Email Marketing | 5 Campaign Features That Work
Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece Anna Karenina begins with this line: “Happy families are all alike…”.
The same applies to marketing campaigns: all successful marketing campaigns have several features in common.
Apply these features to your email marketing campaigns and watch your subscribers grow.
5 ways to improve email marketing results
1. Develop a brand voice
How do you talk to your customers? Are you peppy? Energetic? Funny? Witty? Data-driven?
The first task is to establish your unique brand voice and extend it to emails.
When your emails use a tone that’s different from the tone used in other communications, your recipients sense a dissonance, which makes them uneasy.
Dissonance can upset the experience that you want to offer them.
It creates friction, making them reluctant to take action, and may come off as fake or spam email.
Following is a bad example of a fake email.
While fake emails are often obvious (bad grammar, poor sender address, improper formatting etc), the overall structure is bad.
By creating and following your brand voice, you ensure that no matter where you meet your customers –
on your website, on social media platforms, in their inbox, or elsewhere – your brand tone remains the same.
It builds trust and smoothes the buyer’s journey.
2. Revisit your list building practices
Using purchased lists is a bad idea (and illegal in many countries).
So you must build your email list.
You must follow a list building protocol. This can be important for success.
Always keep track of where you collect your emails from.
Paid advertisements, third-party sites, your landing pages…
each likely to give you different quality and demographic.
Keep tabs on the message and the CTAs (call-to-action) in each source and keep tweaking them accordingly.
Secondly, always have real-time email verification in place.
That way, every time a user keys in their email address, the email verification platform will, in real-time, perform a validity check of the email address.
If the email address is fake, invalid, or otherwise of poor quality, the system will ask the user to enter a fresh email address.
Here’s what that would look like:
3. Improve email personalisation
Personalised emails have taken centre stage in marketing over the past decade or so, thanks to the enormous amount of data available to businesses.
With an email campaign, there are many opportunities available to make your automated emails read as if you had written them individually.
Here are four tips to better personalize your emails.
- First name: Open the email using the name of the recipient. Any day, “Hi Tyler” is a lot better than simply “Hi” (or, worse still, “Hi [firstname]”, when you couldn’t fix the dynamic text).
- Purchase history: If the customer has already bought something from you, mention that to build context. Amazon does it well – remember those emails that suggest products complementing the ones you purchased recently?
- Demographics: Have any additional data about them, like the state or city they are based in? Use that data to sound personal, like mentioning how rainy it is in Memphis at this time of the year.
- Last resort: If you have no other data, you can use basic info like the last time they opened an email from you. Write a special email to all those who last opened your email, say, a month back, invite them back into the fold. Offer some goodies, if possible.
4. Run A/B tests
Let’s say you have a small list of 5,000 subscribers.
And you have read the emails, and for each email, you have two subject lines (don’t forget the importance of subject lines in your email marketing).
Let’s call it Subject Line 1 and Subject Line 2. How do you decide which of the subject lines you should use?
Simple: Don’t decide it yourself. Let your audience decide.
Run what is called the A/B test (AKA Split Tests).
Out of your 5,000 subscribers, send, say, 20% of them (which is 1,000) an email with Subject Line 1 and 20% of them an email with Subject Line 2. Check the email KPIs after 24 hours (or 48 hours max).
The one that exhibits a better performance is the subject line you should be using for the rest of the subscribers (which is 3,000).
Note that the use of A/B tests prevents the marketer’s own bias from impacting the campaign and instead optimizes it based on which of the two alternatives performed better.
5. Use automation for behavioural triggers
Sending five or ten emails is very different from sending hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of emails.
Only automation can help you send relevant emails when you’re talking larger volumes.
Look at one of the many email service providers that can help you set various triggers, then automate and scale your campaigns.
You will easily see how the service can send out what are called trigger emails.
If the prospect downloaded a certain item, they receive a different email.
If the buyer abandons their cart without making a purchase, they receive a different email.
The possibilities are vast, and you can decide what actions should be used to trigger each email.
That’s what automation does besides other things.
It’s not just about sending 5,000 or 50,000 emails in a matter of minutes (though that’s important too).
It’s about creating context and helping prospects from being a casual website visitor to a paid customer.
Developing a brand voice, reviewing your list building practices, improving personalization, running A/B tests and using behavioural triggers in automation can turn a below-average campaign into a star performer.
The secret lies in getting started.
Your buyers are either moving from offline to online or spending more time online than before, and you want to woo them with one of the most efficient marketing channels – email marketing.
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