Social Marketing Fella

Bring Your Email Marketing to the Next Level With These Best Practices

Email marketing may still be one of the most effective ways to build and develop relationships with customers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your campaign will yield the results you want by default. Proper planning and strategizing are essential.

Luckily, designing a strong campaign doesn’t need to be a challenge. Follow these tips, and you’ll be much more likely to leverage this marketing tool to its full potential.

Use A/B Testing to Track Metrics

In email marketing, A/B testing involves sending out two versions of the same email and reviewing how they each fared according to metrics like click-through rates, open rates, conversions, and the like. Typically, the two versions will feature slightly different subject lines, body content, or both. You can use this method to develop a better understanding of what does and doesn’t work in a campaign.

Bounce rates are another metric you should track. It’s useless to put your time and energy into building an email campaign if no one will receive what you send. Having invalid or outdated email addresses on your list will also skew this result. As such, use an email verifier tool to make sure your content will be successfully landing in inboxes.

Comparative testing can be an extremely valuable process. For example, by using A/B testing, Barack Obama’s marketing team learned that an email with one subject line yielded $403,600 worth of donations. Another subject line, however, resulted in $2,540,866 in donations.

Alert Customers to Incomplete Purchases

There’s a lot of distracting content on the internet. Thus, e-commerce customers often fail to complete purchases. They add items to their carts but abandon them before checking out.

A customer who was willing to add an item to their cart is likely someone who may still consider making the purchase. With automation, you can send an email to customers who abandoned their carts, asking them why they did so. This simple reminder often results in the customer returning to your site to finish the transaction.

Engage Dormant Customers

Automation can also allow you to reach out to followers who may no longer read your emails or purchase your services consistently.

If a customer hasn’t engaged with your brand for a certain amount of time,  you can set an automated system to trigger an email designed to find out why they’ve been dormant. You may also want to include a special promotion or reward to entice them back.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Brands often find that products with reviews sell much better than those without comments.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage by sending pre-set emails to customers a few days after they purchase an item or service asking if they’d like to review it. This is another instance when it could help to offer a reward. Customers are more likely to leave a review if you incentivize them to do so.

Reward Loyal Customers

Segmenting your email lists is important. You want to make sure you’re sending messages that are relevant to the audience receiving them.

One way to segment your list involves identifying your most loyal or active customers. Send emails to them offering rewards, and your brand loyalty will likely increase even further.

Make a Calendar for Seasons & Holidays

Holidays and seasonal changes give you the chance to send unique and timely emails. Unfortunately, marketers often don’t plan ahead, drafting rushed holiday emails at the last minute.

Don’t get stuck in this position. When planning a campaign, focus on holidays, seasons, and special events, so you can adequately strategize around them.

Combine Campaigns

According to one study, a major retailer learned that a customer was 22% more likely to make a purchase if they received ads via email as well as through targeted social media campaigns.

Although email is typically more effective than social media marketing, the two don’t need to be separate. Targeting the same customers on both social media and email will likely result in more conversions than relying on one strategy alone.

Get Ideas

There’s nothing wrong with subscribing to your competitors’ email lists. Seeing what they’re doing will help you generate more ideas of your own.

After all, email marketing is an art and a science. You need to represent your brand in a creative, individualized way, but you also need to monitor the success of your campaign using hard numbers. These tips will help you do both, resulting in the strongest campaign possible.

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Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

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