With all the speculation about artificial intelligence, virtual reality and chatbots, it seems like email marketing is a past strategy. However, this digital tool is still going strong today, and possibly can be the best strategy for your business. Do not believe us? Here is some data:
- This tool is continuing to be beneficial to marketers by providing some of the greatest ROIs of any digital channel.
- And this year, DMA Email Benchmarking Report has highlighted how email marketing has been revived after the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Email marketing is a great low-cost and direct tool and an effective way of generating more leads, build relationships with a specific target and convert them into customers. In this article, we will explore some of the best email marketing practices.
Segmentation and targeting
Although sending a generic email to an entire database may work occasionally, the probability of achieving greater conversions are highest when creating customized content for each customer segment. Segments make it easier to know what content you should create to make your subscribers open and engage with your email campaigns. As Neil Patel describes it, “segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.”
There are several ways to segment subscribers - here are a few examples and possible content for each group:
- New subscribers: you could send this group a welcome email.
- Open rate: reward your more engaged subscribers with a special offer just for them.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment: remind who put items in their cart that they have not checked out yet.
By dividing your list into different targeted groups, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication.
Personalise your emails
Personalization is not necessarily a new topic in digital marketing and it’s becoming increasingly important for email programs. If your readers feel like you are talking specifically to them and that the content is tailored for them when they open your emails, this will result in higher conversion and engagement rates.
To personalise your emails, you must first consider what user data you have. For example, if you have your subscriber’s first name, you could include it in the email’s subject line or the greeting.
Consider timing and frequency
Email marketing can be a powerful tool, but that does not necessarily mean that increasing your sending frequency will make your communication more effective. It is quite the opposite actually: sending too many emails will make your recipients feel overwhelmed and can result in them unsubscribing, or worse, mark your emails as spam. Our advice is to start slow and observe how your audience responds to your communications and sending frequency. Also, keep in mind that not sending enough emails could lead to a designated target, so it is all about finding the right balance for your mailing list.
As for the best period to send your emails, according to a study by GetResponse, the best open and click-through rates are achieved between 10 am – 1 pm.
Identify metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)
To get the best results, you should monitor and track the performance of your emails to identify areas that need improvement and the overall success of the campaign.
Here are the metrics and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) you should be paying attention to:
- Open rate: percentage of recipients who opened your email once it reached their inbox. If your open rates are not as good as you would like, consider changing your subject lines or the timing of your emails.
- CTR (Click-through rate): percentage of recipients who clicked on any of the links of the email. This allows you to calculate the performance of your CTAs (call to action).
- Conversion rate: percentage of recipients who clicked on any of the links of the email and completed a desired action (purchased a product, for example). It is one of the most important success indicators, as it is directly linked to the goal of your campaign.
- Overall ROI: the ratio of the total revenue by the total spend. This metric is essential as it shows the value of the email marketing campaign through real, tangible results (leads generated, actual revenue).
- Unsubscribe rate: percentage of recipients who opted out of your subscribers' list once they receive your email.
Being aware and analysing your email marketing tracking metrics, you will make better decisions that are sure to positively impact your business's strategy, identify underlying issues, act and improve over time.
Testing, testing, testing
It is considered best practice to test your content before sending a campaign to avoid sending emails with missing data or broken links.
When you pay attention to the open and click-through rates of your email campaigns, you will understand what is working and what is not in capturing the attention of your targeted segment and make them do a specific action. A way of increasing those rates is to conduct A/B tests, which consists in splitting the recipient list into 2 different groups and sending an email with a variation to each group. Numerous elements can be tested: subject lines, content, call to action (CTA), send times or different templates.
Email marketing is not dead; in fact, it remains almost as, if not more powerful than, other digital marketing channels. You should use this powerful tool to connect with your leads or build upon an existing relationship with your subscribers by providing relevant and valuable information that will help them take action and reach your goals.
Have other tips for improving email marketing campaigns or strategies? Share your thoughts and tell us all about your experience!
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