November 6, 2014
The Radicati Group Email Statistics Report 2014-2018 shows that on average 196.3 billion emails are sent daily worldwide. And in the few seconds it took to read that sentence, millions more were written. Considering the sheer volume of web traffic, businesses need to ensure that the emails they work so hard to create aren’t being ignored.
Email marketing has proven its potential for success and should be an integral part of every business’s marketing plan. However, the success rate of email marketing depends heavily on the execution — from start to finish and everything in between.
Here are a few tips to keep in the back of your mind the next time you sit in front of a blank email template.
Understand your audience. This should be the first step as your audience should always be top-of-mind. After all, they’re the ones receiving your email, so always make sure you question how well you know your list.
For example, for every person on your list, do you know their job function and employer or do you just have a name? Also, determine whether or not each person on your list is part of the same audience. Gathering this type of information will help with analyzing your segmentation possibilities.
In addition to segmentation, consider how your audience will view your email and design it to be viewable on multiple screens. According to Movable Ink’s US Consumer Device Preference Report, 65 percent of all emails received are first opened on mobile devices. Using responsive design principles will help ensure your email is as impactful on a mobile device as it is on a laptop.
Determine your content. Figure out exactly what you want to talk about – relevancy, value, usefulness, and credibility should be your main concerns during content development. If your list consists of multiple audiences, then your content is likely going to multiply, varying for each audience.
Additionally, content should never be developed just to join a conversation; it should be creative and offer value to your audience. For example, an email that pushes out the latest product will not be as successful as a video showing how someone can benefit from that new product. Take Home Depot for example. Instead of just showcasing paint products online, they share tips with consumers explaining how to prepare walls for painting.
Work towards growing your list. Consider your email as a vehicle being used to grow your user base. A great way to expand an existing list is to partner with another brand to market content with a co-branded message to multiple databases. For example, Butterball and Ocean Spray might partner for a Thanksgiving email campaign and share a recipe for how to make irresistible cranberry stuffing, and in turn, entice each other’s list to join their own.
Another option to grow your list is considering a campaign that specifically targets referrals. Referrals might say, “Invite two guests to sign up for our weekly emails and receive a ten percent discount on your next purchase.” The sole purpose of these campaigns is list growth. However, for this to be effective, explicitly asking for referrals is the key.
Include offers. The expression “what’s in it for me?” comes into play here. Offering your audience something will likely lead to better email results. Running a contest or offering a free quote for car insurance or a payment in the form of cash or merchandise in exchange for product reviews will likely increase interaction. Also consider creating a time-bound offer, as they tend to drive greater results by creating a sense of urgency. You may want to offer a sale during a certain window of time or offer an eBook for a limited time only.
Respect your recipients. Always provide your recipients with options. Provide them with the opportunity to share preferences and interests for content they receive and how often they’d like to receive it. Also, making it easy for recipients to opt-out after they’ve opted-in is as important as ensuring the simplicity of your initial sign-up process on your website. And honor their wish to opt-out.
Email marketing campaigns are only effective when a well-thought-out strategy is intact and content is thoughtfully developed for your audience. Maintaining your audiences’ wants and needs throughout your campaign is what leads to valuable, positive results for marketers.
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