STUDY: 91% Of Consumers Use Email Daily

A new study from Exact Target has unearthed some really interesting facts about the evolution of email as a communications platform.

The study found:

  • 91% of consumers use email daily
  • Email as a personal communication tool is declining
  • Consumers preference to receive permission-based emails has gone UP since 2008!

91 Percent of Consumers Use Email Daily

As you can see, even though fewer people are using email for personal conversations, email marketing is still the consumers’ preferred choice for communication from businesses.

Three Ways To Optimize Your Email For Mobile

How To Optimize Your Email for MobileStudies have shown more people are now viewing their email on mobile devices than on their computers.  What does this mean for you?  It means you have to make sure your emails are optimized for these mobile devices, as well as desktop and laptop computers.

Because of the wide range of mobile devices out there, there are different optimization rules for each.  However, here are a handful of rules that will work no matter which device your subscriber is using:

1. Reduce width to 550px wide
Although some mobile devices simply reduce your email to the appropriate screen size, other devices will not because they won’t display extremely small font sizes.  An easy way to get around this problem is to reduce the width of your emails to 550 pixels.  You can do this in HTML by reducing the size of your container, or, in plain-text, by using the Enter key to start a new line when you reach 550.  Doing this maximizes your chances for a pleasurable viewing experience.

2. Bigger links and buttons
When a subscriber views your email on their mobile device, they’re usually using their thumb to scroll through hit.  They’ll also use that digit to click on any links.  Problem is, the links are usually too small and the thumb has some trouble pinpointing the link (sort of like smashing your palm on a phone’s keypad and hoping you hit the right number).  To alleviate this problem, make your hyperlink’s font size bigger, or, when you can, use a big, easy-to-hit button graphic.

3. Easy-to-read color palette
A smaller screen makes it hard-to-read color combinations even harder.  White letters on a light background, or dark letters on a dark background will be almost impossible to read on a mobile device.  Obviously, if they can’t read it, they can’t respond to it.  To fix this problem, make sure to use high-contrast color combinations.  Dark text on light backgrounds works best.

If you follow these every time, you’ll see to it that your mobile subscribers have a pleasant viewing experience AND increase your click-thru-rates at the same time.

The Top Five Reasons Your Emails Are Being Blocked

It’s incredibly frustrating to work so hard crafting the ‘perfect’ email, only to send it to a legitimate subscriber and have it blocked by their internet service provider.

Even worse, they never know you sent it… and you never know it was block.  Poof!  it just goes away.

Why do emails get blocked… and what can you do about it?  Here are the top five reasons (and solutions):

1. You’re Using Too Many Spam Trigger Words
Words like, ‘sale,’ ‘discount,’ ‘free,’ or, even, ‘now’ are fine by themselves.  If too many of them appear in one email, though, you will be blocked.  Basically, each word has a numeric value attached to it.  When the spam filters scan the email, they add up all of the values.  If your total value exceeds a certain number, you’re blocked.

Solution: Use your email broadcasting service’s spam checker.

2. You’re Sending From A Banned IP Address
This is one you don’t have a lot of control over.  If too many spammers are sending from the same server IP address you’re sending from, it could get that IP address banned.  Again, thanks to guilt by association, you’re banned, too.

Solution: If you find out your IP address is banned, contact your broadcasting service to get on another server… or consider changing broadcasting services since a banned server means that service is letting too many spammers into their system.

3. You Use A Blocked URL In Your Email
Even if you’re not blocked, a URL you’re referring to could be.  And if it is, you become a victim of guilt by association.  The result?  You’re blocked!

Solution: Use your email broadcasting service’s spam checker.

4. You’re Sending To Too Many Invalid Addresses
If you’re not regularly cleaning up your mailing list, the odds are you’re sending emails to a number of addresses that are no longer valid.  If, for example, Hotmail sees that you’ve just tried to send emails to 20 invalid addresses in their system, they’re going to block you from the 200 valid ones, too.

Solution: Watch your bounce reports and clean up your list on a regular basis.

5. Too Many People Clicked The ‘This Is Spam’ Button
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people who don’t want to receive your emails anymore click the ‘This Is Spam’ button, instead of using the unsubscribe links at the bottom of your email.  Even though it’s a convenient way for them to never see your emails again, if too many people on, for example, Yahoo, click that button, Yahoo will eventually block ALL of the emails you send to ALL of Yahoo’s addresses.

Solution: Place your unsubscribe links at the TOP of your email, rather than the bottom

In the end, there are actually a lot of things you can do to avoid your emails being blocked.  Just run through the solutions above BEFORE you have a problem!

