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Breathing Life Into Email Campaigns
Posted on April 16th 2014
According to the Google search, “email dead”, email has been dying since 2010. But the reality is, email is not dead and there are multiple stats to prove it:
• 91% of all US consumers still use email daily. (McKinsey)
• Emails prompt purchases at a rate of at least 3x of social media. (McKinsey)
• Average order value through email is 17% higher than social media. (McKinsey)
• 68% of companies say ROI on email is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. (Econsultancy)
• Revenue from email has increased proportionately by 28% in past year. (Adestra)
Clearly, email is very much alive for B2C companies, but people are certainly spending less and less time on email since there are so many other things like social media and mobile apps that are competing for consumers’ online attention. How can marketers revive their email marketing strategies to capture the elusive attention of their customers? Here are some helpful guidelines for designing an effective email marketing strategy:
1. Personalize the conversation
Ask any marketer if they think the “batch and blast” email marketing strategy works, and you’ll hear a resounding “NO”. Customers now expect highly personalized content, delivered at convenient times. If you don’t play by their rules, then your emails won’t be opened, or your customers may hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button. Personalization is easy to achieve as long as you have access to some consumer data such as first name, last name, age, life stage, birthday and past purchase or email campaign interaction data. Use these data points to segment your subscribers and to send special triggered campaigns such as birthday promos or “items you may be interested in” emails.
2. Consider the mobile experience
65% of emails get opened first on a mobile device (VentureBeat). Therefore, if you’re not optimizing your email templates for mobile and using responsive template design, then you’re in big trouble. Quick guidelines for designing for the mobile experience include using a legible font size that is appropriate for smaller screens, paying attention to your preheader, not stacking your links, and using a single column design. It also helps to choose an ESP that allows you to preview your emails by various mobile device so you can fully understand the end user experience.
3. A/B test everything
Which subject line, preheader, sender name, send time and body content generates the most opens, clicks or purchases? The only way to answer that question is to test it. When searching for inspiration for creating variations, it is a good idea to take a look at your own inbox. Which emails did you open, click, get you to make a purchase and why? Try to emulate the tactics used by the most successful emails. Some A/B testing variations could be changing the sender name to your CEO’s name, including your subscriber’s first name in the subject line, or changing the color and size of call-to-action buttons.
4. Focus on the entire journey
You can get all the details--subject line, sender name, preheader, send time, template, etc-- of your campaign just right, but that does not mean your email marketing is fully optimized. Email is really only the initial step in the conversion journey. Be sure to make email a no-brainer in leading your customers to the final destination-- the purchase. For example, make sure product images in an email link directly to the product purchase page, and that all call-to-actions buttons are pronounced and easy to follow.
5. Never stop learning
Email can be a very useful vehicle for gathering additional information about your customers. For example, you can collect customers’ birth dates through a progressive profiling email campaign by sending out a “Happy Birthday!” promo email to subscribers, even if it isn’t really their birthday. In the email copy, simply ask customers to input their correct birthday in their profiles to receive a gift on the actual day, while still honoring the original “faux birthday” promotion.
Do you have more tips for breathing life into your email campaigns? Share them in the comments section below!