Email marketing campaigns aren’t always given a lot of thought. With the great software available for email marketing these days, it’s easy to set and forget.
But did you know email is actually one of the best performing channels for sales and marketing – outperforming social media, paid advertising and broadcast media? It’s no wonder when 58% of consumers report opening their emails before any other online activity at the start of their day.
In fact, there’s so much potential in this often forgotten channel that with just 7 small tweaks, you can improve ROI exponentially.
Ever received those letters in the mail addressed ‘To the Householder’? Before you even open it, you know it is an impersonal sales pitch – and if you are like me, you file it accordingly.
When it comes to email marketing campaigns, the personal touch goes a long way. In fact, statistically, this simple tweak will get up to 6x better transaction rates. That alone should be motivation enough to ensure that all your emails are addressed personally. The best software platforms for email marketing will allow you to personalise your emails using variables.
When personalising your emails, don’t forget to include your sender details too. Having the email come from Bob at [Your Business Name] reassures the recipient that the email is from you – not a bot – and feels a lot less like the ‘To the Householder’ approach.
Another great personalisation tweak is to incorporate a ‘Welcome Email’ into your marketing. In terms of impact, they are almost untouchable. They are recognised for generating a whopping 320% added revenue (on a per email basis) compared to other promotional emailing campaigns.
Where possible, start your subject line with the recipient’s name (using personalisation) or capture the recipient’s attention with the word ‘you’. Your subject line should motivate the recipient to open the email.
Using the words ‘thank you’ in your subject line also have a remarkable impact. Including these 2 words will improve engagement.
Interestingly, making use of pipes ( | ) in the subject line performs above average, as well as highlighting the various points being covered in the email. This provides great scope to the reader, encouraging them to open based on at least one of the points being covered.
Other tweaking opportunities include time references. Phrases like “only for this weekend”, “ends at midnight”, “order before 2pm to get shipped today”, “update”, “newsflash”, and “breaking”, all motivate the reader to open now rather than later, ensuring that your email stands out in their inbox.
Automation, segmentation and conditioning
Automation is a great way to encourage your reader along the customer journey. Automation is shown to improve conversions by up to 50%. There are two main ways to automate email campaigns:
Scheduling emails to be sent at set days and times can ensure that your message is arriving at an optimum time in the reader’s inbox. It can also mean that promotional calls to action can get them back to the website and re-considering a purchase. It is also a great option for service-based industries, like dentists or mechanics, to remind customers that it’s time for their next appointment.
Triggered emails are sent based on a visitor’s interaction with your website. It can be the sending of a whitepaper when they complete a web form, an abandoned cart recall, or responding to a social media button. This is a great way to provide timely information in response to how far along the customer journey the reader may be.
Segmentation is another opportunity where you can email only certain groups within your database list. Depending on the information gathered, you can segment your database into gender, age brackets, locations, product or service categories, etc. This allows you to send the right message to the right audience in a timely manner. This simple step can see open rates improve by up to 39%, and it also causes a reduction in unsubscribes by up to 28%.
Conditioning (AKA dynamic content) is a great tool to create one email that can relate to the different segments within your database. Similar to segmentation, with the exception that instead of sending a separate email to each of the groups within your database, you write the one email, but add conditions to show different segments of content to the different groups.
An example of this is a fashion retailer sending an email campaign for this season’s styles. Conditioning would allow the males within the database to see the menswear selection, and the females would see the womenswear. Yet all the formatting and any general content would be seen by all recipients.
Call to action
Generic calls to action are just as bad as ‘To the Householder’. Wording like ‘Click Here to Read More’ is not motivating. Influence the reader to take the next step. To progress further along the customer journey, add specifics to your call to action:
- Click Here to Start Your Free Trial
- Call Before 2pm to Get Your Order Shipped Today
- Don’t Miss Out – Register Here
- Lock In Your Discount, Call Us Now
Make sure all Calls To Action are button based, as this attracts 28% more clicks than text based links do.
Format and layout
The format and layout of successful email campaigns is very different to blogs and getting the design right is very important. The big difference is the key to emailing is brevity – keeping it below 200 words is recommended. When people open an email, they are not expecting to read a novel. Have a set objective behind your email campaign – why you are sending it and what you want it to achieve. Complex emails never perform as well as concise, single point emails.
Breaking the content up with white space, images, icons and buttons is imperative. A picture is worth a thousand words, therefore, selection of the right images is essential. However, also ensure that you are not using images with resolutions that are too high, as it makes the email a larger file size and can slow the load speed.
Ensuring your email marketing campaigns are optimised for mobile is a non-negotiable. Fifty four percent of emails are opened on smartphones, so half your audience is going to view your message on a screen that fits the size of their hand. If the email doesn’t display correctly, 71% will delete the email. Using responsive templates is a must for today’s email marketing.
Finally, email has to be served at the right time. There are a couple of different takes on what the right time is, depending on the campaign. It could be aligned to scheduled or triggered emails via automation, depending on where the recipient is in their customer journey.
It could also be the time of day or day of the week. For most industries, it is best to send on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and according to many studies, Tuesday is the best of the best. Mondays are usually too hectic for most business people, and for Fridays – well, there is a reason that #TGIF is so popular. However, always test and measure to find out which day gets you the best results.
In terms of the time of day, always aim for late morning. People are already set up and into the day. Emails at this time have better response rates.
Analyse your results
Keep a record of the results of each email campaign. Compare them to see what worked and what did not. You can also compare them to the Vision6 Metrics report which covers industry benchmarks and is updated monthly.
Tweaking is all about making small adjustments to gain better results. Planning your campaigns based on the points covered in this article will take the humble email from a ‘twerker’ to an optimised performance marketing and sales channel. Analyse results and review them in the planning stages of any new email campaign.