Email marketing is often forgotten and neglected by small business, and misused by major corporations. Although it seems that social media is all the rage, and it is – that doesn’t mean that Email marketing deserves to be put in the back seat.
Here are 7 ways to improve your email marketing:
- Collect Email Addresses – You cannot have an effective email marketing strategy if you aren’t collecting email addresses. Make it a priority in all of your interactions, if you can – try not to let anyone buy anything from you without getting an email address (and permission to send them emails).There are a number of ways to do this, with online sales it’s easy. In retail, loyalty programs are the way to go – give them a reason to sign up, just make sure you don’t spam them with sales every day from that day on. If you run a restaurant, offer discounts if they add their email address to a list – perhaps instead of leaving room for a tip you give them room to leave their email – You’re more likely to get repeat sales from an effective email strategy than the tip you may receive.
- Segment and Personalise – By now you should know that you can insert peoples names, company names and more into the text and subject line of your emails. But, you need to take it a step further and ensure that the emails you are sending are relevant to the individual receiving it. This is best done through segmentation. Using tags, automation flows or segments – you can group people into similar groups and lists. At the very least you should have two lists – one for prospects/leads and another for clients. The more detailed and niche you can build these segments the more effective your email marketing will be.Side note, please don’t do what a major corporation did to my friend the other day and address the email Dear *customer ID number*, people hate feeling like a number, being addressed by one is even worse!
- A/B Split Test – Marketing is always about testing, trial and error and research. It is not and never will be definitive. The way people respond is always changing, as is the way we communicate with them. Test your headline, test the time you send it out, depending on the software you use, you can sometimes also test creative content. If you’re email program doesn’t allow A/B split testing, it might be worth changing providers. Mail Chimp is a fairly cost effective service and very easy to use! There are also other programs that will go so far to allow A/B/C/D split testing.*Note: If you still have a small database, your split test might need to be 50% of your database, but when your database is over 2,000 you can go to the usual 5%-10% split test. Better to test with 50% of your database, than not to test at all.
- Track Open and Click Through Rates – Make sure you keep an eye on open rates and click through rates. I’m yet to see a piece of software that doesn’t give you easy access to this information. Even if you have a quick look every week to see which emails perform well, and which don’t so that you can be constantly trying to improve. After all marketing is always about testing and improving.
- Un-opened Emails – All the good email software programs allow you to send emails based on conditions, one of these conditions is ‘didn’t open x,y or z email’. Use this to your advantage, if you sent a brilliant email – give people the greatest chance of seeing it by resending it a few times – but only to those who didn’t see it. Try different subject lines, or different times for sending (but only try one thing at a time).
- Clean up – Make sure you keep your email databases clean and up-to-date. If people aren’t opening your emails – you’re better off to unsubscribe them then to keep sending emails to people who don’t want to hear from you. A small active list, is far better than a massive list with little response rate.
- Be consistent – Your emails should have the same look and feel to them each time, you want to be instantly recognisable. Obviously the content will change, but keep your branding and styling the same. Try and keep frequency consistent as well. Don’t send 2 emails one week, nothing the next, 3 the week after and then nothing for a month. Decide the frequency and stick to it, it’s better to have one monthly email – than to be inconsistent.
Make it a priority to get your email marketing up to date this week, and I can almost guarantee you’ll start to see results.