Andrew Robinson (pictured), managing director of email marketing company Lyris UK, (lyris.co.uk) believes that however good the returns on your email marketing, it never hurts to go through the following checklist:
1. Don’t waste good email addresses.
It always amazes me when I give my email address to a retail store or web site and never hear from them again. If you let these good email addresses go to waste, shame on you!
2. Resist the temptation to over communicate.
Remember the boy who cried wolf? Too many email promotions are overkill. Research shows that consumers prefer to get email marketing messages weekly, or even monthly.
3. Practice give and take.
Have your last ten email campaigns been about pushing products? Mix up your email campaign content by providing “how to guide” or “tips and tricks” on products your customers have purchased recently.
For example, wouldn’t it be nice if a clothing retailer sent an email explaining cashmere care to those customers who purchased cashmere products?
4. Think integrated thoughts.
Email is the cheapest form of direct marketing, bar none. Think of ways to integrate email marketing with your more expensive offline direct marketing campaigns to maximise the overall effect.
For example, why not use email to alert your customers about the arrival of new seasonal catalogues? You’ll see the uptake in catalogue sales. I guarantee it.
5. Relevant offer + Creative Written Copy = Success.
According to Jupiter Research, 54 percent of consumers clicked links in email promotions because they featured products or services that interested them. But that’s not the end of the story.
Forty percent of email subscribers said they clicked through email offers because written copy piqued their interest. Even though HTML is widespread, compelling written copy remains hugely influential in driving click-throughs.
6. Plan out your email campaign flow.
Let’s admit it: it’s easy to get lazy about thinking ahead. But it pays to think ahead with email marketing. Plan out the sequence of the email marketing flow and use tools to automatically trigger the right messages.
For example, when a customer buys a product X, send a thank-you email with “How to use the product” information within 24 hours, followed by a “How is the product working out for you?” survey in one week.
Depending on the survey response, send further product information or a discount on the next purchase, and so on and so forth. The key is to plan and automate.
7. Attack email deliverability.
According to Jupiter Research, approximately one-third of email marketers report e-mail delivery rates of 80 per cent or less, and approximately one-quarter don’t even know their deliverability metrics. Most of you still need a comprehensive plan of attack to combat email deliverability problems.
Unless you can afford an in-house deliverability expert and technology infrastructure to measure this stuff, it pays to hire a third-party email service provider (ESP) that can spread the learning curve and infrastructure cost across numerous clients.
8. Segment your audience.
Partly because I am in the email marketing business and partly because I am an avid online shopper, I’ve opted-in to a slew of consumer emails over the years.
And it’s simply shocking how little segmentation is going on in email marketing, even among some very well-known brands that are the hallmarks of marketing prowess.
Many companies that do other things so well are still not taking the time to really manage and made the most of their email marketing programme.
9. Use the trigger.
Email works best when it arrives at a time when the recipient is already thinking about you. So, if someone has clicked on a link in an email, send them a follow up message the next day.
Or send an email to people when they have been exploring your website. It's not difficult – in fact, the right email software will make sure it all happens automatically.
10. Testing, testing.
One of email's many benefits is that it quickly and easily lets you test which things are going to get the best results.
For example, find out which factors encourage inactive users to open emails by sending different messages (such as alternative subject lines or 'from' addresses) to different sample groups – and then use the most successful one for the complete mailing.
This method of A/B split testing can increase open and clickthrough rates by five to ten percent – so use it!
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