Email marketing is easy to do once you get the hang of it. But the more you do it, the more you discover that any extra effort you put into it, will result in better email marketing success. Where most of your extra brow sweat should be focused is the quality of your contact list. As I have always said, your contacts are the foundation of your email marketing campaigns. Without a high quality list, your marketing skills are being wasted.
In previous articles I have shown you how to indentify some problems with your contact list and then how to correct those issues. In this article, the focus will be on how to identify the percentage of lost subscribers that naturally occurs in any email marketing list. This is called your subscriber turn-over. Knowing your percentage will allow you to be more proactive in gaining higher quality contacts, and you'll have clear evidence of where you need to improve and by how much.
Your list turn-over is determined by that amount of subscribers that are no longer active which have been identified within a certain period of time. This is often measured monthly and annually. Email marketing research has determined that the common subscriber turn-over for an email marketing contact list is 30% annually and 2.5% monthly. If your contact list contains a high percentage of free email accounts (like yahoo, Gmail, and hotmail) you can expect that percentage to increase.
The breakdown looks something like this: 2- 3% annual turn-over comes from people who unsubscribe from your list; 20-30% more addresses may be lost each year to hard bounces (subscribers that have either entered their addresses incorrectly when opting in, or address that are no longer valid); and finally there are a very small percentage of spam complaints that round out the remaining yearly losses (keep in mind that everybody gets spam complaints, even the most legitimate, opt-in email marketers).
Because everyone's lists are different, it is important to determine the percentage of YOUR list that is lost to turn-over. The best place to begin solving this problem is by keeping track of your email marketing campaign reports. Step #1: add up your hard bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints to determine the number of lost subscribers. Step #2 is to divide the total tally of lost subscribers by the current number of subscribers on your contact list. As an example: if you have 1000 subscribers on your contact list, and you've determined that 250 subscribers per year are no longer active, then the annual turn-over rate is 250 / 1000 = 0.25 or 25%. If you want to calculate the percentage per month simply divide the remaining figure by 12 (0.25 / 12 = 0.02% per month).
Now that you know the amount of subscribers you are losing per month you can use these figures to make a stronger effort at overcoming these losses by maintaining or gaining new high quality contacts. You can refer to some of my previous articles for some great tips on how to gain more contacts and how to preserve the contacts that are dwindling on the fine line between active and in-active. These numbers will also help you keep track of how successful you've been per month or year at gaining back your subscribers. You will be able to compare you numbers from month to month, and yearly to see how successful you've been.
In turn this will help you determine which techniques are more successful at gathering and keeping your contacts.
You'll find email marketing success by putting that extra effort into knowing all about your contact list. Determining your subscriber turn-over will help you goal set so that your email marketing campaigns will only be sent to the most stream lined and high quality contacts. The golden rule of email marketing is and always will be that the quality of your contacts is the most important factor in finding success.
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