Email marketing is not new. Email best practices, however, have changed drastically since email marketing's inception. Many companies wonder if email marketing is dead but these same companies are likely using antiquated and ineffective email campaign elements. What can you do to break the cycle of ineffective emails?
1. Segment your audience.
Chances are your customers are not all exactly the same. Segmenting will get relevant content, to the right person, at the right time. There are many marketing automation tools available that make breaking your audience into multiple lists simple. We recommend using these tools to segment your audience into lists based on interest or phase in the buyer's journey.
Consider an online furniture retailer like Overstock. They send their customers relevant content based on previous purchases or searches. For example, the interests of someone searching for furniture for an apartment vs. someone searching for furniture for a single-family home will differ. The person searching for apartment furniture will likely need pieces that serve multiple purposes and take up a smaller amount of space. Whereas someone in a single-family home can likely accommodate larger, single purpose pieces. These two consumers have different interests and should be marketed to differently.
2. Personalize your emails.
When a piece of mail that is addressed to "Current Resident" lands in your mailbox, do you read it or throw it out? Most ends up unread and in the recycle bin. The same holds true for emails. Many of the marketing automation tools referenced earlier will allow you to insert personal touches, like the reciptient's name.
Also, avoid sending emails from a do not reply email address. They are impersonal and have a higher chance of being marked as spam.
3. Write compelling subject lines.The best email subject lines are creative and interest-provoking. We suggest posing a question or using an incentive (i.e. Free Goal-Setting Template). Make sure the subject line is less than 50 characters so that it is properly displayed in the recipient's inbox.
4. Optimize for mobile devices.
Between 2010 and 2015 the number of emails opened on a mobile device increased by 30%, making it clear that optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a must. To ensure that the email experience is as good on a mobile device as it is on a desktop, test emails on multiple devices before sending. Be sure to keep the copy concise and the calls-to-action front and center. Doing so makes your message more likely to be received and acted upon.
5. Analyze the results.
Each email marketing campaign should have one or more measurable goals. Metrics could include bounce rate, conversion rate, click through rate, and list growth. Conduct periodic checkpoints to ensure your email campaigns are on the right track. Analyze what is working, what is not working, and troubleshoot why. A/B testing can be helpful when diagnosing why an email campaign may not be performing. Create an action plan to address any shortcomings.
When done correctly, email marketing can yield incredible ROI. Use these tips and you are well on your way to a successful email campaign!