The latest research on the performance of email marketing shows continuing levels of audience engagement going into 2017. With 24/7 access to potential customers, it’s no wonder that companies are still using this convenient, cost effective method to showcase their products and services. However, with 205 billion email messages sent globally every day, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out and avoid the dreaded ‘delete’ folder.
Nowadays, we only want to read emails that are relevant to us and that’s where the challenge lies. So how can we be smarter with our email marketing? How can we show our target audience that we are trustworthy, informative and our emails are worth reading? Well we’ve put together five top tips to improve the success of your email marketing campaigns.
Personalise, personalise, personalise
The big trend for email marketing this year is personalisation. Don’t leave all of that nice stored away data to stew; use it to your advantage. Leverage the information you have to directly grab your audience’s attention. Studies show that marketers who are using personalisation such as names in email subject lines, are not only getting a 2.5 times higher click-through rate, but are also generating 6 times more sales from their campaigns. These impressive figures aren’t to be ignored; by using this more direct style, you can show how your product and service can enhance the audiences professional knowledge. Take it one step further and address different personas in your emails. Personalise your content for different groups so that it is relevant to someone’s job role, interests, age or gender etc; smart, straightforward and effective.
The importance of A/B testing
A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of an email to see which one performs better. Now, this does take a little more to organise and analyse, but actually you can collect some really meaningful results, that give you better insight into your target audience. Whether you test different email styles and formats against each other or the very important subject line, here are some ideas:
o Symbols vs no symbols – do people read your email more when you use a or a #?
o Questions vs statements – a lot of people respond well to questions in subject lines as they want to know the answer
o Urgent terms vs non urgent terms – ‘quick’, ‘now’, ‘limited time’
o Long vs short
o Numbers vs no numbers
A company called Communigator took A/B testing to such an extent that they found more people opened one of their emails because it contained a funny spelling mistake: ‘pubic’ instead of ‘public’. Aside from this, you can also test the best times to send an email and if persona style emails are really that effective. With all these little nuggets of information, you can gain a considerable amount of insight into your audience and the best way to get their attention.
Try a plain text email
You might be thinking a plain text email, are you joking? That was my thought initially, as a marketeer who appreciates all things design. However, it has been found that plain text emails can be just as effective as HTML ones. Let’s have a think. How many plain text emails do you receive every day at work? The answer is probably a lot. Plain text emails are a routinely part of our lives; what we are ‘used to’. We completely understand the layout of a plain text email with its standard start, middle and end format, and we know that a blue underlined piece of text is a hyperlink. Sometimes familiarity is the route to success and especially in an email sense. Use your new A/B testing skills to test a plain text email vs a fancy HTML one and see how this works for your business.
The world of subject lines
Getting the right subject line is crucial. After the senders name, this is the first thing to be seen and is the main dependent on whether the email is opened or deleted. It is important that the subject line captures the audience, but also reflects the main point of your email. A subject line should be a hundred characters long or less and should not include words like ‘Dear’, ‘Click here’, ‘Free’, ‘Newsletters’ or any word in capitals. Unusually, it has been found that putting RE or FWD before your subject line could lead to more open rates. From this, the viewer senses the email is genuine and something they had originally started, rather than the sender.
The dos and don’ts of the unsubscribe button
We’ve all done it, unsubscribed from an email that has no appeal to us. You have no idea how this person/company got your details, but you really aren’t interested in the latest lawnmowers in the market or claiming compensation. So when sending your email campaigns, let’s try and decrease the use of the unsubscribe button. It has been found that more people choose to remove themselves from a mailing list when they see the word ‘unsubscribe’. Instead, try using statements like ‘opt out’, ‘please remove me from this mailing list’ or go for something with humour like ‘opt out of the coolest mailing list around’. This way you should keep more people in your list and interested in your business – long term.
Need more help with email marketing? Sage CRM is a fantastic tool to build, send, analyse and manage your email marketing campaigns and improve your customer relationships overall. To find out more, contact CPiO on 0344 880 6140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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