Many companies focus the bulk of their marketing resources on email campaigns, and why not? It’s still the most cost effective channel and still provides one of the highest, if not the highest, return on investment. But often times, organizations do not use the valuable information that their email campaigns yield in order to strengthen their email marketing.
Here are a few things to think about if you want a stronger, more profitable email marketing campaign.
Make Sure Your Email Campaign Is Sustainable.
Writing and sending an email is only part of your ongoing email marketing. Reviewing feedback and monitoring reports is equally important. For example, every email campaign has unsubscribes, but if the number of unsubscribes is equal to or greater than the number of subscribes then the list becomes unsustainable and will eventually wither away to nothing.
It is important to supplement your email marketing with marketing across other channels to feed the email campaign. I’ve seen organizations send out emails to their list asking the recipients to sign up for the email; a futile effort considering the recipient of the email is already on the list.
This is where social media, ad buys and traditional advertising can support email and work hand in hand to keep a mailing list growing regardless of the number of unsubscribes.
Of course, it goes without saying that the content you deliver in your emails has to be beneficial to your target audience. Good content will entice people to stay on your list and perhaps even forward the email or recommend it to friends or colleagues.
Last, but not least, read what people are saying when they unsubscribe. Many times there are patterns as to why people unsubscribe. Use these patterns to your benefit and continuously fine tune your email campaigns. If your readership hates emails on Fridays, change the day.
If your readership says the emails are too long, publish snippets in the email and post longer versions on your blog. You can’t please everyone, but there is always room for improvement.
Be Creative. Be Different.
If your email sends out the same offer every Tuesday, eventually your audience will tune you out. Every email you send should have a unique and compelling offer that cannot be gotten either through a competitor or by waiting for the next email. Create a sense of urgency by giving your audience what they want while at the same creating a sense of urgency to act now. Many times companies send out the same offer over and over, but repackage it in different ways.
Nowadays, the consumer is too smart for this. If your company sends out a 10% off email every week, your audience may suspect that your products are marked up 10% in the first place. Also, make sure you know what your competitors are doing. Chances are your audience does. If your product at 10% off is still more expensive than your competitor’s, then you’ll be watching your competition make the sales.
Be Creative. Be The Same.
Ah! See what I did there? I’m toying with the headlines to make a point.
If the structure of your emails is completely different every time you send one out, the only thing you’ll accomplish is confusing your audience. If one week you have your logo on the left in a two column email and the next week you have your logo on the right with a three column campaign, you’ll be lucky if the recipient even knows it’s you.
This is where good design comes in. Create a template with a small handful of variations that are consistent, and make them the canon of your campaign. Stick to the templates and mold the content to the template instead of molding the template to the content. Then measure the results. Which of the template variations did better? Did the second variation do better than the third? The best and most underutilized feature of many email campaigns is A/B testing.
Sending the same content packaged two different ways will provide hours of analytics fun, but more importantly a better return on your investment.