Do you think email marketing is dead?

Think about it again. Email marketing is really booming.

In the HubSpot report on the status of marketing 2020, around 80% of marketers stated that their brand's email engagement has improved in the past year. Our researchers also discovered that brands earn an average of $ 42 for every dollar spent on email advertising.

Mail marketing is still widespread and continues to offer many benefits to marketers. It can increase brand awareness, increase web traffic, delight your audience and relieve subscribers through the customer funnel.

While email marketing is not a new strategy, many marketers are still struggling to grow and maintain the size of their subscriber lists.

However, you shouldn't throw in the towel if you're having trouble creating your contact list. As with any great marketing strategy, you need to engage your customers' minds to determine why they are likely to subscribe or unsubscribe from your email list.

To help you think like your subscribers, I asked 400 consumers why they used to join or remove marketing email lists in the past. Here's what they said.

Why consumers subscribe to marketing emails

The first question I asked consumers was, "Why do you most often subscribe to marketing emails or email newsletters?"

It is obvious that consumers sign up for emails that offer them direct added value.

Why consumers subscribe to marketing emails

Data Source

Below is a brief breakdown of the meaning of each outcome for marketers, as well as examples of effective emails that take into account the interests of the target audience.

1. Offers, discount promo codes and vouchers

About 28% of consumers say they subscribe to branded emails because they "want to be informed about a company's sales, coupon codes, or coupons".

It's not shocking that emails that promote offers and sales are the top consumer preference. In the meantime, many of us have either subscribed to such an email for personal use or searched our inbox in front of a large store for coupon codes.

Although the primary purpose of these emails is to announce offers or create opportunities for your potential customer to save money, you can still use them for other promotions. For example, while prioritizing a sales, business, or coupon code at the top of the email, you can also share news about a new product or blog posts below. Remember that your subscribers have signed up to get the best for their money, and then continue to find ways to get them excited.

Here's a good example. If you subscribe to Postmates, you can request emails with promotions and vouchers. After your subscription, Postmates will send you regular coupon codes and news about restaurant-specific sales:

Postmates discount marketing email

As a subscriber, I personally love the Postmates email because it is part of its mission to send me discount information. Whenever I consider ordering, I search my inbox to see if any promo codes have been sent recently. If you do, I don't hesitate to receive my meal delivery from this app towards other competitors.

2. Links to valuable brand content

Not all target groups are looking for the latest product offers. Sometimes people just subscribe to emails to learn new things. This explains why a quarter of participants say they subscribe to emails because they want to receive "the content of a brand (i.e. blogs, videos, graphics)" on a regular basis.

While creating an email for your blog posts or branded content may not directly benefit the purchase or ROI, these types of email offer a number of benefits that can impact the bottom line.

For example, subscribers receive content from you that shows why your brand is a trusted voice in your industry. After seeing and consuming valuable content from you on a regular basis, your company may be the first to come to mind when a subscriber needs to buy a product you sell.

While content-based emails may not focus on promotions, this does not mean that you cannot include them in the mix of links shared in an email. In addition to subtly including promotions in one of these emails, you can also create links to blog or video content aimed at generating leads.

For an example of a content-based marketing email, see the HubSpot service blog email. Every day, the service blog sends the posts that were published on the same day to subscribers. While the content is mostly informative, we occasionally mix in other promotions, e.g. For example, call to action to visit our new website blog.

HubSpot Service Blog email

3. Company announcements

A number of brands use their emails to show the audience the inside of their company. These emails may contain announcements in the style of press releases, employee information, or posts from the company's corporate blog.

While this content may not value the audience as much as vouchers or educational content, it still helps brands establish themselves as believable and successful for the audience that is interested in growing. This could be the reason why 16% of respondents only subscribe to receive company-specific announcements in their inbox.

4. Mix of content, advertising and corporate news

While 10% of participants chose "All of the Above" as their primary reason for subscribing to email, 14% chose "Other". These results may indicate that groups of email subscribers may enjoy different types of content in an email.

