Let’s be honest, every time we check our Inbox, the emails that we finally delete or just ignore are always more than the ones that we finally open, read and respond to. Tones of digital ink has been spent in writing tips and tricks on creating the best email campaigns, with the biggest success rates (success rate = percentage of emails opened), but still we delete more emails than we open. Is it only because of the wrong Subject, content and image or there are more reasons that cause the failure of an email campaign?
First of all it’s really important to decide to WHOM the email campaign will be sent. List segmentation is the biggest tip according to Maciej Fita, Managing Director of Brandignity, for a successful campaign. “Sending emails that are not of interest to your subscribers makes it more possible that the subject matter you are blasting out to them is falling on deaf ears, resulting in climbing unsubscribe rate” as Tyler Botts, creative director for Alien Gear , quotes. Sean Si, CEO and founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz, is totally against the bought lists and ready-fire-aim list, because “it has to be a list of people who are interested in what you have to say”. Ken Rhie from Trumpia uses an interesting way of segmenting their subscribers. They use a CRM tool which automatically categorize the users based upon their interaction on our website and then send relevant topic emails.
After the collection of the recipients of the campaign, it’s really important to select WHEN the email will be sent. “Timing is everything”, Michael Joseph, Head Strategist of WME, quotes, suggesting the Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday between 8-9 am and 12-3pm as the best engagement times. Brad Bonic, Marketing Manager at AAG , warns us not to “bombard our customers”. Having a balanced frequent send pattern adjusted to your business, with some exceptions for special offers and sales is the key to achieve the maximum engagement.
However, no matter if you have selected carefully the audience and the time for your email campaign, the content plays the most important role to its success. WHAT will be written in the Subject and Main body of the email? Let’s start from the Subject of the email. It’s obvious that “this is your first and last chance to grab the clients attention, so you need something catchy” , according to Richard Bexon, Chief Operating Officer of Costa Rica Vacations . He also suggests including the clients name to your subject in order to make clear that it’s not another one spam mail. On the other hand, Jeremy Levi, director of Marketing in Card Cash, believes that enticing people with the subject line, only drives to opens, not actions; putting the sale or offer in the subject line makes people open the email. Marc Prosser, co-founder and managing partner of Marc Waring Ventures , mentions that the short subject lines have the highest open rates, but longer subject lines (28-39 characters) are more effective at generating click-thrus. Jeffrey Milano, CEO of the People’s Chemist , underlines the importance of a really compelling subject line, “that readers have to open it to see what it is amongst the rest of the watered-down drivel in their inbox”. Michael Joseph describes the best subject line as something that attracts the following emotional triggers: “Quick-Scarcity-Gain”. A curiosity gap is also something that the subject line should have according to Kamila Gornia, digital marketing strategist.
And now that the subscriber has opened your email and is astonished by your super duper subject, it’s time we take a look at the content. Louise Hendon, Co-Founder of Paleo Living Magazine, suggests a short email asking the reader a question, so that they respond and get more engaged. Jeremy Levi encourages us to have an urgent call to action in the email for a special offer for example that last only two days. People do not have much time to think, so they act right away. On the other hand, Jaclyn Lambert advices us to avoid buzz words like sale, now, help or open, as “our eyes have gotten used to them and we quickly reach for the delete button”.
Under any circumstances should we forget that on the other side of the email there is a human with all their problems and desires, so showing an empathy, as John McIntyre suggests, showing them that we want to understand them will really going to inspire and drive the marketing that we do. Bryce Liggins seems to share this opinion, as he thinks of email marketing as one to one communication:”As soon as your list feels like they are being blasted, they will realize you do not value them as a customer and they will move on”.
So, that the subject and content are ready, it’s the time to start A/B testing it. Marci Hansen, CMO in SheerID , believes that “testing can provide valuable insights into your audience and behavior. Subject lines and CTA’s like using a hyperlink versus a call to action button are great testing examples.” One more thing that Marc Prosser pointed out is the mobile version of every email campaign, as we should be sure that the email looks good on smartphones. Emails with heavy graphic presentations can cause issues, whereas we should always keep in mind that images may be stripped out when readers view them on a mobile device.
Finally, we are ready to go! Send your email campaign and do not forget to use a CRM tool to track its effectiveness. Stats including open, click and unsubscribe rates can extract useful reports on “what links your customers are clicking and use that information for the future”, as Tyler Bott claims. Daniel Horning, director of Web Marketing at Hire A Helper , shared with us an interesting tip, he suggests creating a list of the people that didn’t open the email and send another copy with a new subject line.
You will never have a second chance to make a first impression, so keeping it that always in mind when organizing email campaigns is the key to successful Marketing.