Months ago, Google began rolling out a new “tabbed” interface for Gmail users.
While great for consumers, it presents a challenge for email marketers…
Specifically, all automated email campaigns now bypass the main, “Primary” inbox and get lumped together — out of sight and out of mind — with everybody else’s email campaigns under a “Promotions” tab.
That means you can expect Open Rates to decline among Gmail users (because now you’re just one of the crowd — lost in a barren wasteland of offers).
But it also means that your approach needs to evolve.
Significant tech changes online are part of the game. You can expect one at least every 6 – 12 months that will change or alter how you currently do something.
So you can either look for a loop hole (and convince people to bring your emails back to the “Primary” tab) or you can start becoming a better marketer.
Here are 5 reasons why I recently deleted over 1,300 from my newsletter.
Tip #1. Get More Personalized
Ideally, you should never send the same email campaign to all of your contacts.
Instead, you should be sending different campaigns, with different messaging, to different contacts at different times.
Personalization goes beyond using someone’s name in an email. It also means tracking their past behavior and sending them offers if they’re ready to buy, or content if they need more nurturing.
Collect and harvest as much data as possible — like where they’re from, which customer profile they fit, or what messaging they respond to — in order to power more targeted campaigns that increase ROI (despite a smaller reach).
And you can increase marketing frequency with the right contacts at the right time.
Tip #2. Improve Quality Signals
Email deliverability is a big deal that’s rarely talked about.
Basically it has to do with how many of your email campaigns are being sent and received properly in somebody’s inbox (and not in their Spam or Junk folder).
If you’re sending a campaign to a large list that has a lot of inactive or unengaged people, then you’re jeopardizing your deliverability. Those unengaged people — who will be the first to hit the “Spam” button — are bringing you down.
And they’re hurting your chances of actually reaching the good prospects who want to hear from you.
Tip #3. Diversify Your Approach
I prioritize email leads over all other kinds.
And that’s because even after the dust settles with this Gmail change, email marketing will still be the highest ROI channel for repeat visitors.
However with these changes and the natural evolution of how consumers are using email, it’s also a smart time to diversify your approach.
For example, if your main source of leads is SEO and Google decides to change the algorithm one day, your business is done. The same is true for lead nurturing and conversion practices like email marketing.
Prioritize it, but don’t rely solely on it.
Tip #4. Encourage Multi-Channel Interaction
One of the best ways to diversify your approach is to start interacting with leads in several different channels.
Maybe that means Email + Facebook, or Email + a Webinar. Either way, the key to great marketing ideas is through spanning the entire customer lifecycle.
So besides increasing your odds of reaching people (even if they don’t see your initial email message), this also helps you with getting more customer information and feedback as well.
Their Facebook data will provide demographic information. Or a webinar can provide you with hints on their pain points and other contact information (like their website, phone number, or role).
You’re building a complete marketing funnel, but you’re also building a more complete customer profile that will make your marketing efforts more targeted and more effective.
Tip #5. Disqualify, Disqualify, Disqualify
Finally, at a certain point it makes sense to cut your losses.
At the end of the day, we all need to sell something to someone. And the key to sales isn’t through pressuring people who aren’t ready, but to disqualify them and focus on finding people who are ready, willing and able to pay.
And by refusing to invest more time and effort in the bad apples, instantly frees you up to focus on the good leads.
Now you can start making smart changes to improve you campaigns based on feedback from your ideal customers. And you’re not forced into trying to cater to those who won’t respond.
The best marketing campaigns always polarize people. They get them to choose sides and either opt-in, or opt-out.
Because if you can’t get them to make that decision in an email, then they’ll never end up buying-in to your USP or core values, and they’ll never become a loyal, highly profitable customer.