I hope that by now you have a good idea of how to setup your own email platform and have started playing around with different templates.
In today’s lesson we’re going to explore how we can become email marketing ninjas – which means sending the right message to the right person, at the right time; ensuring recipients take the action we want them to make.
When it comes to spend vs. return on investment, it’s no secret that email marketing is the best bang for buck.
Done right and email can become the best tactic in your marketing arsenal, so below are four strategies to make it as effective as possible.
Strategy #1: Segment Your Data
As I already mentioned, the key to a good email campaign is sending the right message to the right person, at the right time.
The best way we can do this is by segmenting our data to understand exactly who we’re talking to and what their interests are.
Here are 4 quick ways to segment your data and customise your email messages:
- Geographic Location – By using Campaign Monitor, you can get a report of what location the user opened the email. Use this data to your advantage. If you’re in the retail business and you have stores around Australia, then this is even more important. Targeted messages and events can increase engagement substantially.
- Gender – Again, if you’re in retail and selling products to all sexes, then you need to be sending different emails per gender. You should test having a different tone in your message and learn what works best.
- Age – Let’s face it, people of different ages speak very different languages. What a 21-year old is interested compared to that of 40-year old can be very different things. Even the products you sell to each age bracket will often vary because of interests. Again, it’s important to test the language and gauge what works.
- Interests – This is broad but understanding your lists’ interests can help you send more direct messaging. For example, if you were sending an email for a shoe brand that sells runners and casual shoes, your database could still have varying interests including walking, running (marathons, sprinting), gym-goers or yoga. Understanding what interests your database can help you target your messaging. In fact, it could also help you to plan your stock purchasing for the future as well!
In summary, email segmentation will get results.
Try a number of segmentation strategies, test and use the ones that gets you the best results. Then do it again!
Strategy #2: A/B Testing
With the aim of improving conversion rates and making more sales, A/B testing is crucial to getting results. A/B tests refer to when you run two versions of an email (or web page) to see which performs better.
The one that gives better results wins.
To set up a successful A/B campaign you will need a good database size. I would recommend anywhere over 5,000 emails.
However, if you don’t have 5,000 emails then don’t worry; you can always take this same approach to testing two whole email campaigns.
TIP: It’s important to test one thing at a time and not ten things at once.
So, what should you be testing?
- Call to Actions: Such as “Buy Now” vs. “Click Here”
- Subject Lines: Personalised vs. non-personalised, specials on specific products vs. categories
- To include or not to include testimonials
- Layout of the message: One column vs. two columns
- Personalisation: “Hello Michael!” vs. “Hey there!”
- Body text: Length of copy vs. mostly images
Different tests can work for different metrics, for example:
- Low open rates will relate to the subject line or time of day the email is sent
- Click through rates will relate to call to actions or body copy
Test as many as you can and see which works. Just always make sure you’re comparing your metrics and making improvements as a result.
Strategy #3: Optimisation for Mobile
If your email isn’t optimised for mobile, then you need to act quickly.
Over the past few years, email opens on mobile have exploded.
At the moment they are around 45% of all email opens. Not only are mobile opens on the rise, but desktop opens have also decreased over the last few years.
It’s important to note that every audience is different, so it’s important to go into your email analytics to see which devices your own database prefers. You should ensure that your testing and optimisation efforts are focused on the devices a majority of your subscribers are using to read your emails.
Here are a list of mobile email best practices:
- Large Fonts – By default, the iPhone will increase any font below 13px, but as a minimum, I would use 14px for body text and 22px for headlines
- Streamline Your Content – On mobile especially; the shorter your copy, the easier it is for people to scroll
- Single Column Layouts – Although many “desktop” newsletters make use of multiple columns, a mobile friendly layout will only ever have one column
- Large Buttons – Your CTA buttons need to be touch-friendly
Strategy #4: How to Avoid the SPAM Folder
When sending email campaigns, you need to avoid the dreaded SPAM folder. Most people don’t check their SPAM or junk folders, so it’s unlikely your material is even getting noticed, let alone read.
Here are 8 tips to help you avoid SPAM folders:
- Avoid Buying Lists – Often these lists are littered with fake emails, or emails that never gave consent to use their address. These are the email addresses that are likely to mark your email as SPAM, which will in-turn add a strike against your domain
- Review Your Content – SPAM filters are getting smarter these days, and have a list of “keywords” that can identify your email as SPAM. These include words such as “Free”, “Buy” and “Promo”. Ensure you have a good image-to-text ratio, include links to credible websites and make sure your images are hosted within your email software and not linked to a dodgy external URL.
- Certify Your Domain – If you have a dedicated IP address you can get your domain certified with a company called Return Path
- Ask Subscribers to “Whitelist” Your Emails – If you send a “Welcome” email when someone subscribes, simply ask them to add your email address to their address book
- Tag Images – use the “image alt” tag to put in a description of the image
By applying these four strategies to your own email campaigns, we hope you see an increase in the number of recipients who open and click-through to your website.
The next part in our course will focus on measuring the results of your campaign.