Email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to consistently engage customers and prospects. For every dollar spent on email marketing, brands generate nearly $41 in sales. And the number of worldwide email users is expected to increase from 2.6 billion at present to 2.9 billion by 2019, according to Radicati.
To help you ramp up your email marketing strategies, we’ve put together a checklist of some of the top items to consider to ensure your email marketing dollars are getting the most bang for the buck!
What are the benefits of email marketing?
- Ability to segment and target specific audiences to improve relevancy
- More frequent communication at substantially lower cost
- Speed of execution – campaigns can be executed in days instead of weeks or months
- Real-time marketing and engagement tracking
- Faster test cycles lead to quicker campaign optimization
- Your message is delivered to the right person and the right time which can improve engagement
- ROI and VISIBILITY
What is the market opportunity?
- 51% of email marketers spend at least 10% of their budget on email
- 20% of marketers spend 40% or more of their budget on email
- 55.5% of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing
- 37.4% plan to decrease direct mail spend
- Only 3.4% are decreasing budgets for email marketing
- 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email
- 80% more people are opening email on a mobile device than six months ago (as of June 2014)
- MarketingSherpa survey found 92% of the marketing leaders surveyed felt email either produces, or will produce, positive ROI.
How to control SPAM complaints
- Relevance in acquisition email marketing is imperative
- Recipient engagement plays a big role in determining inbox delivery
- The message should be relevant if you want to generate a response and not a spam complaint
- Email sending best practices are operating imperatives including:
- Compliance with legally required e-mail practices
- CAN-SPAM compliance
- Quick processing of opt-out requests
- Remediation of complaints
- List hygiene to remove opt-outs and hard bounces
- Accept that spam complaints are part of acquisition email
How to measure success
- Typical email campaign reports include what is helpful but not sufficient to determine the real success of the campaign.
- Number of emails delivered
- Number of emails opened
- Number of emails clicked
- To truly measure the performance of an email campaign it is important to track behavior once the consumer clicks onto the brand’s website pages. This helps estimate actual value of the email campaign beyond opens and clicks.
- Page views
- Most website analytical tools provide a simple tag/code that is tied to each link included in the email creative. Such tools include Omniture or Google Analytics.
- Key take away: During the planning stage determine what is going to be measured and how.
How to set expectations
- Most published email campaign performance is for email deployments to current customers.
- These reflect much higher delivery, open and engagements rates
- Define the metrics that matter
- Understand critical success factors that impact campaign performance and be able to spot them:
- Effective targeting
- Compelling calls to action
- Creative that gets to the Inbox
How to target the audience with profiling
- Profiles help create a general definition of an audience so that marketing communications can become more tailored and relevant
- Customer profiles report key traits such as income, age, home ownership, presence of children, marital status, household composition, lifestyle interests or for B2B campaigns firmographics like title, company size, public/private.
- Customer profiles can identify the following:
- “Who” are your customers?
- How are they alike or different?
- Where do they live?
- What are their traits/behaviors?
- RESULT: Higher Delivery %, Open Rate % CTR % = Engagement
How to test effectiveness of email campaigns
Testing is an inexpensive way to measure the effectiveness of email campaigns and marketing messages. Be sure to test creative, subject lines, and formatting.
- Creative – Developing good creative is as much science as it is art. Knowing the keys to a successful design will go a long way in elevating your email message’s likelihood of getting to its destination. Follow the proper formats for images, use personalization, and be sure emails are mobile friendly.
- Subject line – The subject line is the equivalent of the envelope for a direct mail piece. It is critical that it is developed properly. Research words to avoid, use compelling call to action phrases, test subject line length, and incorporate a known (Brand, Town, Etc.)
What are some delivery best practices?
- Use separate IP addresses for different types of messages
- Enables better management of issues that arise
- Dedicated domains and IP addresses for brands that mail consistently is much better than the use of shared domains or IP addresses
- Shared domains/IP addresses will be utilized for acquisition
- When sending large volume campaigns
- Use multiple creative for every 1mm records
- This modifies creative “footprint” of the message and prevents ISP filtering which results in improved delivery rate
- Throttle delivery over many hours or in some cases days
- Protect sending reputation and system infrastructure through full compliance with legally required email practices
- Remedy complaints as quickly as possible
- Meet or exceed all aspects of CAN-SPAM compliance
- Cleanse lists of opt-outs and hard bounces immediately
- Only send legitimate offers
There’s no denying that email marketing drives results, and it’s consistently cited as the most effective form of online marketing in driving conversion. We’ve only covered some basic tips and tricks to enhance your email marketing strategy. Please leave a comment to let us know what is working for you.
To learn how to target customers and prospects with immediate, relevant content and offers based on data, download our data driven marketing eBook.