Three years ago, I bought some face paints for my daughter from a small online retailer.
They continued emailing me regularly with new promotions and products – none of which I had any interest in.
Nevertheless, I stayed subscribed. Inertia is a powerful force! :- )
Cut to World Book Day this year. One of my kids was going to school dressed as Tiger Lily, the Indian Princess from Peter Pan.
I was in urgent need of face paints again….. And I knew exactly where to get them.
It took three years, but the small online retailer finally got some repeat business from me.
But here’s the crazy thing.
In all those years, I’d never actually opened any of their emails.
All I’d done was see their name in my Inbox regularly. And that was enough to make sure I didn’t forget them, and ultimately give them a competitive advantage.
Apparently this isn’t unusual.
A few months ago I came across a fascinating study by MailChimp, about how much different types of email subscribers are worth, on average, to a business.
After analysing 6.6 billion e-commerce emails sent through their platform, they concluded that non-active subscribers (defined as those who hadn’t opened an email in six months) were worth 32% of an active subscriber…
…Which is a lot more than someone who isn’t a subscriber at all. Inactives ordered at least 25% more frequently than non-subscribers, spent 6% more, and were 26% more likely to make a second purchase.
Turns out that all those people ignoring your emails are actually worth quite a lot of money :- )
It makes sense. We know that regular exposure to a potential customer pays off – that’s why companies advertise.
In this case, it happens to be via email. I’m willing to bet that a study of your Facebook fans or LinkedIn contacts shows that they are similarly more likely to buy from you, even if they never click on your posts – provided they see your posts regularly.
So what does this mean for your business?
- You need to market regularly in order to build top-of-mind awareness.I believe that email marketing – going straight into someone’s Inbox – is by far the best way to do this, and that when your emails are actually opened and read, they are far more valuable and effective than any other form of online marketing.But no matter what platform you focus on, be a consistent presence for your subscribers and followers.
- Think carefully before removing people from your email list. It’s generally accepted that it’s best practice to remove non-active subscribers from your database. They are more likely to mark your messages as “Spam”, which stops your emails from being delivered to other subscribers’ Inboxes.MailChimp now says that you should keep inactive subscribers on your list unless the email address is clearly no longer valid, or you have a high volume of abuse / “Spam” complaints.In my correspondence with them, they claimed that the impact on deliverability will be minimal.I’m not convinced, thanks to years of MailChimp and every other marketing automation platform telling me otherwise! But it will be interesting to see whether others follow suit…..
- Remember that while inactive subscribers are good, active subscribers are even better :- )