A new year is here! That means it’s a great time to evaluate our strategies and processes in our businesses. Is your email marketing strategy pulling its weight? Are you getting the number of conversions you were hoping for? Here are some ideas for how you can refresh your email marketing this year.
Changing up your templates can be an easy way to refresh your email marketing. Instead of columns or big paragraphs of text, you could try a grid layout. Maybe you started a campaign a while ago and it could use some updating. If you are running any seasonal promotions, you could also use that as a spring board to launch a new marketing element you’ve been wanting to try. Maybe you could use some new visuals.
Of course the most important thing when you’re considering a new design is making sure it goes along with your brand strategy. Soon, I will be writing a new post all about branding. If you would like to be updated as soon as new content comes out, please click this link.
What is the purpose of your email campaign? Whatever that call-to-action step is for you, that’s the most important thing, right? When the average adult attention span of a page is 8 seconds, you need all your content to be directed towards the call-to-action. Take a look at this picture from Campaign Monitor:
The inverted triangle shape directs people quickly to the call-to-action without a bunch of bulky text.
Making your content easy to scan means that the most important information gets seen up front and then they can find what they are interested in and read more in depth.
Automated is the way to go when you have so many other things on your plate. There are so many options for Automated Campaigns that it can really become very customized to your individual business. Always make sure to match the look and feel of your brand. Automated campaigns can be a game changer in your email marketing refresh. The trick is making your automated emails still feel personal, which is the next point.
Personalization in your emails is a great way to connect with your audience in multiple demographics! You can create different templates based on what demographic, location, etc. and send it in different ways. Add their name in the subject line, then customize the content based on list segments.
Talking to them like you’re talking to a friend definitely makes it feel more personal. What about sending them a Happy New Year email, or wishing them Merry Christmas? It doesn’t even have to have sales in it! Just a heartfelt well-wishing email makes it feel more personal.
Here are some common email segments you can create:
- Geographic location – if you have a brick and mortar location, you might not want to advertise something to an out of state subscriber.
- Demographics – You can customize based on age and gender.
- Past actions – if someone has opened or purchased something in the past.
- Workflow activity – If you have an auto-responder series, you could use this to create specific campaigns to send to people who have completed 50% of the series.
- Customer Data – this is useful for those who want to send out campaigns to customers who haven’t made a purchase recently.
But if you DO have something to promote, definitely have a sale! MarketingSherpa, a case study research company, says that 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email over the 17% who prefer social media. Since you’re doing a refresh of your email marketing, running a promotion would be a great way to relaunch your new and improved email templates.
Having a strategy for how often you send out your emails helps you avoid waiting too long between emails or the WORST – flooding subscribers with too many emails. So how often should you send out emails to your subscribers?
This chart by MarketingSherpa gives us a good idea. They asked this question of 2,057 adults: “How often, if ever, would you like to receive promotional emails from companies that you do business with?”
In another study that Marketingsherpa conducted, they found that more than 70% of people who responded still prefer email for promotional materials. BUT they definitely don’t want every communication to be promotional. Aim to have a 80/20 mix so that 80% of your content is devoted to valuable and useful information, and only 20% devoted to promotions and sales. As you think about refreshing your email marketing, definitely take timing into account.
If you haven’t already set up your email into a marketing tool like MailChimp, mailerlite or Campaign Monitor, you can build your list by importing your existing customer’s details into one! They make it so easy to send professional, personalized emails quickly, and they have built in automation. Be sure though that you have adequate permissions to email these subscribers.
You need to start capturing email addresses and building your list if you don’t already have one set up. You can do this by offering a valuable incentive and easy subscribe opportunities.
- Have a blog? Then you can offer to send your best content to subscribers through email.
- If you sell goods through an online store, then you could offer them a discount on their first order if they subscribe to your email list. This is a great two-for-one, because not only do you have a new subscriber, but they also have an incentive to buy from you.
- You could also offer them free or upgraded shipping if they join your email list.
- Having a sign-up at the end of your blog post for your email list is a great way to get more subscribers! If they read all the way to the end of one of your posts, chances are, they will like the rest of your content too.
- Pop-ups on your site that are timed correctly – like when someone is 3/4 of the way through reading an article instead of immediately when you get to a new page – are way more likely to convert.
Testing and Optimization
You can track the success of your email marketing campaigns in your marketing tool and in your website analytics tool.
This can show you a number of very helpful things:
- Number of unique opens – people who opened the campaign
- Number of bounces – email address that you could not deliver to
- Number of emails not opened – people who didn’t open it
- Open rate – The percentage of people who opened it
- Click-through rate – the percentage of people who opened your campaign and then clicked on a link.
- Unsubscribe rate – the percentage of people who unsubscribed from your email list through this campaign
- Spam Complaints – the number of people who marked it as spam
- Shares – the number of people who forwarded your campaign to a friend or shared it via the social media buttons.
Is it Responsive?
More emails are opened on mobile then on desktops, so it’s more important then ever to make sure that your emails are responsive and look GREAT on mobile phones too! If your email content isn’t mobile friendly, you could be missing out on a lot of conversions.
If you don’t already have social share buttons on your emails, this would be an essential thing to add. It’s such an easy, quick way for your subscribers to share your business with others. And the amount of click-through rates increase significantly when social sharing is included in emails. QuickSprout says that “Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sites.” Refreshing your email marketing definitely deserves all the shares! We definitely want to get all that new beautiful content out there.
Social Media Platforms
If you already have a following on some social media platforms, then you could try to convert them into email subscribers as well. Link to your subscribe form often to keep it in front of your followers. There are different ways to do this on each social media platform, so be sure to look into how to do this with the specific platform you use.
Sometimes people put something in their cart intending to buy it, but get distracted by the dog, the kids, the house work… I know I’m definitely guilty of this! A great way to use your email marketing is to have a reminder email go out to them when they have something unpurchased in their cart.
Setting up automation and collecting a great email base that you can use on a email marketing tool can sound like a lot. And if you don’t have a lot of time to focus on learning an entirely new system, you can feel like this is a bit much. We can help! Sign up for a FREE consultation today and we can partner with you to build the perfect email marketing strategy for you and your business.