Building a successful email marketing strategy isn’t difficult but there are many factors to keep in mind. Identifying the options and best practices of email automation is the first step to turning a dull campaign into a stellar one.
You may be having trouble getting subscribers, or maybe you have poor conversion rates. The problem is likely with your approach, whether it be the time of day or week you send your emails, or the subject line you chose. Chances are, you also aren’t using your automation tools to the best of their abilities, but fear not! Keep reading to learn how you can improve your email marketing campaign, boost sales and increase customer relations.
1. Subject Line Effectiveness
A lot of research has been done on this one little thing, the all-important Subject Line. Like the title of a book, it has to immediately grab the attention of your audience and make them want to explore the contents. So, what has all the research determined about the perfect subject line?
- Emails with “You” in the subject line are opened less often, while emails with “Free” in the subject line are opened 10% more often. Give incentive without false personalization.
- Subject lines with fewer than 10 characters have the highest open rates, not least of all because they can be displayed on mobile devices. Go no higher than 50-60 characters.
- Use your brand name, but don’t make the subject line an advertisement. People want to open mail from favorite brands, but don’t like blatant advertisement.
- Use brackets or exclamation points in good taste to set your subject line apart.
2. Mobile-Friendly Emails and Landing Pages
You may not be aware that over 40% of your subscribers read the majority of their email on mobile devices, with some even higher estimates. That is a huge percentage of your subscriber base lost if your emails don’t look or function right on mobile devices. Use tools like Mailrelay email marketing that make it easy to design your campaign for phones and tablets.
The landing pages and other links in your emails must be mobile-friendly, too. It won’t do you any good if someone clicks through your email just to reach an unreadable landing page.
3. Sending at the Right Time
As you can imagine, there has also been extensive research into the effectiveness of emails sent at different times during the day. It’s understandable that some times may be more popular than others, as work, eat and sleep hours are fairly standard, but the results may surprise you.
Did you know that if an email remains in someone’s inbox over 24 hours, the open rate drops below 1%? Sending your email at the right time of day for your customers is essential to them ever seeing it, so when is the best time?
Between 12 PM and 6 PM, open rates are at their height. After 6 PM and until 12 PM the next day, open rates universally fall well below 5%. The difference between open rates between days of the week do not vary greatly, but Tuesday wins by a nose.
This may not be the case for your subscribers, so be sure to keep track of your success sending at different times during the day and week, and be smart about the lifestyles your subscribers are likely to have and how that will impact their email habits.
4. Strong Segmentation
Segmentation refers to organizing your contacts based on a list of specifications. You can segment your subscribers based on demographic information, customer history, when and why they subscribed, or any other determination you choose. Segmentation is an important step to sending truly personalized content that subscribers will relate to and want to open.
Use segmentation to send targeted campaigns based on geographic region or previous purchases. Segmentation is also a great way to get an idea of “your customer,” who you appeal to most and other segments which have potential. Look for opportunities to gain more information about your customers (with their permission) to create stronger segments in your campaign.
Most email automation tools offer this feature. They make it easy to optimize your segmentation approach.
5. Split Test and Analyze
Another tool frequently offered by email marketing tools is A/B or split testing, as well as analytic reports. Split testing provides the best opportunity you could ask for to do in-house marketing tests on your existing subscribers. Test multiple forms of your promotion, newsletter or even your Welcome email to see which ones are successful, and why others don’t work.
These programs can only provide you with the information and statistics. It’s up to you to use this information to craft a better, more successful campaign. Split test everything from subject lines, landing page links and templates- there’s never a detail too small to improve.
6. Focus on Inactive Subscribers
Don’t be ashamed if you have a lot of inactive subscribers; it’s a common struggle for businesses large and small with an average inactivity of a stunning 63%. To reach this large portion of your existing contact list, send personalized emails with a clear message that you’d like to reconnect.
You may have experienced this sort of email yourself. A company sends an email to an inactive member with a subject line like “We Miss You” or “Come see what’s new!” The content may refer to one of their last purchases or a known preference. It will also offer incentive to revisit your website, start reading your newsletters or any object you may have. With that foundation, you can start converting inactive subscribers to loyal customers.
Think of your objective before developing your re-activity campaign. Do you want to get a sale or simply remind them to open your emails? You could take it a step further and encourage them to follow you elsewhere, like on social media, to give them another option. Finally, what is most enticing to your subscribers, especially those who have become disinterested, to be used as proper incentive.
7. Keep Your Contact List Updated
A high bounce-back rate or overwhelming unopened emails may indicate that your contact list is woefully out of date. 30% of consumers change their email annually, which results in a lot of wasted time and energy sent to abandoned inboxes.
Update your list biannually to ensure you’re not wasting your efforts. Add “Unsubscribe” options in your emails to inactive subscribers to help streamline this process.
You’re on the right track
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to get your email campaign off the ground, but it will take an effort to combine excellent content with statistic solutions. Staying organized is made easy with automation tools, so take advantage of all the features made available to you.
Remember, the easiest way to cater to your audience is to ask them! Request feedback often to establish open communication and gain invaluable insights into how you’re doing and how you could improve.