There’s a “threat” that all the marketers are buzzing about this week; it’s Google’s expansion of it’s List-Unsubscribe feature that’s about to get rolled out more broadly than it had been in its 2009 introduction.
Is Google Trying to Kill Your Email Marketing?
Google has made multiple changes to its Gmail recently that involved filtering incoming emails into pre-defined folders;
All of these changes are supposed to make it easier for their users to focus on their most important messages. Oh sure, ?these changes are great for you as a consumer of email, but what about you as a marketer? How can these changes be good? All this email meddling is going to kill your marketing and your business — right?
How to Use Google’s Unsubscribe Feature to Be a Better Marketer
You can whine and moan about what Google is doing or you can embrace it and take it on as an opportunity to hone your marketing, build engaging relationships with your list and actually grow your business and your brand. Here’s how:
- Clean your list. ?Think of this as an opportunity to “spring clean” your list. I actually sent out an email to my list telling them that I was going to be sending them updates and offers for products and services and if they did NOT want to receive those emails to unsubscribe. Very few did that week, but as I fulfilled on my promise, people unsubscribed. And that is perfectly fine. Don’t view unsubscribes as a personal slight, see them for what they are, people moving on.
- Segment your list. ?One of the most common reasons people unsubscribe from your list is that they aren’t interested in the topic that you’re writing about. One easy way to make sure that your subscribers stick around is to segment your list according to their interests and only email them information about those topic areas. Most email marketing services will have a way to segment your list. Aweber uses lists to segment your list and InfusionSoft uses tags. Don’t feel like you have to send the same message to all of the lists. If you have a list of folks who have purchased a specific product and you’re launching something similar or complementary — then send an email just to that list. Remember the numbers game isn’t in how many people you SEND to – it’s how many people engage with you.
- Provide valuable content.? Assuming your list is segmented, your next step is to value your readers’ time with valuable content. Here’s the great thing about this suggestion; if you are obsessed with sending lots of emails — you can still do that, just not to all the same people. Create a base email with core content. Then tweak this email to appeal to each of the audience segments that would benefit the most.
- Engage with your list. If you get into conversations with your list, if your recipients REPLY to your emails, or if they consistently click on the links you include, they will not unsubscribe. An engaged list is a loyal list. One sure way to build engagement with your list is to imagine yourself writing to a single person, ask questions, provide cool information. Remember, you’re not just selling, you’re educating, informing and helping.
Thank You Google
Don’t hate Google because they are raising their standards. Raising the bar on email quality and engagement will separate the pros from the pretenders. Consider this a hard but valuable lesson from a firm but fair teacher.
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