Email marketing remains one of the most cost effective and successful marketing channels; but are you getting the most out of it? With more users viewing emails on mobile devices, the number of recipients viewing emails has grown. Capitalise on this opportunity, but understand that email marketing has evolved and is now more about personalisation and targeting than just blasting out messages to a mass market. Investigate the elements below to fine tune your email marketing and if you aren’t already adopting these methods, start now and see a marked difference in your results.
The secret to a successful email marketing campaign is having a great list. You may only have 500 contacts but if each of those contacts is named, active and has opted in to receive email from you, the hard work is almost there. The only catch here is that people move on, they change their minds and switch email addresses. To continue to capture this audience you need to watch your list and adapt it as it grows and changes over time.
Follow this checklist after every send:
- Download your list of hard bounces
- Obtain an updated email address where possible
- Re-upload these contacts to your list
- Give your contacts more options when unsubscribing
- Offer the option of less frequent emails
- Identify the category of your contact – have they moved out of your target category (i.e.: changed jobs, moved area, no longer need your service)
Keep it Clean
- Use a list cleaning program to identify incorrect addresses, duplicates and banned domains
- Contact addresses that have never opened an email from you to establish that they still want to receive your emails
- Keep an eye on the responses and put them in order of reaction
Strong Call to Action
The call to action is there to tell your recipient what you want to them to do. The objective is to get your recipient to leave the email and carry out an action such as visiting a landing page, emailing you or visiting a page on your website. These actions are all designed to capture the recipient resulting in them making a positive contact with you.
The following questions should be asked before hitting send on any email:
- What is the objective of this email?
- Is there a clear next step?
- Is the call to action obvious?
Using a landing page when sending email marketing is a highly effective method of capturing a recipient’s attention. Every email should encourage an action which will enable you to establish your reach and identify the click throughs worth following up.
Get the Timing Right
Sending times for email marketing can be crucial to success. Different sectors open and read at different times and understanding this early in your email marketing planning will help the overall success of your campaign. Don’t rely on reports and articles suggesting that Tuesday is the best day to send; find out for yourself. Send a series of campaigns to establish the most popular time and day for your emails to be opened and read. With more mobile users than ever before opening times can vary hugely for each sector. Once you have established the optimum opening times for each sector schedule your emails to reach these targets when they are at their most responsive.
Keep it Personal
Personalising your email is a sure fire way to grab the recipients attention. This all starts when you gather your data. Get the full name, age, business name, job title, gender and if possible location of your contacts at a bare minimum. The more information you have, the more you can personalise what you send and increase the response rates as a result. This is especially useful when emailing existing clients as you already know their buying behaviour and can tailor emails accordingly. The more you make your email about the person you’re sending it to, the higher the response will be.
Getting a good list:
- Put an email sign-up form on the most visited page of your website
- Drive traffic to this page using social media, adwords, organic search, content and PR activity
- Incentivise sign-ups with gifts, offers and guides
- Encourage sign-ups with downloadable features on your website
- Collect data at every touch point you have with clients
- Go through your client lists and reach out to past clients with an incentive to sign up to your email marketing list
Once you have built a list, keep it clean; only send worthwhile engaging content and updates that your clients want to receive. Monitor your results after each campaign and make changes according to the analytics. Remember, recipients that have bought from you, enquired with you or engaged with you at any point will want to hear from you much more than recipients that have never heard of you and don’t know where you got their details from.
The balance of keeping in touch with your clients and new prospects is a tricky one to get right. If you only send an email once a month you may lose resonance with your clients. If you send an email every day your unsubscribe rates will certainly rise. The key with email marketing is to remain relevant. To do this successfully you need to keep a close eye on the engagement levels within your analytics. Every market will react differently and you will always get unsubscribes, even if you follow every email marketing rule to the letter. Keep your email consistent with these simple rules:
- Only send an email campaign when you have good quality, relevant content to share
- Set-up a schedule with a clear idea of content to run consistently throughout the year
- Identify opportunities to send useful messaging such as renewals, reports, industry changes
- Don’t under send – recognition is beneficial when email marketing as your recipients with trust your messages if they are more familiar with seeing them
- Don’t over send – keep it relevant, don’t bombard your list with constant updates, analyse results and judge the frequency from the data