Welcome to part 2 of our email marketing mini-series. While the basic steps in our ‘covering the basics’ blog will help to get your shot on target, there’s still more work to be done if you actually want to score with email marketing. Email marketing requires a multi-layered marketing strategy which needs to be carefully crafted if it’s going to return results.
These steps below are slightly more advanced and will help you to really get to grips with producing engaging email marketing messages.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER
The key to choosing an Email Service Provider (ESP) is reliability. Whether it’s uptime (remember, 99.5% uptime is two days’ annual downtime), helpdesk support, response time, back-up, monitoring or compatibility, it’s important to research first and be sure you are getting an ESP that can handle the demands your email marketing will put upon it.
DEFINE YOUR MAILING LISTS
Segmented campaigns distinctly improve global email opens, clicks and bounces.
“Batch and blast” email marketing is dead and prospects attention spans are small – Segmentation is now the way forward. Analyse your database and cross-reference with subscriber information. Hitting the right people at the right time in the customer buyer cycle encourages the desired action and a sense of trust that can be achieved through personalisation by increasing brand awareness.
Consider segmenting lists of contacts based on persona, sector, geography or whether they are a previous or current customer, or still a prospect that needs to be nurtured. All of this will have an impact on your email marketing success metrics.
CONTENT IS KING
Building awareness is essential. Align the content of your emails to the individual you are addressing, as per segmentation. Be different and avoid ‘push’ selling; offer value and don’t give cause for your email recipients to unsubscribe.
You might be tempted to add lots of images, links and audio files, but there is no substitute for a carefully considered and well-written copy. Never distract your reader from your key message. Better to do less and do it well than to do a lot and do it poorly.
CHOOSE COMPELLING SUBJECT LINES
A study by Nielson Norman Group shows that subject lines that draw user’s attention use:
- Plain language
- Specific terminology
- Follow conventions for naming common features
- Front-load user and action-oriented terms
Your subject line is the first thing a prospect will see and can mean the difference between opening or ignoring an email. Make them powerful, make them compelling, arouse curiosity. Test different wording and analyse response data. Keep them short, as the average email subject line preview is no more than 9 words or 60 characters.
MEASURE YOUR RESULTS
Measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Use analytics to establish who clicked on what and when. Remain on top of all metrics*.
Valuable statistics can be drawn from:
- Sent rate – whilst this alone isn’t valuable, in combination with the other stats below it’s very telling.
- Delivered rate – You might have sent 500 emails but how many of them actually hit the recipients inboxes?
- Hard and Soft bounce rate – monitor these numbers to check the health of your mailing list. B2B data is often out of date after less than a year!
- Click-Through Rates (CTR) – The number of recipients who clicked on a link or links in the email.
- Sharing Rates – The proportion of sharing or forwarding the email to a friend.
- Conversion Rates – The percentage of those who clicked on a link and went on to perform the desired action.
- Revenue Per Email – A calculation of the ROI, dividing total revenue by the number of emails sent.
*Requires integration of your analytics platform and Email Service Provider.
In summary, these steps are straightforward but they do require some forethought and planning. Out of these five tips, numbers 2 and 5 are critical. Ensuring the health (and compliance!) of your email lists is crucial, not just for email marketing success but business success full stop.
At Marketscan we have a team of experts on hand to help, as well as an award-winning B2B database at our fingertips packed full of healthy and compliant B2B data just waiting to be used. If you’re considering running an email campaign, get in touch for more help and advice.
Ready to become an email expert…? Read part 3 of our mini-series on email marketing.