7 Ways To Optimize Your Email Marketing Strategy
There’s a rumor spreading like wildfire in the marketing industry.
People keep saying that email is dead. Some individuals believe it’s time to give up and to focus on other channels.
Before you go delete your email list, you may want to check out the facts about email marketing. Research shows that “email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020.” Moreover, “86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly.”
Email isn’t dead, but you may need to revive your outdated techniques. Below are seven powerful strategies to ignite your email marketing.
1. Build a Targeted List
When running a business, it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of serving everyone. Your first instinct is to cast a wide net and get as many people as possible focused on your brand.
Well, in email marketing, that strategy doesn’t work. Signing up random consumers to receive your emails will annoy them, and you won’t convert them into paying customers.
Instead, you want to build a targeted list of interested buyers. These are the consumers who visit on your website or inquire about your upcoming sales event. For instance, you can set up a landing page and ask visitors for their email addresses in exchange for a 10% coupon.
Developing a targeted list is an ongoing process, so keep finding new consumers. Entrepreneur contributor Kimanzi Constable offers the following advice: “Never stop growing your list. Whether you have an email list of 50 people or 500,000, always work on growing your list. People will come and go, so adding new names is vital to keeping your email list healthy.”
2. Deliver at Optimal Times
Businesses often overlook when to send emails. They get so bogged down with what to send that they forget about the best day and time to deliver their messages.
Email timing will vary across industries. You’ll also want to consider the person receiving your emails. Is it a stay-at-home mom? The mornings might not work well since she is preparing her kids for school. Or is it the full-time corporate trainer? Late afternoons may interfere with his commute home.
The day of the week also plays an integral role in delivering your message at the right time. If your customers stay busy on Mondays, you may want to wait until Tuesdays to tell them about your promotions.
And don’t forget about holidays. Subscribers may be less likely to open your emails during Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day. Try different days and times to find what works for your customers.
3. Write Compelling Subject Lines
An effective email campaign begins with the subject line. Stuffed in between a bunch of other messages, your email must stand out from the crowd to gain the subscriber’s attention.
You’ll want to keep your subject line short. As people skim their inboxes, they don’t have time to read your lengthy subject line. So, aim for 50 characters or less.
Experiment with the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) technique. People hate feeling left out. Use words like, ‘limited-time offer’ and ‘only a few left,’ to spark curiosity.
A numbered list also works well to boost open rates. Miranda Paquet, content manager at Constant Contact, provides a suggestion: “People love lists because they allow us to make sense of big, complicated concepts through a series of smaller parts. Use a list in your subject line as a way to let your readers know your content is well organized and easily digestible.”
4. Send Segmented Campaigns
When you’re shopping for clothes, it can be difficult to find the right size. Some brands even attempt to sell you one-size-fits-all clothing, which never fits every body type.
In a similar way, brands cut corners by sending mass emails to all their customers. That means basketball fans are receiving promotional emails about the latest sale on golf balls. It only confuses the buyer.
Consumers dislike irrelevant emails, and according to the Radicati Group, 17.3% of these emails get classified as spam.
Segmentation is the answer to your mass email nightmares. By segmenting subscribers, you have the opportunity to send tailored content that fits your customer’s interests. No more delivering wine coupons to your beer clientele.
Still not convinced? Check out the results of segmented campaigns versus non-segmented campaigns below.
5. Personalize Your Emails
No one likes receiving boring, generic emails. When they arrive in your inbox, you ignore them immediately.
Consumers desire customized messages that center around their needs. Plus, a study found that personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates.
That’s why email personalization is so important. Relevant messages build a strong bond between the customer and the brand.
“A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy,” writes Kevan Lee, director of marketing at Buffer.
Go beyond stating the first name of the subscriber. You can personalize emails by adding content specific to the location of the recipient.
Or insert product recommendations based on the customer’s last purchase. Adding memorable email designs, like the colors matching the subscriber’s favorite sports team, also can provide a personal touch.
6. Take Advantage of Automation
Email marketing, like any business function, can become time-consuming for your team. You’re responsible for writing the copy, designing the layout, and selecting your target audience. It’s a process that demands plenty of effort.
Back in the day, businesses literally had to send one email at a time. Now, with the help of marketing automation, your team can not only send a single message to thousands of subscribers with one click of a button, but you also can schedule emails weeks and months in advance.
Email marketing and automation is an effective combination to serve your audience better. The image above maps out how the process works. You can create delays between your emails and trigger actions based on the subscriber’s behavior.
7. Monitor Your Metrics
Every email marketing strategy needs metrics. Knowing the effectiveness of your campaigns ensures that you’re meeting company goals.
But what metrics should you rely on?
The Direct Marketing Association reports that the four most important email marketing metrics are click-through rate, conversion rate, open rate, and ROI. These metrics give you a comprehensive view of your email campaigns and help you make proactive business decisions.
Let’s say your open rates drop suddenly. Then, you know it’s time to try new subject lines. And if your click-through rates increase for a specific email, you’re aware that subscribers enjoy the content.
Pay attention to your bounce rates, too. Sending emails to a list of 10,000 subscribers doesn’t help if no one is receiving your messages. Email deliverability is a key factor for email service providers. If your bounce rate is too high, the provider may remove you from the platform.
Level Up Your Email Marketing
Move past the rumor mill. Email marketing is alive and well. You just need to implement new strategies to earn more revenue.
Start by building a targeted list that includes your ideal customer. Compose eye-catching subject lines to entice recipients to read your messages. And don’t forget to personalize emails to fit your customers’ needs and interests.
Get better results. Fine-tune your email marketing plan.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.