Four Email Mistakes That Cause Users to Unsubscribe

We know that email marketing can be a highly effective tool when used correctly. But, as many of us can attest to, there are a variety of actions that a company can take that will send you running for the “unsubscribe” button. Over at the Econsultancy Blog, they’ve identified four of the most common offenses that a brand can commit when using email to market to their users:

1. Sending too many emails

Nothing irritates users more than useless clutter in their inbox. Instead, try to do more with less. Stick to compelling content that adds value with a strong call-to-action.

2. Not respecting preferences

If you offer your subscribers a choice of what types of content they would like to receive and how often, you better respect their wishes. Otherwise you risk alienating them, or worse – you risk making them angry.

3. Lack of perceived relevance

When someone signs up for your email list they have a certain expectation as to what they’ll receive. For example, if I sign up for a department store’s email list as a male and all I receive is information about women’s clothing, I’m not going to find that information very useful.

4. Inconsistency

Your email subscribers will come to expect a certain look and feel to your communications. Make sure you keep your visual and writing style consistent from mailing to mailing, and try to always send your messages from the same email address. This type of consistency will make your audience feel more comfortable with your brand.

You can read the entire article over at Econsultancy’s Blog.

What are some other mistakes that email marketers make? For me, I don’t like signing up for what promises to be an informational resource only to be constantly sold to. What are your email pet peeves? We’d love to get your feedback in the comments below.

Paid vs. Organic Search – Who Wins?

The debate over paid vs. organic search has raged for years in SEO circles. We’ve long known that natural search results held an advantage over PPC, but by how much? Recently, Econsultancy published an article showing that paid search only accounts for 6% of all clicks on Google and Bing versus 94% for natural search clicks in the UK. The research was conducted by GroupM UK in partnership with Nielsen.

The study also found that women were more prone to clicking on paid search results than men, and as individuals got older they tended to click on paid search results more than their younger counterparts.

This infographic by MEC breaks down the research in more detail:

There are some interesting takeaways here for me. Mainly, it would stand to reason, based on this study, that having an audience that skews female may mean that PPC is a better value than if your site appeals to men. For example, if you run a women’s shoe blog you may find more value in paid search than, say, an auto racing website.

Do these results surprise you at all? How much spend do you dedicate to PPC? Do you feel like the return is worth it? How well do you rank for key terms in natural search? We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.

Optimizing Email for Mobile

A month ago we wrote a post about ways you could be utilizing email to strengthen your business. Today, I want to continue that dialogue and take the discussion a bit further. Let’s say that you’ve acted on the recommendations outlined in our post – you’ve made email a priority and have hopefully started to see some gains. But wait - did you anticipate how many readers would be opening your emails on their mobile devices? Has it affected how they respond to your call-to-action?

Econsultancy published a study that shows that 15-20% of all email is opened on a mobile device. Is your email formatted to be mobile-friendly? What about any links contained in the email? The study further finds that 41% of all European smartphone owners would either close or delete an email not optimized for mobile.

Some other key takeaways from the study:

  • Apple’s operating system appears to be the easiest for marketers to work with, as iPhone emails scored above average across all criteria.
  • The report found that brands have also successfully tackled rendering, readability and clickability on Android, but struggle across the board on Blackberry.
  • Buttons on mobile emails, as with other mobile calls to action need to be large and obvious so users can easily click on them.
  • More often than not brands linked to non-mobile optimized sites that that took a long time to load.

You can read the full study over at Econsultancy’s Blog.

Obviously email continues to be an important tool in our marketing toolbox. With the rise of mobile it is becoming more nuanced and requires extra steps in strategy, planning and execution to ensure the most impact for your business.

Have you made mobile part of your email marketing plan? What percentage of your users open email on their mobile device? We’d love to get your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.

eBay Partner Network and R.O.EYE Nominated for Econsultancy Innovation Award

We were honored to learn of our shortlisted status alongside our partner agency, R.O.EYE, for the 2012 “Innovation in Affiliate Marketing” Award for Econsultancy UK.

From the Econsultancy Blog:

“Econsultancy’s annual Innovation Awards shines a light on the finest creative thinking across the digital industry. This year more than 450 companies entered the awards, so we’ve been rather busy this past month or so. After some intense reading we have shortlisted around 150 companies, across 19 categories.”

The complete shortlist of nominees for this award is as follows:

Innovation in Affiliate Marketing

  • Commission Junction
  • Debenhams, Affiliate Window, Affilinet
  • Performance Horizon Group Ltd
  • R.O.EYE and eBay Partner Network
  • Ve Interactive Ltd

You can see the complete list of categories and nominees on Econsultancy’s UK Blog. We’re excited to have been considered and we’ll look forward to the awards show in London at the Park Lane Hotel on February 23, 2012.

Woo hoo!