Following on from the Article published in the December edition of MiceTalk.
Email marketing is in my opinion, hands-down, one of the best ways to leverage electronic media in order to grow your event. However, you’ve got to know what to do and how to do it. While GOOD email marketing is alive and kicking, bad email marketing leaves companies rotting by the wayside with loads of unhappy readers and customers.
I would like to share a few tips that I hope will assist you when planning an effective email marketing campaign.
Consider Your Email Subscriber’s Needs
The more you know about subscribers the more relevant you can make your content. Most people have a list of subscribers that contains a first name, a last name, and an email address. It’s easy enough to add a personalization tag that gives you a subscriber’s first name if you are using email marketing software. Most people know that you should do this. A relevant email is based on a subscriber’s needs. This need could be something that is based on value such as a discount or it can be advice. If they’ve shown interest in a product of yours in the past then you can influence their purchasing behaviour by showing them the product that they looked at in the past. Jupiter Research found that showing subscribers a product they considered in leads led to immediate purchases in about 60 percent of respondents and deferred purchases in about 58 percent.
What you do with the information you collect about subscribers is more important when creating relevant content then it is when using it. This same study found that adding personalization tags in the subject lines, for instance the state a subscriber is from, led to only 9 percent of immediate purchases and 8 percent of deferred purchases. Personalization tags are useful when creating relevant content but simply adding them does not necessarily make content more relevant to the subscriber.
Making Email Content Relevant
A subscriber opens an email expecting something of value to them. This could be in the form of a discount, product information, updates, or some other need. How well you deliver on your subscriber’s expectations plays a large role in whether keep them as a subscriber and also how loyal they remain to your brand. When you fail to deliver your subscribers unsubscribe and consequentially your brand suffers. Still worse, it makes you look disingenuous and they may not only unsubscribe but also report you as spam which could get you in trouble with your ISP.
Email marketing is effective when subscribers receive targeted mailings from companies they care about. They subscribe because they are hoping to receive content that reflects things that they are interested in. As long as you keep sending content that they find interesting you’ll keep them as subscribers. Knowing who your subscribers are and when to send them mailings is necessary in order to send them content that is relevant. Relative content also increases brand loyalty. Email Marketing is all about building relationships with customers. The way you do that is by giving them what they are looking for.
The Forgotten Art of Email Testing
Because Subject Lines are such an important indicator of whether or not a mailing is likely to be open split testing a campaign to see which type of subject line gets a better response is strongly encouraged. Find two or more of your strongest subject lines and see which one of them gets the best results. If you are using email marketing software there is even a winner feature that will determine which of your subjects are generating the best response and send the email out to the rest of the subscribers using the most effective subject line. You may also want to see how the subject line appears in various email clients or even on an iPhone or a Blackberry to make sure it displays properly.
Measure the results
Check out your opens, clicks and unsubscribes
Measure and compare results over subsequent campaigns. Test different subject lines and calls to action between campaigns. Work with your client to learn what works and doesn’t work for their particular subscribers.
Tweak the template and newsletter copy based on the results
Collate your findings and make real changes to your email design or newsletter content. If one particular topic is by far the most popular in the link activity report, considering leading your newsletter with that topic for each email.