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Some email marketing questions and answers for 2013

The following is a Q&A with GuideStar's senior marketing director, Usma Ziard. You can find Usma on Twitter @Usma_Ziard.

Will sending too many emails annoy your email recipients?
It depends on the freshness of the content. Be respectful of your email recipients’ time, and try to think about the emails they are receiving from you and the benefit to them. The key is to not have your emails feel like they are automated. Instead, the emails should be purposeful and relevant. It is good to have a rule, such as no one person will receive two emails from your organization in one week. At GuideStar we try and be very mindful about email fatigue, and we pay close attention to the content we are sending in our emails. We might send an email to the same person twice in one week, but the content presented is unique each time.

A GuideStar email A GuideStar email

Will people notice if you send them the same email twice?
At GuideStar we realize that often the first email we send may not have the best open rate or click through rate. But, with a quick “re-send campaign,” adding a slight change to the subject line, such as “re-send” or “reminder…“ will often yield an increase of about 30% in open rates. The key here is to only send the second email (the reminder email) to the people on your list who did not open the first email. 

Do people read long copy or short copy?
I have seen mixed thoughts on this particular question. At GuideStar we tend to lean toward short and concise copy (our testing shows our email segments prefer shorter copy), but we always give the option for the customer to learn more or read more by linking to a landing page, linking to a customer testimonial, or even allowing the customer to scroll down further in the email. We tend to place the clear call to action above the fold of the email. The goal here is to capture what you want the customer to do and understand about the email in the opening sentences and give them the option to read more or learn more if they choose.

Do people want fresh copy all the time?

I would say no, not all the time. At GuideStar I would say we try and repurpose the email copy with the best performance. We track our email open and click through rates per campaigns, therefore we know what copy works best. However, we do try and revamp or upgrade the copy slightly every four months or so. Some of the best ways to re-vamp copy is by using a different font, adding a new image or changing the color scheme.

Do people really notice subject lines?
I would say yes, especially when you are competing with all the other emails your customer is being bombarded with daily. At GuideStar, we try to have a creative or eye catching subject line to help catch the attention of the customer and help increase our open rates. Usually your customer will appreciate the creativeness and they won’t decide to unsubscribe so easily.

Hope you found this helpful in your email execution practices. I would love to hear from anyone else about their email tips.

Usma Ziard Usma Ziard
Topics: Communications