So, you’re looking over your email campaign results, and once again, your open rate is low. So is your click-through rate. Even after you put so much time and energy in the content!
Before you throw in the towel, check out these 10 email marketing tips to help resuscitate your campaigns.
1. Time and Date for Email Delivery
This will not seem like an obvious issue at first, but before you hit “send” think about your type of business and your audience. Here are some business examples and things to consider:
- Restaurant: You want to remind people of your tasty cuisine when it’s getting closer to mealtime. For example, if you serve lunch and want to share a promotion, try sending around 10am, when people start thinking about lunch plans. For dinner, send at about 4pm, when people are getting off work and deciding whether or not to make dinner.
- Bank: Let’s say you have a great interest rate on CDs or a new credit card with great perks. Since this is more of a considered decision for the consumer, try sending over the weekend when people have a little more time to think things over.
- Landscaping company: Running a fall cleanup special? Try sending your campaign later in the weekday when people have gotten a good portion of work done and have a moment to check personal email.
- Retailer: Promotional emails are always good to send on either a Thursday or Friday afternoon as people start planning out their weekend.
There is one time and day we steer clear of here at TTP altogether: Monday morning. Scheduling an email to be delivered first thing on a Monday morning is kind of like a kiss of death: when people get to work, they already have several emails to get through. Your email may not get read at all.
2. Frequency of Emails
Another large issue that companies face is how often to send emails to their user base. First and foremost, too many emails quickly results in a lost customer. The biggest offenders in this category are retailers. Usually the best thing to do is to create multiple email options and allow users to pick which ones they want to subscribe to. The best practice is to send them a welcome email when they sign up and include a link to their email preferences.
If you do not have the ability to create individualized email campaigns, it’s always good to put yourself in the customer’s shoes – how many emails would be too much for you? A good rule of thumb for non-retail businesses is once or twice a week at most.
3. The Subject Line
Without a compelling subject line, users will have no desire to read the email. In order to capture a user’s attention, the subject needs to be compelling and relate to the user. It’s been proven that emails that are personalized to contain the user’s first name have a much higher likelihood of being opened. Here’s an example of how to make a subject line more eye-catching. We are using a Mexican restaurant as an example:
Original subject line: Happy Hour from 4-6 Today!
OK, so let’s get more specific with something like: $3 Margaritas and Half Price Apps from 4-6 Today! At least now you’ve got the customer picturing themselves with a tasty beverage and a snack.
Take it one step further by asking a question and personalizing the message (which often makes the customer answer the question in their mind): Kate, is it time for a $3 Margarita yet? It will go nicely with our half-priced queso dip!
So which one of these subject lines would make you open the email?
4. The Design and Content
The best email design is one that is clean, simple, and gets the message across. Calls to action should be apparent and above the fold. Stick with your brand’s voice, fonts (no more than two for email) and colors. Be sure to use your logo. And the first rule of email marketing: don’t bury the lead! In this day and age, readers want quick messaging. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it!The first rule of email marketing: don't bury the lead! Click To Tweet
5. Mobile Compatibility
If you haven’t realized that a majority of emails are consumed on mobile devices, here are some figures for you to consider.
- 80.8% of users report reading email on mobile devices.
- 75% of gmail users access their accounts on mobile devices.
- Users spend 9 minutes on email via a mobile device each day.
The easiest way to account for mobile interfaces is by building a responsive email (and be certain your website is responsive as well!). The email will then automatically resize based on the user’s device.
6. User Permission
User permission is a major contributor to email success. If you don’t have a user’s permission, DO NOT add them to any email list. That is the first and foremost rule of email marketing. Unsolicited emails will kill your email marketing effectiveness.
7. Pay Attention to the Results
The main factors to look for in your email results (which you should give a few days to finally settle) are the open rate, the click-through rate and the unsubscribe rate. Pay attention to industry standard averages to make a good comparison. Just because your open rate is 20% doesn’t mean you’ve failed – check the industry standard first. This is provided by most email marketing platforms (our favorites are MailChimp and Constant Contact). If your unsubscribe rate is above 5%, it’s time to reevaluate your email marketing practices.
At this point you may have identified some areas of your own email marketing strategy that need a little bit more work. Using the tips above will definitely help you get moving in the right direction. If you feel like you’d rather just let a marketing firm handle it all for you, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you!