Don’t let the ever-changing marketing landscape fool you… email is here to stay. According to Radicati’s 2016 Email Statistics report, email is slated to be used by 3 billion people by 2020. With email, therefore, remaining one of most effective channels to reach, nurture, and convert customers, it’s more important than ever to optimize your email marketing strategies and everyday tactics.
Whether you’re just beginning to implement email into your marketing plan or working to take it to the next level, use these tips and tricks to audit your email program and implement new ideas that will quickly improve your open, click-through rates—and ultimately—conversions.
1) Make inbox friends, not enemies.
To remain CAN-SPAM compliant and stay off dreaded email blacklists, always ask customers to opt-in to your emails prior to sending any marketing communications. A simple way to receive permission is to add a required checkbox to your email subscription form. Want to make doubly sure your subscribers want your emails? Set up a double opt-in process. With a double opt-in strategy, an email with a confirmation link is sent following an email sign-up, verifying a user absolutely wants to subscribe.
2) Make a great first impression.
A well-constructed email welcome series is a great way to introduce your company or brand and make a valuable connection to your customer’s inbox. Utilize this opportunity to highlight your social media channels, provide an initial content offer, and obtain valuable subscriber data. Worried about overstaying your welcome with too many emails too quickly? Try adjusting the spacing of your emails and test engagement and unsubscribe rates to uncover the optimal cadence for your welcome workflow.
3) Go beyond “batch and blast” emails.
To avoid list exhaustion and keep your subscribers invested in your messages, don’t send the same marketing communication to your entire email list. Segment your recipient list according to your customer’s industry, interests, or specific needs to increase engagement and reduce unsubscribes.
4) Remember: We live in a mobile world.
According to Litmus, 56% of all emails opened are opened on a mobile device. As a result, it’s more important than ever to make sure your email design templates are responsive or mobile optimized and create a seamless user experience from any device. In addition to rendering and formatting correctly, make sure to simplify the mobile version of your email. Clear clickable space around buttons, add legible font, and create concise copy when designing emails for mobile.
5) It’s all in the data.
Analyze your email metrics using your specific ESP, Google Analytics, or a combination of the two. Open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and unsubscribe rates are important metrics that can give you great insight into what’s working (and what’s not) in your email marketing strategy. Great open rates? Your subject lines are on point! High unsubscribe rates? It might be time to adjust your content, segment your list, or examine the frequency of your emails.
6) Save time and energy with automation.
Keeping up with a consistent email schedule can be a daunting challenge for any marketing team. Utilizing automation software is a great way to save time and reach customers more effectively. Welcome emails, behavior triggered emails, valued leads, and thank you emails are just a few of the messages that can be set to run automatically behind the scenes.
7) Value quality over quantity.
It’s often tempting to build an email list with a “bigger is better” mentality. If your email list is full of uninterested recipients, however, those additional addresses will do more harm than good. Keeping a clean list is essential to maintaining a high deliverability rating and staying in the good graces of internet service providers (ISPs). If a high percentage of your list is unengaged, your future marketing emails could be classified as spam – or worse – become blocked altogether. Try a re-engagement campaign as a way to win back stagnant customers… and be ok with letting dormant addresses go.
8) Test, test, test.
To continuously optimize your email sends and increase your ability to get in front of your prospects, A/B test everything from colors and design elements to subject lines and content offers. Remember, test one thing at a time so that you know what makes an impact.
9) Use a little flair.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Try using an animated gif within your email to draw attention to a specific CTA or other key marketing element. As with tip #9, use an A/B test to see if adding an animated element increases engagement metrics.
10) ★ Advanced tip: It’s time to take it personally.
One of the most successful trends in email marketing today is automated personalization. From subject lines to salutations, targeted offers to dynamic content, it’s been proven that relevant content significantly increases click-through rates and conversion. To obtain the necessary data needed to implement personalization, try adding additional fields to your email opt-in forms. Take it one step further with an email service provider (ESP) or marketing automation software that offers the ability to gather meaningful customer data and behavioral insights across your marketing channels.
There you have it! Ten tips to help your email program excel and keep your recipients engaged, your sender rating high, and your email program ahead of the curve.
To learn how an optimized email program, combined with a complete inbound marketing strategy builds and nurtures key prospects for long-term success, connect with us today!