Taking email marketing to the next level

June 23, 2015

Taking email marketing to the next level

Email marketing is dead … or is it?

Jeff Rohrs, author and marketing executive at Salesforce, had this to say:

“Email will remain a workhorse over the next five years — especially for business-critical communications. The rise of connected devices will increase the need to communicate with consumers based on real-time data and specific events. Email will be the primary platform for these communications as not all users will have mobile app access or grant SMS permission. In other words, don’t short email; it’s not the most glamorous channel, but it sure is the most reliable for consumer response.”

Assuming he’s right, I’ve listed several benefits. A newsletter:

  • Is an effective communication channel both one-on-one and as a mass personalized mail
  • Builds customer loyalty
  • Helps you and your business stay top of mind
  • Drives business on and offline to other channels

Do you believe these benefits will continue to stay true moving into the future? I do.

Here’s a list of eight suggestions that will help you take your email marketing to the next level.

Exclusivity

Make your subscribers feel special and that they are receiving information and content especially for them. Take Apple as an example, it has a list of subscribers who sign up specifically to receive the first opportunity to pre-order new devices. With free shipping as an incentive it is done to drive up initial sales even before the product is on the store shelves.

Reduce your undeliverables

Depending on the email software (Yahoo, gmail, Outlook, Mac Mail) your reader uses, your email address may automatically be added to their contact list, thereby increasing the chances of them receiving it. That’s a good thing since your email won’t get blocked or put into junk mail and subsequently not be read and reviewed.

Develop a number of subject lines

Testing the effectiveness of your subject line is critical to the number of opens. Make sure your subject line has a clear call to action to generate interest and is short enough to accommodate mobile users.

Link to your product or service page

In every email newsletter, add a link to your products or services that are appropriate for the topic you are writing about. People get tons of emails and may not remember where they had seen your product before. Don’t assume that they can remember who you are and what you do.

Explore the behavioural actions of your metrics

People may open your email but not click on any links or they may open, click on the product or service you are promoting but not buy. Both show no interest but mean different things – readers decided to abandon your sales funnel at different moments.

The first issue shows that the information provided in the newsletter wasn’t relevant to the reader’s needs. The second one piqued their interest but when they got to the final landing page they either didn’t find what they were seeking, the price was too high, or there were too many barriers to “entry” (distractions, price or confusion in the message).

Segment your list

After you have sent a number of newsletters look at your trends. Which topics got the most opens? These trends can give you a picture of what people are interested in. Between listening to customer feedback, looking at which links they are clicking on in the newsletter, and perhaps doing surveys you will be able to segment your subscriber list and provide information that interests them specifically.

P.S.

Consider adding a P.S. at the bottom of the newsletter and putting critical information in this section. Keep it short but highly relevant to the subscriber. You may add an offering, a reminder or a personal invite.

Think “outside and beyond” the promotional or traditional newsletter format

Consider other ways you use already to reach out to your clients, including receipts, invoices, shipping confirmation, and much more. Don’t waste a single opportunity to share highly relevant and targeted content.

This isn’t the “how to design an email”; it’s how to use your emails as marketing tools. Let me know how you use it best.

More resource links

Constant Contact – Getting Started with Email Marketing
10 Best Email Practices Infographic
Keyword Subject Line Checker
Mail Chimp Free Subject Line Research Tool

Jemma Fong is an active Constant Contact Partner, contact her at to receive a 30% discount on product and training.

Author

Jemma Fong

Jemma Fong has written a variety of practical guides on web site launches, redevelopment, and training manuals including 8 booklets for the E-Business Toolkit for the Ministry of Economic Development, Web Business Planning Guide and Online Marketing Guide. You can find Jemma on InSite Creations and LinkedIn.