New email marketing rules for nonresponders

The folks at Marketing Sherpa have released new evidence warning other marketers to be careful removing “nonresponders” from email distribution lists too quickly, because you may have more time than you think.

Marketing Sherpa conducted an experiment “that every marketer should consider” to find out why customers were not opening their emails. The editorial team picked up the phone and called some of their nonresponders asking: “Why don’t you open anymore? Why don’t you click?”

The most common answer may surprise you, just as it did the Marketing Sherpa team:

“I do. I like your email. Don’t stop sending it. I may not always have time to read it, but I want it.”

The research team took a look at past data showing that more than 40% of online advertising responses may be delayed responses. Responders saw the ad, didn’t click on it, but visited the website or called on their own time, up to 30 days later.

Depending on how busy someone is or if they’re at work, customers don’t have the time to read everything in their in-box. Sometimes it is simply the presence of your brand name and subject line in recipients’ in-boxes that can trigger a customer to make a purchase once their ready. Here’s the latest marketing advice from the Sherpas:

“Given reputation-based filter concerns alone, you should be at least decreasing frequency to nonresponders so you’re not pinging them all the time. You might also want to survey them by email and/or by other methods. And, cross-reference your other customer records with email. Find out which of your “nonresponders” may actually be responding like crazy through other channels than the email links you send them.”

Simply put:

“The new email rule is: Don’t fire nonresponders before asking first. Until you know why, you can’t fix things.”

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