When you get to know your email target group, focus your emails on the content that you promised the email recipients on their subscriber form. However, consider including one or two promotions that violate your usual email standard to see if you can diversify your emails a bit.

For example, if you have a target audience who has subscribed to your corporate blog email, you should add a coupon or discount below your blog content to see if you can achieve conversions.

5. Other reasons

Interestingly, only 5% of consumers said they signed up for email frequently to learn more about new products from a brand. Although many companies offer discounts when consumers sign up for their email newsletter, only 2% say they mainly sign up for this email tactic.

Although the minority of participants chose the options listed above, you should still consider experimenting with them if they work for you or your audience prefers a mix of content.

Why consumers unsubscribe from marketing emails

Once marketers have created their email list, the next challenge is to maintain it.

And sometimes, even if you have great email engagement or a formula for success in email success, you'll see a random drop in subscribers. .

Why could that be? Did people get bored with your content? Did you find another competitor brand with a better newsletter? Are they only emailed overall?

The truth is that an increase in your unsubscribe rate can be due to super simple and easy to fix logistical reasons.

When I asked consumers, "What is the most common reason why you unsubscribe from marketing emails?" Most participants saw reasons other than the quality of the email content.

In fact, 51% say they unsubscribe because "emails come too often".

Why do you most often unsubscribe from marketing emails?

Data Source

Below I will explain what frequency-related unsubscriptions mean for email marketers, and remove some of the other important subscription barriers.

1. Email frequency

While 34% of respondents say they most often unsubscribe from email lists because "emails arrive too often (more than once a day)", 17% say: "emails come too often (more than once a week).

Despite statistics like the ones above and fears that too many emails lead to high unsubscribe rates, most marketers still send multiple weekly and daily emails. According to our marketing status report, more than 50% of marketers send emails three to eight times a week.

So how can you stick to an effective email cadence without losing subscribers? Read on to learn more about some preventive measures.

Prevent deregistration due to frequency

If your target audience gives the frequency as a reason for unsubscribing or if you suspect that you are sending too many emails during the week due to the lower click or opening rates, you should delete one or two of your regular emails or two scheduled ones Combine emails for the same day.

After consolidating your email, check to see if your unsubscribe or spam rates are lower, paying attention to the increase in engagement metrics like open rate or click rate. If you find that your metrics are fluctuating for the better, you may want to explore other ways to consolidate your brand's email.

If you absolutely cannot consolidate your emails, make sure you are transparent about how many subscribers you are sending on your subscription form. This ensures that all subscribers know in advance what type of content and email frequency they are signing up for, and may exclude target groups that can quickly unsubscribe.

2. Low quality content

While content isn't the biggest driver for unsubscribing, it can still be a factor.

While 17% of subscribers typically unsubscribe from emails that feel "spammy or overly promotional", 9% will unsubscribe when the content is "no longer valuable".

The above result is not that surprising. When was the last time you unsubscribed from an email that you previously liked to receive in your inbox?

Fortunately, there are a number of tactics you can use to prevent your content from becoming too old or too spammy.

How to prevent content-related unsubscriptions

First, dive deep into your email metrics.

If you see low open rates, click-through rates, high skim-to-read rates, and unsubscribe or spam reports of bad content, it may be time to review the content that you share in each content email, test new types of content and avoid sharing things that could affect your audience.

In addition to looking at hard metrics, you should also consider the content you create for your audience before clicking Submit. Ask yourself questions like, "Is this email valuable to my audience?", "Is it promoting my products excessively?", "Does the content of this email match the way I subscribe to this email? marketed at all? " And "Is this content on brand?"

If you have a large audience with different interests. You might also fear that some audiences love the links you share in your email, while others may be interested in other topics. In this case, you can also consider email segmentation.

