Acing Email Marketing Campaigns
As a creative copywriter, I have been asked to make suggestions and generally improve overall performance of email marketing campaigns for more than a decade. Consider these tips your guide to help make your email newsletters and/or campaigns sparkle!
Choose Responses over Clicks
One of the most common dilemmas my client’s come to me with is that their click through rate has gone down. This is worrying sure, because one of the metrics we are trained to look at with web and email is clicks. But a much better measurement is how people respond to what you have sent. Whether it is clicking onto a sale button or going through to a further article, registering for an event or even joining your social media, if you get people interacting with your email and following your call to action you are being successful in your campaign.
Segment your Email Lists
We all sign up to newsletters and judge them on the first couple of times we read them, right? So if someone signs up because are in the same field as you, they won’t be interested in the promotions for your customers. If a customer wants to know about your promotions, they probably won’t want to hear about your latest creative goal kicking exercise. So make sure you segment your lists in order to make your emails as relevant to each customer as possible. If you have no idea why people have signed up for your list, ask them!
Abolish Whacky Theories
I have heard (and probably espoused) some pretty finite theories about when emails should be sent. The reality is there is no magic day, time of day, frequency or secret handshake you need to know to have an email read more often. The main rule of thumb is don’t send too many and be consistent. If your readers expect and newsletter once a month of general info and happenings and the occasional bit of surprise good news or a sale, then it’s ok to follow that pattern. If it’s weekly, fine. Relevance and consistency are King.
Know Thy Reader
Find out more about your customers than the standard setup of email address and name. I’m not advocating having people do an exam in order to join your email list, but little things such as location, gender, occupation, likes or dislikes and so on can help you work out more about your readers and also surprise them with more relevant content from time to time. Develop rapport. If someone signs up, send them a personal email and ask them questions and respond back to their feedback once you get it. That 5 minutes of special attention will be worth it, trust me.
It’s not your timetable, it’s theirs
Always remember emails go your customer’s inbox and will be consumed according to how that person wants to interact with your content. So even if you have enough interesting news for several emails a day, don’t bombard your readers else you risk overwhelming them and drowning them in unread emails! Give them enough to whet their appetite, make it relevant and easy to navigate and let your content drive readers to your site to find out more. Also, time is often precious, so avoid putting big spiels in your email. Break it down so people can choose to read and respond to your content on their own terms.
Having exclusive content, whitepapers, tip booklets, eBooks and so on are great ways to gain the initial email of a potential new customer, but there is a little more to it than just the email capture. To take your “freebies” to the next level, email newly registered customers and ask them if they enjoyed the “freebie”, open yourself up to questions and ask them a little bit about themselves. Not only does this give you a greater idea of where they fit into the scheme of things for future email campaigns, it shows you actually care about your customers and what they think of your content.
Permission is not optional
It can be tempting to recycle lists and/or use other techniques to gain email addresses. However adding people to your list without their permission is not only rude, you run the risk of legal ramifications regarding privacy laws. Never add an address without letting a person know why they were added to your email list, and always respond immediately to anyone who wishes to be removed. No exceptions.
Quality Rules, Quantity Drools
Write emails that matter to your customers. Make sure they are relevant and engaging, easy to read and approachable. Mix in photos and video (the web is visual after all!) and give your readers an overview that captures their imagination so they respond to your content. It’s OK to be controversial, salesy, personal, share a fireside chat, ask for opinions, share info about something you admire and so on- as long as you write in a relevant, interesting and succinct way.
Acing Email Marketing Campaigns need not be a chore. View them as an opportunity to personally connect with your readers and customers! If you want to know more on how to make email work for you, contact me!
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