In this marketing world where things are constantly evolving, it is quite important to stay on top of new trends, technology, research and best practices. As marketers, we are passionate about our industry and all the fast and challenging changes that come with it. When you start diving into the universe of marketing methods, it might be hard to wrap your head around the available information.
A good start would be to look at some of most common myths related to email marketing and try to better understand them.
1. Subscribers who have opted-in will always want to hear from you
Regardless of the methods you are using to grow your email marketing list, the most important is getting your subscriber’s permission. Of course, we are happy when we see people subscribing via forms on our website or blog, but this burst of happiness can decrease when we see that there is no engagement after a few months. Statistics show that 20%-25% of your email list will expire after a year since people get new jobs, change their email provider or a host of other reasons. Further, people tend to subscribe rapidly when you offer an incentive in exchange of their information. Subscribers who once took the time to fill out your form will most likely end up in your inactive users list.
The good news is that before they become inactive or even when they are, there are actions to be taken to either bring them back, on board, or to continue to harvest marketing awareness value out of them. Some of your customers will keep you top of mind by simply looking at your subject line. We’ll definitely go through all that, and other examples, in a future blog posts.
2. CAN-SPAM compliant = inbox
In spite of being fully CAN-SPAM compliant, your email might not land in your receiver’s inbox. The main reason might be your sender reputation. A lot of factors such as frequency, volume, hard bounce rate or spam trap hits make a significant difference, and that’s why it is important to monitor your campaigns. Your emails might also not reach inboxes because they are full or the email address is simply invalid – all items you can monitor and correct with the right visibility.
It is important to understand that in addition to being compliant, there is a lot to manage and improve upon to increase the likelihood of successful delivery.
3. The best time to send email is either on Tuesdays or Thursdays
The day all companies will sell the same product to the same type of customers with the same routine all over the world is when we might be able to define the perfect day and time to send an email. Every industry, every consumer, every product, every service has it’s own set of trends. It’s easy to say that deliverability in general is better on a certain day, but that simply may not be true for YOUR product or service. What is true, is that sending the right content to the right people at the right time will make a significant difference in your ROI. Thus, you absolutely need to test what works for your company and your customers. If you are starting email marketing, be patient and test different days of the week and times of the day. Depending on the size of your list and your email frequency, it will often take a few months of testing to get enough data to define the best combination of day/time in terms of engagement quality.
4. The most indicative email marketing metric is your open rate
The open rate happens to be one of the most misleading email marketing metrics for the simple reason that it is unreliable. Here are a few reasons why:
- Because the open rate count happens when the graphic pixel inserted in your email is downloaded, a user that only has text format enable might read the email, but no open count will be registered. This happens with several email providers and it is frequent on mobile device. It might also be a personal preference.
- Some emails might only be read in preview which won’t trigger the pixel download.
That being said, don’t completely disregard opens. The open rate is a useful comparative metric for A/B testing different subject lines for example. But if you want to report to the CEO on the effectiveness of your campaign, you can skip the open rate metric.
5. It is not recommended to send the same email more than once.
Why not? It is a low cost practice that can easily drives sales and engagement. We would recommend you take the time to slightly tweak the message with a new subject line, add a new banner, rotate the products or modify the hero image. But why spend time on writing and designing a piece that has been working? According to The State of the Email Marketing by Industry 2016 report from Get Response, an email marketing and online campaign management, the open rate average for all industries is 21.73%, which also means that 80% of your subscribers are not opening and could possibly open the next email you will send them. It’s worth the try, and the money and time saving!
6. Unsubscribes from my email list are bad
As much as it can be heartbreaking to see subscribers leaving you, keep in mind that this is part of a natural list cleanser and that you’ll always get new (and hopefully more) subscribers. As we saw previously, some people will only provide their email in exchange for a discount, or some people might realize that your product or service is not for them after sign-up. Again, simply keep in mind that a healthy unsubscribe rate should be under 1% and that it is better that someone unsubscribes instead of marking it as spam.
There are many other email marketing misconceptions out there and we will continue on this topic from time to time. If you have some in mind that would like for us to “de-myth-ify,” then simply leave a comment and share this post if you liked it!