Becca Rees, Customer Success Expert at SmartFocus, provides some easy to implement tips for more effective email marketing
We’ve all been there. Your boss demands to know how many members your organisation holds in its database. You provide them with the figure. They order you to fire out an email to every Tom, Dick and Harry dating back to 2007. This method will have the widest reach and thus bring in the highest return, right? Wrong.
Most of us will know, probably from trial and error, that batch-and-blast is a thing of the past, so how do you go about explaining this to the powers that be? The truth is, it is a tricky balance between placating the internet service providers and providing the most valuable service to your members, whilst still bringing in the big bucks.
To help you out, here are some vital questions that you must ask when contemplating who you are realistically going to reach from a single campaign.
How many members have opened or clicked on one of our marketing emails in the last 120 days?
If you have not opened emails from a specific organisation for more than four months, it probably means you are disengaged with the brand and delete them without a second thought. If you were to receive emails from them less frequently, you would be more likely to pay attention when one does arrive. Why not build a segment and send an automated email to members who have not opened/ clicked on a campaign for 120 days on the 121st day. If a member engages with this content, they fall back into ‘actives’. If they do not engage, you determine the next action: another email two weeks later? An offer? An invitation?
If still no response, perhaps another email one month and then three months later. If unresponsive for a further 120 days, remove or stick to one message a year. You may know they are visiting your store or buying online but you are clearly not reaching them through email. So why not try another channel?
Do all my members receive the same content?
You open emails from your favourite store every day. They keep you hooked with a mix of engaging content, latest promotions and celeb-related stories. By contrast, emails from your former favourite store have become tedious; their products are eternally on sale and it has devalued your perception of their brand. They are going to need to change the way they communicate with you if they want to get you back. The content you are sending at present is clearly not keeping your lapsed members engaged, so change it.
Test catchy subject lines in order to stand out. Think about the kind of brand you are. For some, promotions may work. For others it may be more to do with image; stories, puzzles or competitions could work. Try out dynamic content for different segments, for example males versus females.
Do your members receive the same number of emails every week/month?
If you receive an additional email from an organisation whose correspondence you read regularly, for example a sale notification, you will probably read it. If you receive three extra emails this week in comparison to last week, and had zero the week before that, you are less likely to open them. In fact, it could come across as pretty intrusive. Make members aware of how many marketing emails they can expect to receive from the offset, maybe in a welcome email, and stick to this. No harm in mentioning that members may expect to receive ad hoc communication around busy periods or during promotions etc. Try and stick to the same day and time when sending your main marketing email; use a multivariate testing platform to discover the best time to dispatch. If you want to get really clever, use a data tool to decipher the best time for different segments and demographics.
Do members really know what to expect from your emails?
You have suddenly started receiving emails from an online company you recently bought a product from. Why? Bear in mind how your members signed up. If it was through a purchase, they need to know what they are going to be getting from your marketing campaigns. What’s in it for them? Then, simply deliver what you promise.
If you stick to the above set of rules, you will be well on your way to getting into the internet service providers’ good books! With your IP reputation on the rise, you should be able to measure results via improved deliverability, higher opens, more clicks and eventually that all-important increased email revenue.