With email segmentation, you can split your contact list into separate lists to ensure that people with very different interests only receive content that interests them.

For example, since HubSpot blog readers are primarily interested in marketing, sales, service, or website development, we have daily and weekly email lists for each of our blog properties. This way, as a marketer interested in web development, you can subscribe to our marketing blog and website blog emails without seeing sales or service content that is less related to your area of ​​expertise.

3. Unexpected promotions or content

In addition to content that is not valuable, 10% of subscribers mostly unsubscribe from emails that do not contain content that they are likely to receive.

Approximately 5% of respondents say they most often unsubscribe from emails that they "haven't signed up for", while another 5% say they mostly unsubscribe from emails that "have no content, Offer promotions or coupons ". that described the brand when marketing the subscription.

Avoid unwanted email content

As an email marketer, it's your job to understand your audience and send content that they’re concerned with. In the meantime, consumers who sign up for your email expect you to send them the valuable content they asked for when they signed up. If you send them emails that they dislike or have not asked, they may trust your brand a little less.

For example, if you market a daily newsletter that promises expert advice from thought leaders, blog posts, or coupons, and instead send half-day newsletters promoting only products with no discounts, your audience may not be too happy.

When managing your email strategy, remember what you promised your subscribers when they signed up. Focus on promoting valuable links that match your interests and your brand.

Because consumers don't appreciate or trust unsolicited email in their inboxes, we don't tolerate buying contacts from another company. This not only violates GDPR mandates, but can also disrupt contacts, cause unsubscriptions and impair your IP call.

Alternatively, you can consider co-branded emails. This strategy allows you to market a brand's email subscription and content in your email while marketing your email and content in its subscription list. This way, the audience of the brand can decide whether to sign up or not, and may be less likely to remove themselves from your list after signing up.

Here's a great example of a hubSpot and Unbounce co-branded email campaign. While this doesn't directly market HubSpot or Unbounce email subscription options, it does highlight important points about both companies and a project they are working on together, which could indirectly result in both brands gaining email subscribers:

Unbounce promotional email for comarketing

Tips for winning (and holding) email subscribers

The best practices for email marketing are not always the same for every brand. That means you have to experiment and practice to expand and maintain your email subscriber list.

Since building a list at the beginning can be challenging, it's important not to give up if one or two tactics don't work. Although you want to tailor your tactics to your audience, here are some overarching tips to keep in mind if you want to expand your list.

1. Create email tactics and content that the audience will appreciate.

First and foremost, you want to develop and execute an email strategy that prioritizes valuable content and avoids over-advertising.

For example, you can create an email with a mix of sales, coupons, and promo codes, or focus on promoting your most interesting blog posts. If you have a huge audience with some key interests, you can segment them by creating separate marketing emails and subscriber lists.

2. Market the most valuable aspects of your brand's email.

In order for people to actually see your valuable email content, you need to market it to get subscribers. When you share your email sign-up form on your website or social media, you are pointing out what your email offers your audience. Do they contain blog content, expert tips on your industry or special offers? If so, clearly state this in your messages.

Here's how we promote the HubSpot blog email:

Subscribe to HubSpot Email CTA

3. Don't just focus on your products.

Yes. You are a marketer and shouldn't avoid talking about great product offerings if you have them. However, too many product details in an email can feel spam or overly promotional.

If you advertise your products in an email, try to include other content, such as links to blogs or videos, to balance the email. This is all the more important if you promoted valuable content and not just new products when marketing your email subscription form.

In our report on the status of marketing 2020, EMEA marketing manager Henni Roini emphasized why product advertising is not everything.

“Only the companies and brands that make a human connection will succeed. This is very true for emails. You can benefit from very promotional content in the short term, but honest, human, and personalized content creates a long-term following, "said Roini.

Would you like to learn more about email marketing? Here's how to use email marketing to guide your potential customer through the buyer's journey. Interested in delving into email data? Check out this list of helpful email marketing statistics.

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