A recent survey reported that over 93 percent of people have an opt-in daily contact with a brand via email. It also said only 15 percent of Facebook users and 5 percent of Twitter users have a similar relationship.
That's one of many reasons to rethink your use of email marketing.
The daily deal site DailyCandy sold for $125 million in 2008. It was essentially on the strength of their email list. Groupon is suddenly all over the news for group discount buying. At the end of the day, these started out as an email list. There is plenty of value in email marketing.
Here are a few lessons from what the winners are doing. They might go against what you have now. Try them. You'll be surprised.
Stop Mailing Multiple Offers in One Message
Learn from Woot.com and Groupon, and send one small email per offer. The result is a much more focused call-to-action. The response and open rate goes up accordingly.
Personalize The Message
As best as you can, take advantage of the personalization and customization your database allows. If nothing else, use the person's first name. Personalization is a great way to build up connections between your customers and you. The more you can segment your list, the more likely people are to open and take an action.
Use Social Sharing
My email service provider, Blue Sky Factory, allows readers of my email newsletter to share what they've read on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (among others). This means that some of my better, more hitting newsletters get new life as links on people's Facebook walls or in their LinkedIn updates. The results are immediate.
Offer Value, Not Just Offers
If you can, offer the occasional non-call-to-action message. Offer something of value. If you're sending out newsletters that are just uninspired clipping collections, who's going to care? What can you do to really empower your readers? That's the goal.
Your mileage may vary, but I highly recommend that you try this, at least a few times. It's definitely something that you can work into the rest of your email marketing and then perform a/b testing on, if nothing else. What do you have to lose? Not much. To gain? A whole new view on your best asset.
Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling author of the NEW book, a Social Media 101. He is president of New Marketing LabsLLC, and blogs at chrisbrogan.com.