Uh-oh!  Your open, click, and conversion rates are declining.  How do you counter this?

Some companies make the executive decision to send more emails.  Because that makes sense, right?  Let’s send more emails to people who aren’t opening the ones we’re sending now.

I’ve witnessed this exact scenario multiple times and every time I cringe.  This is the worst thing you can do for your email marketing program.

The reason this is a bad idea is because on average, people receive 147 emails a day, according to data reported by Mashable.

So it’s safe to assume that if people aren’t finding value in your current emails – what makes you think they’ll miraculously open the new ones you’re about to send?  Sure – you’ll get a few more sales out of it.  But it’s not sustainable for long term growth.

So how do you counter declining email marketing results?

1. Analyze your data.  You need to understand who is buying, when they’re buying, and what is generating the most ROI.  It could be a specific product or service – or it could be a specific email.  Are people buying more on the 3rd email you send them or the 1st?  Also – track your data by month, week, and day to look for trends.

2. Look for trends  Is there a specific day of the week or week of the month that is generating the most activity?  If so – what are you sending on those days/weeks?  Does it correlate to who and when people are buying?

3. Create theories to test.  So you’ve analyzed your data and found trends – ok – so how can you improve the least productive emails in your series?  What has the data taught you that you can then use to improve your results?  Start off with the first email people receive and work forward – starting with your subject line.  (if people aren’t opening the email – it doesn’t matter what it says). Don’t forget to do an A/B test so you can compare your results.  Once you know what subject lines work – then get to work on testing various aspects of the email.  Such as who it’s from – where is the call to action – what’s the incentive to buy?

4.  Pay close attention to your discounts.  I’ve seen in several occasions companies using the same discount over and over again.  People are smart.  They’ll pick up pretty quickly that you’re going to offer the “special” discount again.  And once they do – the sense of urgency is officially gone.

Every industry and organization is unique – therefore your email marketing program should also be unique to your audience.  So here are a few tips that should help you create a robust email marketing program.

1. Test. Test. And test some more before making any changes.  Think of it as a shirt with a lot of loose threads.  If you pull several all at once and the shirt falls apart – you’ll never know which thread caused things to fall apart.  But if you pull one at a time – you know exactly what caused a change.  Your email marketing program should be tested in the same way – one thing at a time.

2. Create a life cycle.  A life cycle is a series of emails – a path that you take your customers on about your company. And how your company can solve a problem for them.  You’re ROI will be high at the beginning and slowly decline over time.  This is because eventually the novelty begins to wear off.  So send more emails at the start (not too many) and slowly scale back your emails.

3. Analyze the data daily.  Things should be pretty consistent.  So when one email has a sharp decline – or even declines slowly – figure out why.  Is there a deliverability issue?  Is it the novelty is wearing off?  Or is it list fatigue?  You need to monitor and analyze every change in the data to ensure you don’t have a bigger problem on your hands.

I just passed along a lot of information to you.  Do you have any questions?  I could do email marketing in my sleep. So send me your toughest questions either on Twitter, Facebook, or you can email them to me so I can help you improve your email marketing program.


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