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Increasing the Potential of Your Email File

By Mar 21, 2014

Overmailing isn’t going to necessarily increase the potential of your email file. In fact, it might do the opposite.

Matt Redion, president and CEO of Clario Analytics, noted at the recent NEMOA conference in Boston that companies which increase email frequency often see a decrease in their opt out rate. But this isn’t because recipients love the messages—it’s because they are “passively” opting out. Message are simply being deleted unread, or going straight to junk folders or places like  Gmail’s tabbed inbox.

It’s a common misconception that opt-outs are okay because those were marginal customers, he said. Marketers should consider attrition—sure, your file may be growing by say 400,000 names annually. But if you’re losing 340,000 annually as well, that’s going to catch up to you.

Likewise, marketers shouldn’t think that the effort required to reduce opt-outs outweighs the benefits. “If your average sale is $15, think $15 x 340,000—that’s $5.1 million in lost opportunity,” says Redion.

It’s pretty much impossible to reduce email opt-out rates to zero. But you can minimize opt-outs by optimizing the relevance of your messaging and testing to uncover the right frequency for various segments of your audience. There are three important factors to consider:

  1. Revenue attribution: You need to know your customer’s path to purchase. “This varies company to company,” he said. “Then, how do you project campaign performance.
  2. Modeling: Build the right models for your unique strategy. For example, depending on your business and focus, these could be based on channel preference, incremental sales, promotional sensitivity, lifetime value or digital engagement.
  3. Horizontal selection: Eliminate the least incremental messages related to purchasing for each customer. This will help you come up with a more targeted strategy to reach your best prospects.