Email, as a permission-based medium, is effective in maintaining relationships with consumers – the challenge for any email marketing strategy, though, is standing out from the crowd.
A good email campaign starts with an efficient email address capturing process, says Keith Sibson, vice president of product and marketing at PostUp, an email marketing company.
“Design a process that is both efficient to your subscribers while also gaining insight that you need to target future emails,” says Sibson.
Find the right balance between “low hurdle” (capturing just the email address) and “high hurdle” (capturing email, names and age etc.). The more information that can be collected, the stronger the targeting of future campaigns to specific audience segments, he says.
Once the list has been set up, working with an email service provider (ESP) to automatically send out a welcome message to new subscribers, and detailing the benefits of joining a program, also strengthens the strategy.
The third step is to create a successful email marketing program by periodically sending out interesting and relevant emails, says Sibson.
Those emails can be targeted, segmented, or personalized, depending on the maturity of an email program.
On this front, one technique brand marketers can use is automation, which can help deliver targeted, segmented, or personalized content to recipients at the right time and at lower costs, says Jessica Best, digital marketing evangelist for digital marketing agency emfluence.
“Automation can save man hours and deliver at the exact right time for the recipient. [It] not only decreases cost, [but also] increases response rate and gives that ‘great customer service’ warm fuzzy feeling,” Best says.
She gives an example of Rent the Runway, an online designer dress rental service.
“[The brand] uses automation in myriad of ways, particularly for personalized cross-selling and upselling based on your rental. They’re using customer purchase data to tailor their offer and product suggestions to go with the style they’ve chosen, and automation to send it right after someone schedules their dress rental,” says Best.
As more and more people access emails on mobile, both Sibson and Best suggest brands ensure their emails are optimized for mobile.
“It’s not uncommon for 50 percent of emails to be opened on a mobile device,” says Sibson.
“In general, it’s a good idea to make all of your emails responsive, so that they render well on any device. If you don’t have the resources to create responsive emails in house, an ESP that offers ‘create and campaign’ services will often be able to create them for you.”
In the past 18 months, Desigual, the flamboyant and colorful Spanish fashion/retail brand, has seen mobile become the dominant platform for both web traffic and email opens, and become a major influence on offline sales.
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