Many people believe that email marketing is a dying form of commerce. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, however how people use and execute email marketing has changed.
At its core, email marketing has three fundamental principles: Firstly, build a list; secondly, send out promotional emails; thirdly, those emails result in revenue generation. Let’s now discuss some of these principles in more depth using my top tips for powerful email marketing campaigns.
1. Optimise subscription forms for mobile
If it’s not easy for someone to sign up, chances are they probably won’t. In a recent study by Return Path, 63 per cent of US customers said they delete emails immediately if they’re not optimised for mobile. And if your opt-in form isn’t optimised for mobile they probably won’t even get that far. Remove all barriers to sign up if you want a captive audience to market to.
2. Send relevant data
If your opt-in form (or later registration) collects data, such as gender and location, you can then divide your email list into different market segments or locations enabling you to send more appropriate and relevant messages to those you sign up. After all a man in the Northern Territory probably isn’t going to be shopping for the same things as a woman in the Melbourne.
3. Personalise emails
It’s been said that everyone’s favourite word is their own name. Most people like feeling special and by personalising your emails with each subscriber’s name you can help the reader feel like they are values. Similarly, providing personalised shopping recommendations for each reader based on things they have previously bought is more likely to result in a sale.
4. Offer special deals
Subscriber-only deals are one of the main reasons that people sign up for your emails in the first place. So if you’re not offering them, you should be. According to the 2012 Channel Preference Survey customers reported that they preferred promotions being advertised through email than Facebook because they are less likely to miss them.
5. Test your emails
Before you send emails out to thousands of customers, come back to basics and make sure they work. This will save you from public embarrassment and hundreds of emails complaining that your links are broken or that the email doesn’t display. Test your emails for functionality across mobile and desktop and on different browsers.
6. Avoid spam-like content
Many businesses content never even reaches their customers because it gets caught up in email spam filters. This is a missed opportunity! To avoid a similar fate steer clear of the following mistakes: using multiple exclamation marks e.g. “Buy now!!!!!” or all caps e.g. DISCOUNTED STOCK! All spam filters are slightly different so an email that might pass one filter might be flagged as spam by another. For more on how spam filtering works you can browse this guide from Mailchimp.
7. Make your subject line strong
The first thing someone sees in their inbox is the subject line of their emails, and it is the thing that helps people decide if opening that email is worth their time and effort. Strong subject lines should provoke curiosity or show how the information contained inside will help the user.
8. Track your data
Tracking the performance of your emails is the only way to know what is working and what isn’t. Most email platforms offer statistics on your email open rates and click-through rates. This data is your best friend so get familiar with it.
As with any other type of marketing, true success requires a commitment of time, effort, and persistence. However, with logical, strategic planning and analysis of the results you can soon make incremental improvements that pay dividends.