Whether you’re a retail store or B2B solution, getting your email marketing strategy right can be one of your greatest sales and engagement drivers. In fact, a recent report by Validity Inc. found there is a direct correlation between email marketing and business’ bottom-lines — essentially as your email numbers improve, so does revenue.
The good news is, what separates an average email marketing program from an outstanding one can be pretty simple.
Apply a customer-focused lens
Always view email through the eyes of your customers and clients to critically assess whether they will find the communication valuable. Effective marketers do this each time they craft an email — their emails are articulate, to the point, and deliver compelling and relevant offers.
Practice good subscriber list hygiene
The average email list churns at between 25 per cent to 33 per cent every year. If you stop maintaining your subscriber list, expect your response rates to plummet. Always honour opt-out requests, remove bounced addresses and spam complaints, and add new email addresses immediately. Understand your subscribers’ preferences, such as when they read emails and which device they use, so you can optimise accordingly.
Create a punchy subject line.
Given 47% of recipients decide whether they will open an email based on the subject line alone (Invesp, 2016), give them a snappy one-liner and a big part of your job is done. Time-poor subscribers want clear and informative subject lines that help them to quickly ascertain whether the content is relevant to them. Don’t leave subscribers guessing about the contents of the email, say it how it is, and make it compelling. Also remember to make full use of your pre-header text to complement the subject line. Look back at previous email campaigns to see which phrases and words resulted in the highest open rates and use these again.
Offer value to get good data
Given the average subscriber lifetime value is approximately A$70 (Data and Marketing Association, 2019), maintaining and growing your subscriber base makes good commercial sense. Nearly 50 pr cent of consumers are known as ‘data pragmatists’, meaning they will provide primary email addresses and other key data if they feel the value they will receive in return is a fair exchange for this information. Do note however, value to subscribers doesn’t always need to be a monetary saving such as a discount or a freebie. Subscribers perceive value in numerous ways, and also see value in other communications like news, event invitations, trend pieces, gift guides and how-to articles.
Timing is everything
Sadly, there isn’t a magic time to send emails and ensure they’ll be read, the ‘right’ time depends on your audience and their habits. For gyms, it may be Monday morning after people have overindulged and are feeling a little guilty, whereas for retail stores it might be Thursday’s when people are thinking about what they need for the weekend ahead. The best strategy is to try sending emails at a variety of different times including mornings, evenings, weekdays and weekends, and to monitor these times against open rates and conversions to learn the most strategic times to do send-outs for your business.
Know the competition
Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing as a complementary activity to your own program testing. Be it through third-party technology or as a subscriber, by keeping tabs on the competition you can ensure your marketing is as good as theirs, if not superior (preferably). And there’s no need to feel guilty, chances are they’re already doing it to you!
Keep your eye on the prize
Interestingly, companies that include revenue generation as an email marketing objective tend to have higher email open rates according to Validity’s research. This should be a no-brainer — email ROI is currently a healthy 42:1 (Data and Marketing Association, 2019), and on average email spend is 1.5x more effective than any other marketing channel in terms of sales revenue generated (Econsultancy, 2019). By making increased revenue an objective, you can measure success against this KPI and adjust campaigns as required, ultimately benefiting your bottom-line.
Nailing your email marketing strategy can take time and a little trial and error, but the potential benefits are too great to ignore it as a core marketing activity. When in doubt, come back to the basics — get to know your subscribers and consistently provide them with content and offers they will find valuable. This is the key to cultivating a loyal and active subscriber base that ultimately results in more business.
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