Two Free Ways To Build Your Email List

It seems like I’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently suggesting many costly ways to drive traffic onto your list.  Everything from taking out an online advertisement to buying a list from someone else (which I never recommend).

The truth is, I wouldn’t spend any money on list building until I’ve exhausted all of the free opportunities out there.  Here are two of the easiest… and the best:

Facebook
There’s an old saying… ‘figure out where your customers are going, and get there first!’

Well, whether you realize it or not, your customers are on Facebook.  With over 800,000,000 users, they have to be.  So, make sure you’re there, as well.

Set up your Facebook Business Page (Fan Page), and make sure you add a mailing list subscribe tab to the page.  If you use a service like AWeber, this can be accomplished with just a few clicks.

Then, send out status updates periodically suggesting that your Fans need to get on your mailing list!

YouTube
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.  Again, there are hundreds of millions of users on the site.  Make sure you have videos on YouTube where you share good, valuable information and showcase your authority.

End each video with a call to action telling people where to go to sign up for your mailing list.  Put that link in your video’s description, as well.

Add a Status Update to your Facebook Business Page every day to get new Fans, and a video to your YouTube Channel each week to get new followers. Over time, many of the people who discover you on these sites will migrate over to your site… and onto your mailing list.

And all it cost you was a little time!

104 Five Ways To Increase Email Click Thru Rates – The List Building and Email Marketing Program

Play

Click-Thru Rate is an important metric, because it’s the number most closely associated with buyers.  If people aren’t clicking out of your email, they’re probably not spending money with you, either.

This week, I’m going to share five things you can do to increase the Click-Thru Rate for all of your emails.  Do them… and you’ll make your list a lot more profitable!

The List Building and Email Marketing Program Podcast

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) – Are YOU Prepared?

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)Now that the finishing touches have been put on the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), it looks like the law will be put into practice at the beginning of 2013.

If you’re a Canadian business owner, or even if you do business with Canadian subscribers, it’s important to know and understand the provisions of CASL, and make sure you’re compliant.

If you’re already following the United States’ CAN-SPAM rules, you’ll probably be OK, but here are some of the highlights:

  • You must have written or oral proof of permission to send from the subscriber
  • You must be clear as to why you’re requesting that permission
  • You have to guarantee that the recipient isn’t coming from a rented, purchased or ‘scraped’ list
  • You must list your physical and electronic contact information in each message
  • You must have an ‘unsubscribe’ link in each message

Remember, these are just the highlights.  To view the legislation in its entirety, go to:
http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home

What do you think?  Will the new CASL make it easier or more difficult for email marketers?  Leave a comment below!

Upcoming Appearances and Testimonials

I have several appearances scheduled in the next few months.  If you’re interested in coming to see me speak live, please refer to the list below and email me for more information about a particular event.

I’ve also received some nice testimonials recently and thought I’d share them with you:

Date Event Location
August 16-19 WIN University Chicago, IL
August 24-26 Rainmaker Summit New York, NY
October 11-13 DotComXpo Stamford, CT
November 9-10 Inspiration2020 Los Angeles, CA
November 13-14 Private Mastermind Las Vegas, NV

Three Reasons Your Incentive Gift Has To Rock!

Incentive GiftsYour Incentive Gift (the thing you offer a potential subscriber as a reward for signing up for your mailing list) is one of the most important aspects of your list building system.  It’s critical you make sure the gift is as attractive to your target market as possible.  A solid Incentive Gift can be the difference between a list building system that’s bringing a flood new subscribers into your funnel every day… or just a trickle once in a while.  Here’s why…

1. It’s the Deciding Factor

When a new visitor comes to your website or squeeze page, the Incentive Gift is what sets you apart.  It’s the thing only you can offer.  And, especially in a competitive niche, it will be the thing that potential subscribers bases their decision on.  If the gift is great, they’ll sign up.  If not, they’ll move on.

2. Establishes Authority

The Incentive Gift gives you a fantastic opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise on your particular subject.  It gives you the chance to impress your new subscriber.  If you succeed in doing so, they’re going to want to see a lot more of you.  That means, more people opening your emails and buying what you have to offer.

3. Creates Reciprocity

Give you new subscribers your best material.  When you give them something of high value for free, not only will they be more likely to want to see what you give them when they pay you, but they’ll also feel like they owe you a little for all of the great information you’ve shared.

 

Remember, you only get one shot with the Incentive Gift.  If you fail to impress, the majority of your subscribers will move on.  If you do wow them, however, they’re going to stick with you for a very long time.

Want to be wowed yourself?  Then sign up for my mailing list and receive my free report – The Top 5 List Building Mistakes… and How To Avoid Them!