There’s a lot of momentum building behind email marketing efforts. More and more people are using email; in fact, according to a study conducted by The Relevancy Group, 93 percent of consumers check their email daily. Consequently, email marketing has become a crucial way for businesses to engage and target customers and prospects online. According to a report by eMarketer, 97 percent of small businesses are using email marketing to connect with customers.
That’s all well and good, but using the same tactics again and again will ultimately decrease your campaign’s effectiveness and, ultimately, diminish your results. As Andrew Grove, co-founder of Intel, once famously said, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” With this idea in mind, let’s take a look at a few tips to help you rejuvenate your email marketing campaign.
People are not going to jump through hoops to receive emails from you. Make it as simple as possible for people to become subscribers. Asking too many questions will make people start to waiver in their decision to opt in. Add some incentive by providing a token of your appreciation—a discount offer or free guide or eBook—during the initial sign up as a takeaway. Be sure to include an easily recognizable “opt in” link in all email documents.
Email list segmentation is a great tactic because it enables you to create specific messaging based on customer preferences. By splitting up your list based on factors, such as demographics, geographic location or past buying behavior, you can create customized messages that will resonate with subscribers, reducing opt-out rates and increasing click-through rates. Test out subtle tweaks on subgroups to determine what produces the best results.
The subject line of your email is often the determiner of whether or not a subscriber will open your email or simply delete it. Make sure your message is truly relevant and engaging. The email service MailChimp provides some best practices to creating subject lines: Words or phrases to avoid include free, help, percent off and reminder. Try localizing by including a city name. Do not use the same subject line over and over for newsletters. And keep subjects to 50 characters or less with the exception of highly targeted audiences.
Take a closer look at the reporting from your email campaigns, and analyze what it tells you about your customers and their preferences. Take note of what types of content—eBooks, guides, tip lists, etc.—are receiving the most clicks. Once you’ve determined where you’re getting the most bang for your buck, tweak your strategy to include more of this type of content. Also, see if there are any patterns, such as the time or day you send emails, to determine the best opportunity to send your communications.
Don't waste time and money by sending emails that either bounce or are never opened. Most email services can provide a report of emails not getting delivered or subscribers who consistently do not open your messages. You’ll get an immediate bump in your open rate by simply removing these turkeys from your list. Don’t delete these emails completely; do some digging and find where the email subscribers originated so you can create a more targeted campaign to win them back.
Have you had success with your email marketing efforts? Share your top tips in the comment section below!
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with more than 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for more than 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, eBooks, case studies, and feature articles.