Although some might argue that email marketing is being side-lined in favour of more modern ways of targeting customers, digital marketers have the results to show that this is in fact not the case.
Many B2C and B2B companies still find email marketing very effective and, in fact, according to Econsultancy, 66 percent of companies rate their email marketing campaigns as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in terms of return on investment.
The secret to achieving effective results is to keep on top of the latest methods and trends and apply what you glean to your own campaigns. Follow our guidelines to make the most of your email marketing.
1. Establish clear goals and objectives
As with all marketing activities, you can only really improve if you compare results from your email activity with your intended goals.
Using this approach, you can identify areas where you are underperforming and try to improve them.
As with everything in business, it is essential to establish clear goals and objectives to make sure that your campaigns are delivering the desired results.
Before you start a campaign, consider what it is you’re trying to achieve — do you want customers to return, to fulfil their abandoned basket or take advantage of a promotion?
2. Use the right measurements
In order to improve the efficiency of your campaigns you must measure their performance against other factors.
It is important to monitor the following statistics against factors such as the time of day, demographics of the recipients and their relationship with your business (for example, are the recipients repeat customers or people who have never heard of your company?):
- Open rate
- Number of opens
- Unsubscribe rate
- Click through rate
Compare the performances of different campaigns, paying particular attention to the subject line that gets the most opens, the email copy that gets the best engagement and the landing page that results in the most conversions.
3. Segment and target appropriately
Segmentation and targeting are often overlooked but they are key to delivering relevant and contextual messages to your target audience.
You might send out different campaigns based on the following:
- Relationship with your company
- Past purchase history
Failure to segment and customise your email campaigns to ensure they will be of the utmost relevance to the recipient will result in a lower level of response and success.
Non-segmented campaigns are a waste of time and resources.
4. Integrate with your overall communications strategy
Integrating your email campaigns with your other marketing initiatives is a key part of delivering a successful campaign.
You should be considering all of the following elements:
- Combining your email marketing with your social media strategy;
- Timing emails according to your customers’ purchasing habits;
- Sending out incomplete order reminders.
Building a relationship with your audience is at the heart of your sales objectives, so make sure that you continue the conversation on social media. Follow up with thank-you emails following purchases and send out relevant promotional material based on customers’ interests or past purchases.
Personalisation is key. All your emails should address the recipients by name and include as much relevant information as possible, such as suggestions made from purchase history.
Make sure your content and campaigns are reaching the relevant people. Adjust and segment your content accordingly to achieve this.
Audiences now expect emails to be personalised and relevant to them; otherwise they simply will not read them.
6. Be careful with the creative and copywriting aspects
If at a first glance you fail to engage your reader, your email is likely to end up in the trash without a second thought.
Make sure your copy and layout are of the highest quality. This is crucial for engaging and encouraging your audience to take action.
As well as providing relevant content, make sure your email addresses your recipients’ needs and includes a clear call to action.
Your subject line, copy and call to action all need to compel your audience to follow through to your site and make a purchase.
7. Test and optimise
It is important to have a flexible approach to your email marketing. Not only at the beginning of a campaign, when you need to work out the optimal times to send your emails and which content gets the best response rate, but also as time goes on — you must keep abreast of new market trends so that you remain relevant.
Discovering the right time for your target audience requires a degree of trial and error. However sometime mid-week and after lunchtime generally seems to work best for most businesses.
It may be that different segments respond better at different times and you should optimise your campaign for this.
Remember to account for time differences globally for your international customers.
The IRP can help with your email campaigns. Talk to your IRP Consultant about how you can optimise this channel to achieve better online results.