Roundtable: The Ins & Outs of Email Marketing Incentives
In email marketing , the topic of incentives is a hot one. Should you use them? Do they really work? What should you offer? Will people even care?
And are the subscribers you’re getting legitimately interested in your emails or do they just want the added bonus you’re offering?
The debate could rage forever (and probably will). But that doesn’t get you any closer to an answer. Maybe these observations from six email experts will.
Rebecca (The Voice of Truth):
Sometimes incentives can be deceiving. It really depends on how you present them. If your incentive has nothing to do with your offer, or anything else that you’ll ever send again, it’s almost like you’re encouraging people to sign up to your email list under false pretenses.
Justin (The Assessment Advocate):
If you already have a good number of subscribers, incentives could possibly increase that number. But they’re not something you should be using out of the gate before you test if the offer itself is working for you. And you could potentially be giving away the wrong thing as your incentive, or giving away something you could sell.
Jay (The Optimist):
I think bonus incentives are good. They’re like samples at the grocery store: give them a little something for free, and they say, “That was really good.” They come back for more and you say, “That’s a little bit more money this time.” And they say, “Okay; it was good enough the first time.”
Nicolas (The Cynic):
I think incentives can seem like a scam. I feel like whatever they send for free will be worthless or in order to get it, I’ll have to commit to spending money. Let’s say I really want your free report. I sign up, get it and unsubscribe. Or I’ll feel like, “Why are you sending me emails? Please stop.”
Andrew (The Use and Lose Consumer):
Don’t equate free with valueless. Don’t send crap, because then they’ll automatically assume that is the caliber of stuff they’re going to get from you from now on. I’ve signed up for things just to get the incentive before. And then I was out – I unsubscribed.
Amanda (The Tightrope Walker):
You want to give something that will be appreciated. But at the same time, don’t undermine your offer. An incentive that’s too big could imply that there’s no intrinsic value to subscribing. It says that signing up isn’t worthwhile without the incentive.
Pull Up A Chair
How do you feel about incentives? Are you like Jay, the eternal optimist, happy to be getting a little bit extra? Or do you feel like Nick, and would prefer people just make their offer and stick to it?
Do you use incentives in your own campaigns? If you do, what do you use?
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