Written by Matt Warren
27th November 2015 • 11 min read
A study by The Relevancy Group in 2015 found that email alone generated more revenue than social media, website and display ads combined. Not only that, but it’s an incredibly cost-effective form of marketing; in fact, the Direct Marketing Association say email marketing provides an ROI of $39 for every dollar spent.
For all the talk about email effectiveness beginning to decrease, it seems more like consumers are inundated with spam-like marketing emails and becoming very picky about which ones they open.
It’s time to be smart if you’re going to take advantage of this potential goldmine – here’s how.
1. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly
A study earlier this year found that 53% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, with this figure hitting 88% when it comes to Millennials. Most emails are designed around a computer or laptop screen, but these translate to a lot of scrolling when it comes to a smart phone. IE: no one’s going to read that.
It’s imperative that your emails have a responsive design that will adapt to whatever device they’re being opened on. Don’t believe us? Well, Experian case studies found that responsive design emails can show a 63% increase in CTRs and 18% improvement in transaction rates.
We all know images can really make an email pop, but you’ll need to be pickier when considering mobile.
2. Take time to create a strong subject line
Regardless of what data, funnels or strategies you’re working from, never forget the most basic thing – words.
Email subject lines are the one thing that will get your email read, so don’t write them as an after thought. Put in some effort and come up with ideas that will grab a person’s attention.
While ‘funny’ and ‘quirky’ are great qualities, you should also consider personalising it. Studies have found that personalised subject lines boost open rates by an average of 29.3%, but this can be as high as 41.8% for consumer products and services companies.
3. Start targeting Millennials
It’s predicted that Millennials’ annual spending power will reach $200 billion by 2017; this makes the 17-34 age group the most coveted market for online retailers. With nearly 98% of Millennials checking their personal email regularly at work, 70% checking them from bed and 57% from the bathroom, email marketing is the obvious way reach this group.
Millennials say they want to see fewer repetitive emails from brands, so don’t spam and be smart. Do your research and get to know the Millennial demographic, from the times they check email to the slang they use – making your emails relevant is the best way to get interaction.
4. Use A/B testing
The reality is that marketers aren’t psychic and while you may know all the tips and tricks, you’re never going to be 100% sure that a subject line or body text will definitely work. That’s where A/B testing comes in.
Brainstorm different ideas and then compose a few email variations, using A/B testing to measure CTR and conversion rates. It would be time consuming to carry this out for every email, but running it through a few general variations, such as big sales or cart recovery.
5. Use all that data you’re collecting
Good marketers are always collecting data when visitors come to their site, so why not put this to good use when creating an email campaign. One great way to use this is for cart recovery. If a visitor abandons their shopping cart, you have the opportunity to reengage them and reel them back to your store.
Set up a few emails to go out over the period of two weeks, reminding them of the items they saved and tempting them to return and buy them.
6. Pick the right moment
An interesting fact that was brought up during November’s Festival of Marketing was that retailers are actually using weather to make email marketing decisions. Return Path conducted a study in the UK on the subject and found weather could impact email campaign effectiveness.
They discovered that email open rates and engagement increased during cold or rainy weather, with the results reversed when the weather is dry and warm.
7. Make it personal…
Personalising emails is a simple way to grab a person’s attention, while making them feel like they’re more than impersonal data to a company. In fact, statistics released by Aberdeen group showed that personalising an email improved CTRs by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
Adding a personalised subject line (as discussed above) while personalising the body text can have a massive impact, but even more so is combining it with a call-to-action; in fact, a personalised CTA can do 42% better, with ‘Click Here’ getting better results than ‘Go’ or ‘Submit’.
8. …and remember to honour the big moments
Again, this is another chance to use the data you’ve been collecting. A study by Experian CheetahMail found that anniversary emails generated seven-times more revenue than bulk emails did, while birthday emails generate twice the amount.
Most of these emails included some kind of offer or discount to celebrate the event, and researchers found that birthday emails offering money off generated the highest revenue per email, followed by free shipping and percent-off campaigns. Money-off promotions also had the best performance among anniversary emails.
9. Don’t send a generic email to everyone
Think about it – if you bought fancy camera equipment from an electronics store, would you really swoon over a promotion surrounding a washing machine? Probably not.
Instead of sending generic emails to everyone, segment your customer lists. A guy isn’t going to be interested in a sale for women’s shoes, and many women would find it odd getting an email for men’s shaving products from a department store. It’s not just that these people won’t click, but they may actually unsubscribe from your mailing list if they don’t think it’s relevant to them.
10. Make everyone’s lives easier
Email marketing automation means you can set systems in motion to look after your clients without creating extra work for yourself. For visitors who saved wish lists on your site, you can generate automatic emails to them over the coming month to remind them of the products they wanted.
Sending automated targeted information based on their journey through your site means you’ll be sending your new and old customers information they want to see, and you’ll save yourself time and money.
Written by Matt Warren
Latest posts by Matt Warren (see all)
- Veeqo Marketplace Brings Powerful New Tools for Growing Your Ecommerce Business - 18th September 2017