7 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Email Marketing
By Michael Taylor
Email marketing remains a lead and business generation force, and companies large and small can reap huge returns.
According to a survey of marketers conducted last summer, the average ROI from email campaigns was over 100 percent! This ROI beat out other marketing channels by over four times, including social media, paid search, and direct mail.
A DMA study from 2019 even found that email marketing could generate as much as $42 for every $1 spent, which equals a mind-blowing 4,200% percent ROI.
For anyone trying to squeeze more out of their email marketing or turn around a lackluster lead generation program, here are 7 pointers for increasing the effectiveness of your email efforts.
Segment Your List (Or Risk Being Irrelevant)
Talk to people about the topics, products, and ideas they are interested in.
According to an infographic by Optimove, using segmented, relevant messaging greatly improve your open rate while driving increasing levels of revenue and ROI for your campaigns.
Think about being at a party where someone is droning on and on about something you just don’t care about or have any interest in. “If you don’t understand your audience and the variety of people who make up that audience, your chances of success are limited,” says Michael Taylor, B63 Line’s Content and Strategy Director.
While a general email message aimed at “everyone” seems efficient to develop and send, you may really be communicating “I don’t care what you are actually interested in” to multiple segments of your audience. If your goal is new sales or lead generation, you’ll be disappointed more often than not.
In order to be able to create messages that are on target for the various audiences you want to reach, you have to do your homework. Rolling up your sleeves and researching who makes up your audience, what questions they have, what information is important to them help you create buyer personas. Segmenting your list by buyer personas allows you to create messages that are more relevant and potentially more successful.
For people who opt into your email list, you can give them a chance to customize the content they receive by interest, product category, and other choices from a pick-list. Letting a prospect decide what is important to them gives you a leg up on putting them into the right segment! Using an email automation system like Constant Contact or Mailchimp is critical to keeping these segments organized.
Once you have segments established, take a moment to highlight the difference between each segment based on consumer traits, progress through the sales pipeline and how they have interacted with your content or sales team. Then, outline the type of content that would be most relevant to each segment AND what would be least relevant and should not be sent.
Taking a moment to get to know your audience can dramatically increase your open rates while lowering the number of unsubscribes you receive.
Use Personalization to Make Recipients Perk Up
When we hear our names, we tend to take notice. Even if we hear our name called out in a crowded room, we tend to perk up and look to see who is calling out – even if we don’t know anyone in the room!
We have the same reaction when we see our names in an email. Personalization with a name and other details grabs people’s attention increasing open rates by 26 percent.
Note that personalization involves more than just adding a first name to an email. The entire message should be framed as if the recipient is having a 1:1 conversation with the sender. LinkedIn has become a pro at this tactic. They use personalization in a way that makes you sit up and listen.
The above message not only includes a name but signals that an exciting activity has happened. It says people are looking at your profile. Personalization gets people excited or intrigued just by looking at a subject line.
Segmenting your user base by the products they have bought or content on your website they’ve viewed is another way to connect more deeply right from the subject line. “New Instant Pot recipes” can be a way for Instant Pot owners to have immediate interest, for instance.
Data from eConsultancy shows that this type of personalization is a key win for marketers with successful email programs. “74% of marketers have stated that targeted personalization of emails increases their overall customer engagement rates.”
Test Subject Lines Rigorously
A lot of marketers fail the moment they begin creating the subject line. Creating a compelling subject line is what gets your email considered and opened. Get in-house feedback from a fresh set of eyes, and A/B test different subject lines before rolling out massive campaigns.
The first step is to make use of an email preheader tool. The preheader copy helps enhance the email subject line by adding compelling content to get your email opened.
People tend to filter out what emails to read by the subject line alone. 69 percent of email recipients will report a message as spam based solely on the subject line.
Some of the worst subject line words to use include:
- Act now
- Order now
- Cash Bonus
- Incredible deal
- Limited-time offer
- Almost any phrase with the word “free” in it
Promise to Not Waste Their Time by Always Signaling Value
Thinking like a recipient means coming up with ways to offer something they might actually want. For sales and promotional offers, think of the hottest product they might want or the best offer possible. Don’t just tell them there’s a “sale”; tell them what that means.
When offering something non-material, like information, explain clearly how the contents of the email benefit the user. It could be something deep/important like “Want More 5 Star Reviews☆☆☆☆☆?” or even something more lighthearted like “Cover Your Eyes! The Worst Ads of 2019.”
Many email marketers find great results by telling their audience how they can get more out of the products or services they already use.
Use Powerful Images to Get a Reaction
HTML-based email templates have transformed inboxes from a boring wall of text to a gorgeous place for showcasing compact content with attractive graphics.
Images are especially important on mobile devices since they make messages more colorful and intriguing. Since 47 percent of all people use a mobile device to check their email.
Make sure you have text-only alternatives for image blockers and don’t go overboard with the images you use. Using images in a sloppy or unappealing way can hurt rather than help.
Using a video embedded within an email or as a link can likewise help improve open rates and click-throughs. According to one source, just using the word “video” in a subject line can boost clickthrough by 65 percent and opens by as much as 19 percent.
Tell People What to Do with a Single Call to Action
This one is simple: every email should have one powerful and obvious call to action (CTA).
Your CTA can be nearly anything, including
● Take advantage of a limited-time offer
● Try our tips
● Download this valuable tool
● Attend our event
● Start your free demo now
● Book a free consultation
Ensure that your CTA is crystal clear and compelling. Every recipient should know exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
Providing a landing page after clicks to direct them to a simple and direct message to simplify the process further. That way, your CTA is just “Click Here,” and they go directly to what they want on your landing page.
Avoid multiple CTAs. Your copy should lead prospects to ONE obvious conclusion – Take this action!
Study Your Email Marketing Analytics
Every company has to study their data in order to find what their audience seems to like/dislike about their emails.
Learn how to read your email analytics and use these insights to optimize your approach over time. Trial-and-error is the only way to truly get better at something, and luckily email gives you plenty of data to learn from.
Stick to Best Practices to Drive Success in Email Marketing
Mastering email marketing takes a lot of experimentation, practice, trial-and-error, and attention to detail, but by following the best practices mentioned above, you can be well on your way towards greater success.
Just to recap your keys to success:
1. Use segmentation and develop personas to maximize relevance
2. Personalize emails to get attention
3. Test subject lines and think like a recipient
4. Promise true value to the recipient through your word choice and messaging
5. Use images where it makes sense in your layout
6. Direct people to act with a single strong CTA
7. Use analytics data to optimize your approach over time
B63 Line offers a free email analysis to help guide your efforts. Sometimes it takes an outside view to see how to get your email marketing on track. Schedule your review today!
Michael Taylor is an experienced content and digital strategy expert at B63 Line. He loves working with clients, learning about their products and services and how their stories get told online. Michael is a successful content marketer, blogger, and ghostwriter for a variety of clients, startups and growth-stage companies.