Whoever said email marketing is dead hasn’t the slightest clue just how effective a well-written email can be. A 2016 report by Campaign Monitor showed that email marketing can generate up to $44 for every dollar spent—that’s a whopping 4,400% return on your investment!
That said, not all emails are created equal; some do extremely well, but a considerable amount—over 75%—go straight to Trash.
There’s a fine line separating high-converting emails from run-of-the-mill inbox fodder, and treading that line requires good marketing sense and a keen eye for detail.
In this article, we take you through four very practical email strategies that have helped us convert customers and grow our bottom line. Without further ado, here they are:
1. Write With The Reader In Mind
The quickest way to engage a reader is by filling a need—i.e. by writing something interesting, entertaining, or value-adding. Think hard: If you were the customer, what kind of things would you want to read about?
A quick search about your niche will reveal popular topics in your industry. For example, a company specializing in web design may see the following topic suggestions on Google:
These topic suggestions are useful because they provide insight on what audiences are looking for. The more search returns a topic yields, the higher the chance people are interested in it.
Use this to your advantage and design email content around customer intent. Find out what your customers are looking for and give it to them.
Not only does this increase the likelihood of your emails being opened, it also shows customers that you have their interests in mind (as opposed to simply stuffing a generic, self-serving email down their throats).
2. Make Your Subject Line Count
Social Media Quickstarter reports that 47% of email recipients choose to open emails based on subject line alone.If your subject line doesn’t stick, chances are customers aren’t going to open your message.
To write a compelling subject line, keep things short, sweet, and impactful—also, throw in some attention-grabbing words.
A study by HubSpot’s Dan Zarella showed that the most clicked on emails usually contain words like “secret”, “e-sales”, and “awesome”, whereas those often reported as spam had words like “confirm”, “features”, and “upgrade”.
Spend as much time wording, re-wording, and perfecting your email subject headers. Here are some other things to take note of:
The optimal character count is 41-50 (HubSpot).
A personalized subject line gets 26% more responses (Campaign Monitor).
A sense of urgency and exclusivity can increase open rates by 22% (Email Institute).
The word “free” can boost open rates by up to 10% (Cursive Content).
Unattractive subject lines cause 69% of email recipients to label a message as spam (Invesp)
3. Segment Your Audiences
As we mentioned earlier, effective email marketing starts with the reader in mind. Having said that, it is absolutely crucial for companies to identify, classify, and subsequently group customers according to well-defined market segments (read: customer categories).
What is a market segment?
Investopedia defines a market segment as “a group of people who share one or more common characteristics, lumped together for marketing purposes.”
In email marketing, segmentation entails creating unique narratives and messages with a specific customer in mind.
The result is beneficial both for the brands that are able to reach unique market segments, and the customers who are able to receive products and services that cater to their specific needs, lifestyles, and demographics.
A worldwide study by MailChimp found that segmenting email lists:
Increased click-through rate by 100.95%
Increased open rate by 14.31%
Decreased bounce rate by 4.64%
Decreased unsubscriptions by 9.37%
Start by developing a unique buyer persona and group existing customers according to their respective market segments.
Once your market segments are organized, simply build email lists for each (ideally, using email marketing software like HubSpot or MailChimp)—try to be as specific as possible. As a web solutions platform, Vardot can integrate the websites it builds with an email marketing software like MailChimp or other software to help organizations interact with their clients.
4. Mind Your Metrics
How do you determine or quantify the success of an email marketing campaign? What type of response do you look to get out of your recipients?
Good email marketing should be easy to track and easy to measure. Ideally, you should have a system that allows you to track important metrics like open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe to open rate, and the like. Here are the industry averages for your reference:
Open rate: 24.79% (2016: 24.88%)
Click-through rate: 4.19% (3.42%)
Unsubscription rate: 0.49% (0.52%)
Click-to-open rate: 11.88% (10.88%)
Unsubscribe-to-open rate: 2.59% (2.72%)
The best way to track metrics is through email marketing software (again, HubSpot, MailChimp, and other similar apps). These apps will allow you to organize contacts into market segments, track emails and metrics, and generate reports and analytics.
Whoever declared email marketing dead is dead wrong. Email marketing should be a vital component of any effective digital marketing strategy and possibly the most profitable online channel around.
Email marketing isn’t dead—on the contrary, this is just the beginning.
Looking to add emails to your digital marketing repertoire? Web development companies like Vardot can build your website from the ground upset you up with MailChimp and/or other types of email marketing software. That way, you can send, receive, track, and analyze emails using a fully-integrated web-based platform.