Email marketing can be a tricky nut to crack. Trying to steer clear of junk folders, shy away from unsubscribes, and increase open rates, are constant challenges that email marketers face on a daily basis. But with email marketing becoming increasingly powerful in 2017, it is more important than ever for organisations to optimise their email marketing strategies.
The power of email surpasses social media, and whilst many businesses place a huge focus on their brand image to the masses, it is crucial for them to consider the following two statistics:
- Email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter
- You are 6 times more likely to get a click through from an email campaign than a tweet
If an email marketing strategy is devised correctly, it can become one of the most lucrative tools for conversion. So, here we take a look at some simple steps you can take to improve your email marketing campaigns, and pave the way to a more profitable and rewarding strategy.
1. Segmentation and Strategy
A common mistake that we often see amongst businesses is that they send to their entire database, ignoring even the most basic rules of segmentation. A well thought out strategy will consider segmentation, it doesn’t need to be extensive, but it does need to define your customer profiles on the highest level to have any kind of impact.
Just to give you an idea – I recently bought a new build house with a successful development company, as such I’m signed up to receive their marketing communications. I would assume that the emails I should be receiving would be surrounding aftercare, or recommend to a friend or family member – instead I’m still getting emails trying to sell the remaining housing plots to me. This sounds really basic when you say it out loud – but it’s a level of segmentation that gets highly overlooked. Think simple, think obvious.
2. Subject Lines
This is huge aspect to consider but something that gets frequently overlooked. I remember in one of my earlier marketing roles, I used to consider subject lines to be an after thought. After all you’ve just spent however long building the email, writing the content, getting the email tested, defining the database, and you just want to push it out of the door. But what you must remember is, if you don’t have an enticing and click-worthy subject line, no one is going to see all that hard work you have put it.
It’s really a trial and error game with subject lines, sometimes the most unlikely ones work, but once you nail it you will be thankful!
Timing is key to an email send. You want to hit people at exactly the right time, on exactly the right day, in exactly the right mood to get them to open and click-through. Each industry has different optimal send times, and it won’t take that much research to define those times. We find that early morning on a Tuesday or Thursday works well for B2B’s, whilst B2C emails tend to drop into my inbox at about 2.30pm daily. You must consider timing so that your email successfully breaks through the masses.
4. The Aesthetics
Email design is another crucial aspect, and something that will immediately determine whether a customer thinks you are credible as a business. You want your emails to mirror your brand, integrate with all aspects of your strategy, and provide a clean and clear message every time. Remember, anyone can set up an email campaign, so the more professional and sleek yours looks, the more likely you are going to hold onto your subscribers. You must also be mindful of mobile-friendly email designs, a large portion of emails are opened on mobile now, so you don’t want to miss a huge opportunity based on the way your email looks.
5. Reporting, Analytics and Constant Optimisation
It’s so important to constantly be tracking how your campaigns are performing. It will allow you to identify new opportunities, choose your most successful subject lines, choose your most engaging products, and so on. Sometimes the analytics can really surprise you, and something you thought would work amazingly well doesn’t, whilst the idea you spent minimal time on can reign supreme.
Also, from an operational point of view, constant attention must be paid to bounce rates, unsubscribers and unsuccessful deliveries – all aspects that need to be monitored in order to maintain a good send reputation.