As you keep an eye on your 2020 disaster bingo card to win the office pool, you are noticing that your customers don’t open your emails like they used to. ‘Is it me?’, you think to yourself. It’s not you personally but it is your poor email campaign. Like our diet, we have neglected our email marketing discipline during the pandemic. Everyone is online these days and you should be getting more sales, opens, clicks and customers signing up for your email. Give them a reason to keep your brand in play and give them something to look forward to and even share. Below I will share with you 7 tips to improve your email marketing.
Tip 1 – Measure It
My old marketing professor from Portland State University, Lee Buddress, beat into our heads that ‘if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ Those words from the early 90s are as relevant today as they were then. A list of email marketing metrics is listed below.
Sure, you send out emails but are you really tracking your stats? Usually email is another marketing tactic someone on the team is responsible for in addition to the 10 other important items. This means their eye is off the ball and it’s time to start tracking what you’re doing. Already measuring your email? Then hopefully one of the other tips is worthy of your time to read this blog post.
Tip 2 – Make it Personal
Be sure to personalize your emails by using the recipients first name. ‘Dear Customer’ never worked but is still being used in direct mail companies (be kind, recycle). This one change can drive significant revenue for your company. Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transactional rates compared to non-personalized emails. When you look at the data, tip 1, personalized emails generate over 50% of revenue – assuming you’re selling something. Want to make it more personal? Segment your lists by content they click on and deliver dynamic content to the appropriate audiences.
Amazon grew their business by suggesting things to buy based on your personal buying history. Make it personal and your company will benefit.
Tip 3 – Improve CTA
Quit boring us with your ‘shop now’ or generic ‘buy now’ button. Who cares? Your customer wants to buy something specific, something unique or something on sale so reward them accordingly. Don’t hide your call-to-action make it stand out in your email. I know this sounds like common sense, but most email marketers follow a formula, don’t take the time and miss the details. Would you click on it? Don’t know what your customers will click on? Post a pole on Twitter to get some quick but unscientific information to inform your decision.
Tip 4 – Grow Your Email List
Your customers should be submitting their emails to you to receive emails about the content they want from your company or organization. Are you making it easy for non-customers to sign-up for your email list? This can be as simple as adding a form to your website footer, adding email sign-up to your social media posts and provide exclusive content only available via email. A word of caution be sure you deliver on the promises you make of exclusive content or they will unsubscribe.
How to Build Your Email List
- Create a new lead generation offer: Develop a free eBook or whitepaper and host it on a landing page asking for email address to download content.
- Add a CTA to the top of your Facebook business page: Link to a landing page that requires an email address for access to unique content
- Link to offers across your website that will capture email sign-ups: Make subscribing to your newsletter and other valuable content easy with clear CTA
- Your email list will naturally degrade approximately 22.5% each year
Tip 5 – Write Good Preheader Copy
If this is Greek to you, let me explain. The graphic to the right from CampaignMonitor shows what a mobile email looks like with and without preheader copy.
This copy is usually ignored due to time constraints or other challenge for the person managing the email marketing program. Simply put, the better the preheader copy, the better your open rate.
Tip 6 – Keep Subject Line Short and Simple
With over 50% of emails being opened on mobile, you have to keep the email subject line short to get it opened. Being concise isn’t the only consideration, the subject line has to be compelling and get their attention to want to click. Using mobile friendly headlines include using emojis, numbers, symbols and action words.
Tip 7 – Always Be Testing
The key to a successful email marketing program is continual improvement. Continual improvement cannot be achieved unless you test, test and test. Test your subject lines, test your preheader copy, test your CTAs and keep a detailed measurement (Tip 1) of your results over time. This will help you refine and improve your email marketing to keep your customers engaged, opening and clicking on your emails.
Email Marketing Metrics
Open Rate: Your subject line will drive a higher open rate for your email marketing campaign. If the subject line is relevant, not spammy and piques the recipients’ interest then you have a winner. An open rate between 20 – 25% means you have an effective email strategy. If the email open rate is 5% – 10% then you need to examine your program and find areas to improve.
Repeat Open Rate: Wondering if a prospect is hot or cold? Look to the number of times they opened your email and you got a hot lead there my friend. They found the email valuable, kept engaging with it and clearly experienced something they found valuable to them.
Link Clicks: This goes right along with repeat open rate. Someone opened your email, now what? Tracking clicks within your email indicates they are interested in your content. Whether it is a bundled product offer, a short video (spoiler alert, videos get the most clicks) or an article, measuring the link clicks will inform you about which content, offers, etc. perform best for your audience so you can replicate that success.
Click Through Rate: Email marketers love to brag about their statistics. Because email marketing is extremely measurable, it is important to measure the performance of your email campaign and your CTR can give you a quick indication if your campaign is performing. What is a click through rate? Your email click through rate is determined by the number of email subscribers that have clicked on at least one link in your email. To calculate the CTR, take the number of recipients that have clicked on your email campaign and divide that with the number of emails you have sent.
Unsubscribes: No one likes rejection but unfortunately that is part of email marketing. Simply put, the people you are sending emails to are asking to be removed from your list and not receive future emails. If you have a high rate of unsubscribes then you need to examine your email strategy because your content is not a match, subject line is not performing, and the send time may be way off.
Conversions: Typical email marketing ROI is 122%. What is the ROI of your out-of-home, radio, TV or print advertising? Most likely you will not be able to measure the ROI of those traditional advertising channels like you can email marketing. How many people are downloading your offer or buying product from your email? Those are the conversions that drive sales and allow you to continue to improve your email marketing program.
Total Opens vs. Unique Opens: What you measure is as important as how you measure the effectiveness of your email marketing program. If someone opens your email more than once it may mean that the send time was not optimal. However, it can also mean that your content was so valuable they kept going back to read it. If you have more opens from one recipient, then you have a good lead there to follow up with.
Opening Time: Knowing the time when an email recipient reads your email will help you improve your email marketing program. At Anvil we always recommend to test, test and then test some more. Testing the time and day you send your email will help you build a more effective and profitable email marketing program.
Bounce Rate: Everyone always asks, what is a bounce rate? The official definition is the percentage of email addresses in your email list that didn’t receive your email because it was returned to the server. Which is why your list should only include opted in subscribers. List rental is risky and will increase your bounce rate because the data is aging and not always scrubbed when you rent.