Some people believe that the art of running a successful marketing campaign via email marketing is simply dead, this however isn’t the case. Yes, social media marketing has came to the forefront in recent years however that doesn’t mean other channels have completely closed.
Did you know that e-mail remains a “significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined”. (Mckinsey)
Like all aspects of marketing the conversion rate can be low depending on your industry or sector, however you need to re-evaluate exactly how your portraying your company, products and services to understand fully if you’re making any email marketing mistakes. If you are, then your open rates could be affected and the overall performance of the campaign could be poor.
1) Email Subject Line
A lot has been said about the perfect subject line, obviously it can be a major factor in high or low open rates. You need to write a subject line which will appeal to your target audience, some professionals like to use ‘buzz words’, ‘promises’ and ‘adjectives’.
Typically the average user will receive a large amount of emails per day, the vast major of these will be spam. Did you know that in quarter two of 2013, the percentage of spam in total email traffic increased by 4.2% from the first quarter of 2013 and came to 70.7% overall. (Kaspersky) Equally 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based solely on the subject line. (Convince & Convert)
This means that your facing a challenging battle, how do you go from being ‘unopened’ to being ‘read’. You need to ask yourself the simple question of “Would I open this Email?” – if the answer is no, then you need to adapt your copy accordingly.
Which of the following Subject Line’s are you most likely to click on?
OPEN NOW FOR DISCOUNTS OR ELSE!!!!!!!!
Final Summer Sale Reductions! Get 60% OFF By Using Our Summer Discount Code!
In general the second option will have a better open rate because it’s friendly, polite and to the point. The first example can be seen as aggressive and unprofessional, it’s in capital letters and features a large amount of exclamation marks. Obviously depending on your target market the first version could be acceptable, however typically it’s a format most companies will avoid.
Remember your potential customers will be busy, they’ll be receiving lots of emails or may simply not be interested in the products or services you’re offering. It’s highly recommended that you take your time and experiment with different copy to see which methods work best for you. It’s important to note that no two audiences are the same that’s why A/B testing can be hugely beneficial both to your campaign performance and your overall conversion rates.
2) Triggered E-Mails
The vast majority of professional e-commerce software will have triggered emails which are sent to a customer when they have made a certain ‘action’ on your website. For example, a triggered email could be automated when a visitor abandons their cart with an item in it, a customer purchasing a product, signing up or equally becoming dormant after a certain time period has elapsed.
Did you know that triggered email messages have a 71% higher open rate and 102% higher click rates than non-triggered email messages. (Impact BND)
How many times have you personally abandon a shopping cart to receive an email the following day? Here’s an example of an automated email done correctly:
Generally when a customer receives an email like this they will open it because a) it’s arguably still relevant and b) it’s still on the mind from the day before. If you haven’t got an automated email facility then it could be a good idea to implement such a feature, what’s the point in using your precise time in mass marketing when a computer can do it for you?
3) Sub-Standard List Management
You need to evaluate how your signing people up to your mailing list? Is networking at an event? Do you have a sign up form on your website? Or are you simply emailing customers who have bought from you previously? Generally one of the main reasons people don’t engage with email marketing is because they have FORGOTTEN who the sender is, or they simply weren’t expecting you to email them. 43% of email recipients click the Spam button based on the email “from” name or email address. (Convince & Convert) It’s important that everybody your emailing has granted permission to do so, you need your email recipients to know who you are, and to expect to receive emails from you.
Did you know that 21% of email recipients report email as Spam, even if they know it isn’t. (Convince & Convert) This is why a clear and simple ‘unsubscribe’ button is extremely important. Typically a lot of people think that making the unsubscribe button less obvious it will make the person less likely to unsubscribe. However this simply isn’t the case it just encourages them to report as SPAM instead.
Here’s some examples of excellent email sign up forms:
British Retailer River Island have created a very professional form which tells a user exactly why they’re subscribing and what they can expect.
On the right hand side of the form notice the block element which details these features, a subscriber will receive emails about latest products, web promotions and regular River Island updates.
Equally towards the bottom of the sign up form River Island includes a ‘Newsletter Preferences’ section where a customer can tick a box to let the company know which news they would like to be sent, the three options are Men’s clothing, Women’s Clothing and Children’s Clothing. Equally ASOS also use a very good newsletter sign up form which is perfect for their target audience:
4) You’ve Forgotten Why Your Emailing
It can be easy to fall into the trap of ‘I’m emailing customers because everybody else is’, you need to remember the original goal you had in mind. Was it to drive sales? improve brand awareness? or simply an outlet to keep your customers up-to-date. Remember nobody likes to bombarded with pointless and useless information and offers, be relevant at all times.
For some companies it can even be worthwhile to mix the emails up, between social content such as a store party, competitions, open days etc, and promotional emails such as offers and new products. Whatever the reason is, don’t lose sight of your end goal because your customers will simply switch off and ignore you.