It’s 2014. You may think email marketing is something of the past as social media outlets take center stage, but really, it’s catching up as new tools become available and innovations are made. This means it requires extra effort for integration with your other marketing strategies. Emailing your consumers is turning into a form of social engagement, and there’s no sign of it ceasing. Knowing the old strategies and ignoring the new ones can lead to an unorganized and ineffective mess of email blasts. Here are 8 ways to screw up your strategy. Let’s hope you’re not committing these email crimes.
- Keeping Promotions on Social Media You email your consumers for many reasons – but leading them to your landing page and their shopping cart checkout should be the focus. Maybe you’re avoiding too much email marketing because you think promotions are more effective on social media. Truth be told, 64% of consumers prefer promotional emails to any other medium. Keep sprinkling deals throughout your Facebook and Twitter content, but emails should really drive your marketing campaign in terms of deals and sales. The key is being savvy about what you send to the inbox.
- Committing Content Fails This is the biggest email faux pas, and there are a lot of ways to fail at it. Simple things like long subject lines without a punch, to more complex things like sending everyone the same email every time can inspire those unsubscribers. Make sure your subject lines are short and sweet (6-10 words is best) with eye-grabbing verbs and avoid spammy ones like ‘cash’ and ‘sale.’ Now to the body of your email: image-centric is the way to go. Avoid too much text and focus on the call to action. Original images are a great start, but also think social media style with memes, gifs, videos, and even music. Get creative and entertain consumers so they don’t feel like they’re being sold to. Advances in this digital age demand interactions between company and consumer be as personal as possible; this includes email send outs. Reach out via email based on interests, purchase history, birthdays, a welcoming series for new subscribers, etc. Tailoring the message as much as possible using behavioral data gets the most out of your campaign; even simple data points like gender matter. Finally, include link buttons to social media for easy sharing, and obviously, your landing page for quick click purchasing.
- Overdoing It
Did you know that 47% of opt outs are because of inbox crowding? Along with avoiding irrelevant spam style content, keep the blasts to a minimum. Friendly reminders when they’ve abandoned their cart are smart, but constant emails without much substance are just annoying. The more emails you send, the less valuable each one seems. If you have a promotional sale every week, they’ll appear less exclusive; the consumer will just wait for the next one. When it comes to emails, more is not more.
- Being a Mobile Enemy How is email marketing changing, exactly? Other than a more image-centric, personalized touch, your emails need to be optimized for mobile. Now, most emails are opened on iPhones, Androids, and tablets. 87% of connected devices are smartphones and tablets, so think mobile first, not just mobile friendly. That’s where your emails will probably be opened, so optimization for all 70 million+ email users who check their inbox via mobile device is essential.
- Forgetting About Time As the saying goes, timing is everything – and email isn’t an exception to the rule. Most emails are opened between 10am and 4pm, so normal business hours can be a prime time for hitting send. Even so, schedule content for off peak hours, especially if you can make it pertain to your brand. “Ready for a snooze? Check out our comfy PJs!” In addition to sending emails at the right time, send emails that are time sensitive; “12 hours left to snag our spring fling deals!” You get the idea. Targeting the sending time and conveying urgency will lead consumers to your landing page quickly and with intrigue.
- Information Blasting Along with getting to the point with content and timing everything right, a nuanced perspective will help you in curating the ‘when’ and ‘what’ of emails. As said before, emails are turning into something of a new social media channel. This means viewing emails to your consumers as a relationship builder rather than an information blaster. So interact with your customers on a personal level, don’t badger them.
- Voiding Your Emails of Life Even if you express the urgency of your deals and throw in a funny meme, your emails could be devoid of captivating engagement. Think outside of the inbox to give your emails a pulse; include countdowns to the deal you’re offering, location targeting for an in-person purchase, or another personal touch that really gives your content a real world dynamic. It’ll enhance the urgency and relevance of what you’re offering.
- Ignoring Analytics “The unexamined email marketing campaign is not worth executing.” That’s what Socrates said, right? Ignoring analytics is a big mistake – how are you going to know what works and what doesn’t for your customers if you don’t account for and examine its effects? Measuring your click through rate is the most useful way to analyze the performance of your email campaign (you’ll see CTR skyrocket by 25-35% with those personal touches). This also means growing and updating your list; people constantly unsubscribe and change their email addresses, so stay on top of growing your list with active shoppers, while also keeping tabs on those who aren’t. Figure out what draws your customers to the check out and what makes them hit delete, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Email marketing is advancing in big ways – it’s all about individualization, organic engagement, and humanization, just like any other form of outreach. Think of email marketing as a seamless extension of your marketing campaign as a whole, not an individual strategy separate from your social media outlet schemas. Email remains a powerful channel because it bridges all devices – mobile, tablet, and PC. How can you not take advantage?