have declined since 2012 by 4%. The biggest decline was seen in Asia Pacific, which fell by 22% to 64%. One-third of all marketing emails sent there were never delivered.

The Return Path results call to mind the importance of not just deliverability, but working with an email solution and partner that is able to ensure your sender reputation and sender score are in good standing with the ISPs.

Focus on the Fundamentals

Responsive design and behavioral targeting are all well and good, but before embarking on ambitious advanced tactics, it’s critical to get the basics right first.

  • List growth: Ensure that interested subscribers are able to join your list without obstacles and they receive validation, on-boarding and welcome transactional emails in a timely manner.
  • Content: Send your subscriber base regular and strong messaging about your products or services.
  • List hygiene: Are you CAN-SPAM compliant? Are unsubscriptions and bounces being removed in a timely manner?
  • Reactivation: Do you have a reactivation process in place to re-enagage with inactive subscribers.
  • Testing: Is testing a central part of your email campaigns?

If you are not following these email best practices when it comes to these items in the above list, then you should probably get that in order before moving on to advanced features.

More Than One in 10 Emails Are Faulty

A recent study shows that 11% of marketing emails had one or more broken links. In addition, 9% of emails read on mobile phones and tablets had one or more broken links. More than 5% of all emails contained a broken image. Usability and readability issues have negative repercussions on a brand’s reputation so it’s important to ensure that email campaigns are effectively executed and deployed.

Deliverability Myth Discussed

What are some of the deliverability myths you have heard throughout your career? Here are some of the common ones:

  • Myth 1: Deliverability is all about who you know at ISPs.
  • Myth 2: You can’t use certain words in subject lines.
  • Myth 3: Deliverability is a black art that few people understand.
  • Myth 4: Deliverability experts work for the “other team”.

For more information on why these myths have been debunked, check out the original article.

10 Simple but Essential Email Marketing Tips

Want to find out how to reduce your email costs as well as ensure that your email is getting into the inbox? Download our free eBook on The High Cost of Free Messaging Software.

The High Cost of Free Messaging Software