Best Email Marketing Practices
By Egle Jascenko
‘Email marketing is one of the most powerful elements in your digital marketing toolbox’ – Damian Ryan, Author of Understanding Digital Marketing.
There was a survey conducted in 2014, which states that 68% of companies are rating email as a good or excellent investment, a number that has remained relatively constant for the consecutive three years. A drop of 12% for organic search in 2012 resulted in email being on the top of the list in 2014.
As we see, email marketing can deliver excellent return on investment (ROI). For this to happen you need to consider applying right email marketing practices to your strategy.
Your Personal Inbox
Let’s think of your own inbox for a moment. Remember last time you’ve received an email but never opened it? Deleted it without even reading it? Unsubscribed from the mailing list? As you know, this happens quite a lot and this is what we don’t want happening with emails we send. Email marketing can be a tricky field to navigate and we came up with this best email marketing practices guide which we hope will help your business to not get lost on the track.
Some Best Email Marketing Practices
1. Analyze and Adapt
‘Customers relationship management (CRM) is an approach to building and sustaining long-term business with customers.’ – Dave Chaffey, E-Business & E-Commerce Management: Strategy, Implementation and Practice.
It is a concept that can be used in many different ways, for many different purposes. Like increasing number of leads that convert to end business or managing your existing customer list more effectively.
CRM keeps records of customer base and purchasing behaviors. Having all this data, you can segment lists, which allows you to develop relevant and highly targeted campaign that is much more likely to convert. These highly targeted campaigns will keep your customer happier and will assist in maintaining ongoing relationships with them.
Ask customer the right questions. For example, when they are signing in to your website, you can ask the reason why they are signing in, what information they would like to receive, what their interests are. This could help you deliver highly targeted campain, keeping the customer more satisfied and leaving better impression about your brand.
Building customer personas is another great way to stay on top of your personalized content strategy helping you deliver best experience and service. This could be done by looking in the website behavioral data and download history. See what is the aim of the campaign and to who it may benefit most according to the data obtained.
Make use of location and time to get those emails delivered at the optimal hour. Also, set up automated behavioral triggers. For example, if customer hasn’t got on your page for a particular amount of time. It works as gentle reminder encouraging people to visit your site again.
Make customer feel like a real human being is communicating with them. No need to say people are more likely to respond to a person than a machine. Introduce yourself as a company’s employee instead of only stating company’s name.
Find more tips and some case studies in Kissmetrics blog: 6 Email Personalization Techniques That Go Beyond a Name
3. Review your lists
Another great practice is cleaning your monthly newsletter lists on an ongoing basis and removing recipients who aren’t checking your mail. For example, if recipient hasn’t opened your emails for last three months it is unlikely these emails are wanted. It’s important to take action here in order to not overload ones inbox with unwanted mail. Failing to do so may result in your brand being associated with spam and people leaving your list for good.
Fresh example of Hubspot who has deliberately unsubscribed 250K of accounts from their marketing blog recently referring to what’s called Graymail, explaining that ‘Graymail is technically opted in to receive but isn’t really wanted’. This sort of mail is unlikely to be engaged with. It shows that as much as it could be tempting to keep our list size growing, it is more important to clear our database out of clutter.
Read the full article here: Why We Unsubscribed 250K People From HubSpot’s Marketing Blog & Started Sending Less Email
4. Always clearly identify yourself
If your brand has been delivering a great email marketing campaign, consistent emails, original and catchy content, when the time comes and consumers needs a product or service you supply, your brand springs to their mind. Clearly identifying your brand keeps your business in front of a consumer.
5. Add value
People will open your email if they are confident they will find something of value. Whether it’s an informing content, a promotion code, a link directing them to an exclusive sale’s page – these are only few examples delivering value to customer.
6. Test your campaigns
Creating A and B format emails, sending them out and monitoring results could provide you with valuable information what works best. Usually Email campaign softwares like Campaign Monitor or MailChimp has built-in tools for A/B testing.
The video below explains about more advanced Autonomous A/B Testing that could drive your results even further:
7. Optimize your emails for mobile devices users
Number of mobile users is only rising – more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets, so checking emails on the move as well. According to online statistics portal Statista there was 4.3 billion mobile phone users worldwide in 2013 and this number is predicted to grow up to 5.1 billion by 2017.
Clearly, you must keep mobile users in mind. Ask yourself: will customer see your catchy phrase or an entire subject line straight away? Will it not be cut out by the screen simply being too small?
Great example of good email marketing I found in my personal inbox. See the screenshot of my own mobile device below:
- Brand name is clear to see.
- Value easily found.
- Key message doesn’t get cut out by smaller screen dimensions.
E-mail marketing is very powerful and cost efficient medium. It can assist in your products and services reaching broader audience, raising brand awareness at the same time. And even if you don’t have anything specific to market it could still benefit in maintaining consumers engagement, strengthening brand perception and adding credibility to your business.
We hope these tips on Best Email Marketing Practices will help you in your Digital Marketing journey.