5 Top Tips: Email marketing
In this post I provide my five top tips to get the most from your email marketing campaigns.
Some may see email as a thing of the past, a dying marketing technique, but the ability to deliver a highly relevant piece of marketing content straight to your loyal customers should not be overlooked.
- Get the email address!
The first step in email marketing has to be collect and grow your email database. Without email addresses you simply can’t send emails!
Make sure you have an email subscription signup form on your website. Place it in a prominent position so users can easily see it and access it. If you are able to offer some form of incentive for people to signup, e.g. a new customer discount code or a whitepaper, then do so. It will give the visitor a reason to subscribe. Another very powerful tool to increase sign ups is to let the user know what they can expect from subscribing, whether that’s a monthly newsletter, offers, whitepapers and/or general industry news.
At this stage, the most important thing to get is an email address, so you should keep the initial signup process incredibly simple. If your initial signup form has lots of fields, the conversion rate will reduce dramatically.
- Gather further customer info
Once you’ve got a list of email addresses you can then start to gather further customer information to help personalise your campaigns, e.g. name, gender, their birthday, interests, favourite colour, inside leg measurement, favourite band… whatever you think will help in your marketing. The more relevant information you collect, the more highly targeted your email campaigns can be. Google forms is a great free tool to create surveys to gather customer data. Again, it will help response rate if you add an incentive for your users to complete the form.
- Personalisation and relevance
For me, relevance is the biggest key to a successful email. If you’ve done your homework by gathering useful customer data, then you know who your customer is and what they’re interested in; you can send your customers more valuable emails that they’ll want to open, read and interact with.
Using the data you have collected you can segment your databases into relevant groups (e.g. men, aged 18-24, who live in England and like Premier League football) and tailor your email content accordingly. In our experience this is where brands see a big improvement in performance.
- Split test
Split testing, sending different test versions of an email to small sections of your database, will give you a much better chance of improving results when you come to issue the best performing email to the bulk of your list.
A subject line is the first thing potential customers see so it needs to grab them and make them want to open your email. In order to optimise your subject lines for every campaign, before you do a full send, trial three different subject lines to a small segment of your database (i.e. send each subject line to three separate groups each containing 10% of your total list) then see which subject line gets the highest open rate. Once you’ve got this information, use the most successful subject line on your email to the rest of your database. Keep a log of all your subject lines and their conversion rates to help inform future decisions.
I’d also recommend testing different times of day to send your email. For example, you could send your email to 50% of your database on a Wednesday at 2pm and send to the remaining 50% on a Thursday at 2pm to see which day works best. Continue testing until you’ve tested every day of the week, then see which day had the best open and click through rates. Once you’ve decided the best day, you can run a similar test with different times of day. You can then use all of these learnings to inform future sends.
By subscribing to your emails, your visitor has already indicated that they are engaged with your brand. At this point it’s important to strike while the iron’s hot! A well-worded automatic welcome email can push the user back onto your site and onto the pages you specifically want them to visit. According to Entrepreneur, welcome emails get 320% more revenue than promotional emails, an 86% uplift in unique open rate, and a 196% lift in the unique click rate.
Automation can also allow you to make a personal connection with your subscribers. For example, if you know their date of birth, send them a happy birthday email with a discount code on their special day.
When you have a good sized database (i.e. 1,000+ subscribers) don’t just blanket send an email. If you take the time to collect, analyse and use subscriber information to create highly relevant email campaigns, your open and click through rates will improve dramatically.
CandidSky Email Marketing
We offer a full email marketing service, from design and build of email templates through to managing regular email campaigns and providing strategy and consultancy. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 956 8963 for more info.