Knowing your customer, especially when sending e-blasts is important to keep your customer from simply clicking “delete” when receiving your message or perhaps opting out altogether. Avoid becoming SPAM at all costs. While many companies do offer the Opt In feature for list management, they don’t always allow users to choose their desired path. The best lists will allow clients to choose what they want to see in messaging. I suppose that is why I was both irritated and humored with several e-blasts I received in the last few weeks.
My son has been in Cub Scouts since 2010. He has progressed through the ranks from a Tiger Cub to now being a Webelos II and he’s about to cross over to Boy Scouts. Early last week I received this email prompting me to purchase items -“It’s their First Campout… Get Ready!” it raid. I immediately thought, “Great, let’s see what kind of goodies I can get for my soon-to-be Scout son!” After all, I am already shopping for Christmas.
Reading the post should have saved me some time as it went on to say things like: “A Cub Scout’s first campout. Make it an experience to remember, one he can boast about and build on from now on.”
I was considering that something must be wrong. That in fact the message was sent in error. Wouldn’t they have KNOWN I signed up in 2010. Didn’t the system track my son’s rank or in the very least, they certainly know what I have been purchasing! Why wouldn’t the list manager know that my son is likely not camping for the first time?
I chatted with my boss after receiving the message. List integration is a big deal. Know your customer and certainly know something about who you are marketing to. List management is nothing new though, we talk about it with clients often enough. It seems to be something of a challenge though, so I offer instead a few basic best practices for list management:
1) Subscribers should always Opt In to receive your email messages. This gives you permission to send them messages. If possible offer a Double Opt In. This would be when subscribers sign up then confirm their requested subscription.
2) Instead of one long list of email subscribers, consider creating groups. Host an event, create a group email for that. In the case of the BSA, they very easily could have grouped email addresses by month/year. If that had been done, it would have been easy to notice subscribes since 9/2010 are not likely first time Cub Scout campers!
3) Make sure to remove unsubscribed email addresses, you might even consider this another list to manage. Also be mindful of bounced messages. Many email services will track unsubscribes, bounced messages and SPAM reports but it is a good idea to track these actions too.
4) Finally it is important to analyze the results of your email campaigns. Since relevancy is the key online, how did your clients respond? Did they call more? Did the e-blast motivate more sales? Which links within your email messages motivated click-throughs? Whatever your measurement, be sure to measure it! It will be difficult to know what works, if results are not analyzed.
This week I received several other messages from the Boy Scouts, one titled “Shop Inspired Attire for Cub Scouts!” and another “Now We’re Campin’ Cub Scout-styl
I did notice an option to “Manage my Subscription,” which would be my final tip for marketers. List management tools that allow subscribers to choose which messages to see, likely result in having the best distribution lists. So BSA if you are reading this, perhaps you should offer options for Cub Scouts and another for Boy Scouts. I don’t need more Cub Scout gear and I won’t be camping with my Webelos scout much longer!