Email marketing may be part art and part science, but that does not excuse the lack of adoption of some of its most basic and powerful aspects. Unfortunately, many business owners create, edit, and send to a single, generalized client list, overlooking easily-implemented tricks that can truly boost sales and customer loyalty.
If you’re in an email rut and you’re marking time with outdated techniques, it’s time to chart a new approach. Here are three underused tactics that can breathe life into your stagnant email campaigns.
Intelligent Email Segmentation
One of the most effective methodologies in email marketing has to be the one which is likely used to a lesser extent than almost any other: Segmentation. There is no reason to keep blasting out a single message to your entire list as doing so betrays the attitude that you either don’t know enough about your customer base or care enough to take the time and effort to learn about them.
Properly targeting an email missive to the subgroup of customers which it appeals to the most can multiply the revenue per message so not taking advantage of this amazingly powerful and successful strategy is tantamount to leaving money on the marketing table. The primary segmentation factors include:
- Engagement level
- Type of content they’re browsing
- Type of content they’re clicking on
When you concentrate directly on the behavior of your active subscribers you can arrive at a reasonable determination of what they’re seeking and are able to craft appropriate follow-up emails in order to drive them to the checkout. If you’re just sending out the same old boilerplate to everyone on your list, you’ll find that one size never fits all!
Testing is another aspect of email marketing which suffers from adoption rates which are far below the 100% level that it deserves. While it is true that some of the more sophisticated and efficient forms of testing go by names which scare off the uninitiated such as Multivariate Taguchi, you don’t need a Ph.D. in fractional factorial designs & orthogonal arrays to adequately conduct testing on your email marketing campaign.
You can adopt the most widespread and simple form of testing which is known as the A/B Split type. The process is simplicity itself:
- Design your email message with is to be sent to a specific segment of your subscription list.
- Save the original and then change a single element of a copy, such as a subject line, preheader, Call To Action, etc.
- Send the original email to half that segment and the changed copy to the other half.
- Review the results of each batch of emails, and if one has outperformed the other in a critical metric such as opens, click-throughs, etc. you now know that that element made a difference.
- Keep testing and reviewing and refining… as long as you’re an email marketer!
There is no reason to ever send out an email marketing campaign unless you are intensely A/B split testing not only every email but also each and every element of it!
Smartphone-friendly email templates
Unless you’ve just awoken from your long Rip Van Winkle sleep, you have to be aware that your customers are increasingly reading your emails on the vast range of mobile web-enabled devices from smartphones to tablets.
While the most advanced tablet on the market right now, the New iPad a.k.a. iPad 3, features a screen which packs an astounding number of pixels onto its 9.7 inch space (a million more pixels than an HDTV!!!), most mobile devices have much lower resolution screens which barely reach 4 inches.
The result of incorporating elements in your email newsletter which are larger than these screens can display is the dreaded horizontal scroll bar which is the equivalent of an obituary for your online marketing campaign.
The leading email service providers offer a number of modern, attractive, functional newsletter templates which are specifically designed with the limitations of most smartphones clearly in mind. These templates can adapt themselves to the varying screen parameters and ensure that your email will look as great on a monster Dell 30 inch desktop monitor as they will on a Hewlett-Packard Veer’s screen which is two thirds the size of a credit card!
Ultimately, email marketing is still one of the most cheap, effective ways to promote your products, but you can only truly maximize if if you use strategies that take things to the next level. Focus on testing, segmenting your email lists and choosing mobile-friendly templates, and you’ll be well on your way to ROI goodness.