That was all I could summon up when I saw the new “improved” Gmail interface. Sure, it’s got its heart in the right place, making life a little easier for all of us mortals down here on the web. Who doesn’t need their email inbox sorted by some algo-bot? Now I have FOUR inboxes to search for my messages.
But that wasn’t the reason for my exclamation. What I said was, “Wow”, but what I thought was, “Email marketing just got a whole lot harder.”
Not that it wasn’t hard enough already. Most email autoresponder services require double opt-ins, which, if you aren’t familiar with the term, means that every customer that signs up for your newsletter or promotional updates has to then find the auto-generated email that gets sent to them, open it and then click on a link to confirm that they want your information. That confirmation email usually lands in their junk folder, since they don’t know you yet, and if they ever do find it there is only a percentage of people that will actually go through the trouble of confirming so they can receive MORE email.
Thus, the challenge was met with numerous attempts to circumvent the confirmation drop-off. Marketers made videos showing potential customers what to expect and how to find their confirmation email, and explained (pleaded, really) that it was easy to do and would only take a few seconds. Now, we can all add yet another step or two to the process. Because Gmail now decides what goes where, the customer may have to search deeper to find your email, and then if you want them to actually read it, you need to have them change the settings on your specific email so it goes to their Primary inbox.
Gmail accounts for a substantial percentage of the customers on my lists. I took a look at one of my email lists with 1375 names on it. Of those, 347 were Gmail addresses – that’s slightly over 25%.
Although email marketing is here to stay as a fundamental way to reach your leads, it is important to keep in mind that marketing to existing customers has a higher ROI and are far more likely to respond to your offers. The secret is to create a product that communicates to those customers, and also becomes a destination to be revisited often.
Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Synced: A Visionary Approach To Turning Your eBooks, Videos And Content Into Live Broadcasts, Your Customers Into Lifelong Connections, And Your Business Into A Marketing Machine
“…imagine for a second what it would be like if you could create a product that remained immediate and dynamic and relevant. What if it could update at the speed of Twitter, and change every copy in existence? What if your customers could network with each other inside your product, like it was an exclusive, niche-based country club? What if your product helped you sell other products, promote events, or raise awareness better than social media, because the viewers are all unified by a shared common interest?
These strategies, put into effect, can dramatically improve your company’s bottom line as well as your customer retention.
Take the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, for example. This proven theory has been applied to many areas, including economics, criminology, computer science, business, and even forestry.
Simply put: 80 percent of your company’s revenue will come from only 20% of your existing customers.
There are many other reasons we want to maintain a connection to our customers. For example, Bain & Co. published in the Harvard Business Review that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. This finding was said to have sent many executives scrambling to create customer retention strategies.
And if that wasn’t compelling enough, how about the fact that these strategies will save you actual, hard cash? It’s about 50% easier, according to research in the book Marketing Metrics, to sell to existing customers than it is to sell to brand new prospects. Another analysis, from Lee Resource Inc., concluded: Attracting new customers will cost your company 5 times more than keeping an existing customer. So, by maintaining a connection with your product and user, you will have a happy, loyal customer that will likely buy from you again, saving expenses on your marketing budget when launching a new product.
In this section, I will be discussing the fundamental ideas behind these “live-connected” products, as well as exploring the many benefits they hold for your business and your customers.”
So, don’t get discouraged…
See this as the kick in the pants you’ve been needing to turn your products into live-connected, synced properties. Take the conversation out of the broken inbox, and move it into the place of value – your product! (<–Tweet that!) Then, when the email deities continue to slap marketers, you can simply turn the other cheek.