Tricks for Taking Your Email Marketing Campaigns to the Next Level
While newer marketing tools often get more attention, email marketing remains one of the bread-and-butter practices of the industry due to its ability to produce highly targeted results. As with any other marketing method, constant adjustments and improvements are required to ensure that your campaigns will perform at optimal levels. If you’ve been feeling stuck due to low response rates or sub-par conversions, below are some tried-and-true email marketing strategies to help take your campaigns to the next level.
Segmentation is the process of dividing your email subscriber list into several different subgroups in order to increase the relevance of your messages to each particular segment of your audience. There are several different parameters you can use to help segment your list such as geography, demographics, email provider (e.g., Yahoo, Gmail, etc.), purchase history, clients versus prospects, open rates, etc. One of the most popular segmentation techniques is to divide your subscriber list by engagement. For example, if you notice that a certain portion of your subscribers haven’t clicked on any of your emails in over six months, they can be considered as “inactive,” which means that they may need to be targeted for a campaign to help reignite their interest.
Many top email marketers suggest that it would actually be better for you to politely ask your inactive subscribers to unsubscribe. Proponents of this strategy argue that by purging your list of the “tire kickers,” it will by default increase the open rates and click-through rates of your remaining subscribers, ultimately improving your conversion rates. You can start off by sending them an unobtrusive email just to find out “where their head is at”, so to speak. Ask them if they feel as though you send them too many emails, or some other similar question that takes the pressure off them and puts it on you. Gently remind them that they can unsubscribe at any time, but encourage those who are interested but may not have engaged in the past to reconsider before clicking the unsubscribe link. You may be surprised at how many subscribers decide to reengage once they have been faced with this unassuming ultimatum.
Another common segmentation method is to create a list of subscribers that either failed to completely fill out an online form or abandoned their shopping cart before completing a transaction on your website. This could help you to identify potential technical flaws, as well as give you an opportunity to send some type of reminder email that may encourage re-engagement.
Personalization can be a gold mine in terms of increasing your response rates. A recent study released by Experian Marketing Services revealed that personalized promotional emails have 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates on average than non-personalized mailings. Something as simple as including the recipient’s name in the subject line or at the beginning of the email can make all the difference in terms of getting your audience’s attention. If you’ve ever received a piece of direct mail addressed to “Resident,” you know how generic and unappealing a non-personalized communication sounds. This small extra step of inserting the name of your recipients into your mailings can dramatically increase the likelihood of engagement, and may significantly boost your conversion rates.
If you plan to communicate with your subscribers on any type of regular basis, it only makes sense to automate as much of the process as possible. This will help reduce the many repetitive tasks that are associated with conducting an email marketing campaign. By automating your mailings, you can prepare several messages at once and then send them out in succession according to a predetermined schedule.
This will help to establish consistency by alleviating potential scheduling errors and irregular mailings. Automation is heavily used by marketers to manage all aspects of email marketing including segmentation, lead scoring, building buyer profiles, campaign optimization and more. Automation helps you to manage and measure every aspect of your promotional efforts, so that you can continue increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of your campaigns. Popular email marketing software tools such as Constant Contact, MailChimp or Infusionsoft allow users to automate virtually every aspect of their promotional mailings. The majority of these tools also provide vital campaign data and statistics to help marketers determine how to best focus their efforts.
If you aren’t satisfied with the results you’re getting from your current email marketing campaigns, begin utilizing the strategies listed above to boost your marketing efforts. With tools such as segmentation, personalization and automation, you’ll position your campaigns for greater subscriber engagement and higher conversions.