Did you know that more than three billion emails are sent every day worldwide? That’s a lot of digital communication, and the majority of it is email marketing collateral. How many of these emails motivate action? And how many of these emails go unopened?
Unfortunately, we cannot access email analytics on a worldwide scale. (In actuality, you probably wouldn’t want to, anyway. That is a high volume of data to take in.) But anyone who has ever used an email marketing platform can tell you that the open rates will be below. Despite often signing up for a mailing list, recipients tend to view email marketing collateral as junk mail. They’ll check it out if something grabs their eye, but otherwise, it will go into the recycle bin.
If you’re hoping to achieve a high open rate—or an open rate over 30 percent, even—you’ll need to adjust your expectations. That being said, email marketing is the most successful marketing strategy on the Internet. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and content marketing are all effective, but they still pale in comparison to email marketing.
Maybe it’s the direct, personal nature of the email, which sits in the inbox, demanding to be read. It’s harder to ignore than the more peripheral pop-ups and ads you’ll see as you surf the ’Net. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to promote your business with a solid email marketing strategy. Read on for your data-driven guide.
Call Me by My Name
Personalized email marketing can make all the difference. How many times have you received a subscription email that opens with your name? Though you know objectively that you are part of a mailing list, and that your name appears due to a coding algorithm, the email still feels personal. Because it’s specifically addressed to you, it creates the illusion of intimacy, which makes you more likely to engage than if the email were addressed to a ‘dear customer’.
Personalization needn’t stop there. In one of your many email subscriptions, do you recall receiving product recommendations based on your past online shopping activity? This will be many times more effective than receiving a randomly generated list of generic recommendations. If a customer sees a product they like, they will be more likely to click.
Some other personalization strategies you can use? When a customer first subscribes to your emails, ensure you request the necessary details. On your sign-up form, you should request information such as name, location, and company name. By the same token, you should resist the urge to request unnecessary information. People are reluctant to part with personal information, and if you ask for too much, you may turn them off.
Though it may be tempting, you should also resist the urge to use a ‘no reply’ or ‘do not reply’ address. However personal your email content, the illusion will be shattered the moment the recipient reads the email address, which will reinforce that this is a side-sided, artificial interaction.
Segmentation Appreciation Society
‘Segmentation’ is the email marketing technique of targeting content to the appropriate audience. You may be thinking, ‘but if they’re on the mailing list, surely they’re the right audience by default?’ Not necessarily. Your business, for example, maybe send out invites to an ‘IRL’ event. However, if your business has a global reach, not everyone on your mailing list is going to be champing at the bit to attend.
Why? Because, if I live in Australia, why would I want to receive an Evite to some event that’s happening in America in a fortnight? Heck, they don’t even use the word ‘fortnight’ over there, so that should speak to the lack of segmentation that went into this email campaign. This eVite may have addressed me by name, but—again—I’m getting notes of artificiality from that email that clearly thinks I can drop everything for a conference on the other side of the world.
The segmentation strategy goes hand-in-hand with personalization. This is why it’s important to gather information such as location or work industry. Sure, some may be reluctant to part with this information, but it’s actually in their best interest to do so. The more detailed information they provide, the more tailored and personalized their emails will be. They will not receive emails targeted at people from outside their location, outside their line of work, or even with dissimilar spending habits. (Imagine getting an aggressive sales pitch from a shop you visited one time. Too much, too soon!)
Segmentation is actually a great business opportunity because not a lot of businesses are doing it. Many are still using the shot-gun approach and seeing what sticks. Set yourself apart from the shot-gunners and segment your database before hitting Send. The numbers show that segmentation motivates open rates and you should get on it—stat (pun not intended).
Make it Mobile-Friendly
Does anyone actually use a computer to access their emails anymore? We mean, apart from work emails that you check because you have your work computer open? Well, apparently, but as the years roll on, this is becoming less and less common.
When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? You reach for your phone and check your notifications, right? How did we know that? Well, at least 50% of people do this, so, lucky guess? Seeing as so many people are greeting their phones the moment they awaken, that means most people will access their emails from mobile devices. If your emails are not mobile-friendly, they’re going to go down like a lead balloon.
What are some ways you can optimize your emails for mobile users? Use short subject lines and pre-headers. ‘To view this email in your browser is a boring pre-header and it’s a waste. Instead, summarise the email, or ensure the call to action is visible. Speaking of the call to action, it must look big, bold, and obvious. If it’s lost among your other content, readers will too be lost. Think of the call to action as a big red button you want customers to press.
Use Data to your Advantage
This post has explored some of the major strategies you can use to optimize your email marketing campaigns. There are other things you can do, of course, and there are numbers and studies out there that reinforce how well these strategies work. All advice out there is data-driven, and you can use such data to drive your email marketing campaigns to success. Need a professional hand to help you make the most of your email marketing strategy? Hit up agencies for some of the best email marketing services going around.