Article translated by Tatiana Musihina, m2b.space internet marketer.
No matter what they say, email marketing is still evolving. Only one billion users worldwide use the Gmail service. And this is not the limit. The market research company The Radicati Group predicts that by 2020, the number of email users will increase to 3 billion (almost half of the world's population).
Of course, e-mail is not dead, but every year it becomes more difficult to achieve success in this area. That is why HubSpot technical director Tom Monaghan gathered his accumulated knowledge in a set of guidelines on how to use email marketing for sustainable growth. Find out which strategies you should adopt and which ones to completely avoid in the coming 2018.
These tips are designed to give direction for experiments, they do not promise a guaranteed result. The article is also good because you can see trends in it coming from Western internet marketers.
How to increase the effectiveness of email marketing in 2018
1) Send letters to those who want it.
If you have a whole list of users with a low percentage of opening emails, just stop sending them emails. Each such mailing harms the reputation of your domain. And the worse your reputation, the lower the chances that you will notice potential customers.
As Monaghan perfectly noted: "We are what we eat. The same statement is true for marketing." Remember what the mailbox of most of us looks like. Tons of mailings from services that are not of interest to us, which we either mark as read or delete, even without having bothered to open them. Because even without this we know that we will not find anything useful there.
Put yourself in the place of subscribers. What letters would you like to see in your inbox? Create a newsletter based on this principle.
2) Define the purpose of each email in advance.
Even if you yourself do not know why you are sending another letter, how can recipients know this? Having defined the purpose of the new letter, you will be able to more effectively form lists for mailing and, consequently, achieve greater success.
The purpose of the newsletter may be to obtain additional information about the recipient’s company by filling in additional forms or attracting potential buyers to the website by activating a promotional code.
Provide the recipient with additional incentives, such as a call to action and links in the text. So you increase the chances of success. Each person’s behavior is unique, so your letters must be flexible.
It is not necessary to write a unique text for each mailing, it all depends on the tasks. For example, in the “Eat at home” site mailing list contains only aesthetically designed links to new materials on the site. Example.
3) Personalize and test your emails.
Personalization of emails really works. For example, back in 2014, we found out that letters, in the subject of which the recipient's name is indicated, have a significantly higher response rate compared to letters with the same theme for all.
In personalizing emails, stick to the basics. Use to personalize the recipient's name and company name, but no more. Do not try to get into trust by using additional data. You may seem overly intrusive and strange and even scare off potential customers.
There is no more unattractive letter in the world than the one that starts with the template "Dear customer" or, even worse, "Dear Surname". To avoid such embarrassment, be sure to check the letters before sending to make sure that you correctly indicated the name of the recipient.
4) Send letters from your personal account.
In no case do not send emails from an address of the form noreply @. Personalizing your email account will only benefit you. Emails sent from a real person, not from the heartless address "[email protected]" increase the interest of subscribers and increase their loyalty to your company.
5) Try sending emails on different days of the week.
Stop posting on Tuesdays. No, really. Stop it.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the most popular days for sending emails. Therefore, the vast majority of your subscribers these days are oversaturated with messages. If you want your letters to pay more attention, try sending them on Mondays or Fridays, when the email doesn’t go to pieces with the number of advertising mailings.
It has also been proven that people respond well to calls for action on Saturdays. So do not be afraid to conduct a newsletter at the weekend.
In any case, stop loading the already overloaded user boxes from Tuesday to Thursday. Do not be afraid to experiment with the days and times of distribution and closely monitor the recipients' reaction.
Here you can clarify that sending on different days may not justify itself. Subscribers are usually more comfortable when it comes predictably - on the same day. Another thing is that to find this day, you first have to experiment.
6) Interact with customers who have filled out the form themselves, and not with those whose e-mail you have purchased.
If a person fills out a form and indicates an email address, then his engagement ratio is initially higher than that of the one whose email addresses you just bought. The person filled out the appropriate form, so he told you that he wanted to receive your news and agreed to see your content in his inbox. This proves the effectiveness of the principles of inbound marketing.
By the way, do not buy email lists! So you harm your reputation and will only annoy people who have not heard about you and do not want to hear.
7) Block passive subscribers to avoid gray mailing.
You can send spam without even knowing it. Gray mailing is mass e-mails that are technically not spam, because the recipient himself has provided his data: the user receives your letters, but does not read them.
If the recipients do not open your first letter, the engagement factor drops. Then, if they continue to ignore you, the likelihood that they will ever read your messages becomes less and less each time, and the numbers are getting lower.
Stop conducting gray mailing. Listen to what people tell you without opening your letters. Start blocking passive subscribers. This way you can increase the opening rate, and your inbox will see that you are responding to the behavior of subscribers.
8) If people unsubscribe, do not worry (at first).
You can not please everyone. Unsubscribe happens to one and all. It is good that the subscriber did not mark your newsletter as spam, but simply informed you in the most polite way that he is no longer interested in your newsletters.
If these are isolated cases, there is no cause for concern. If subscribers continue to unsubscribe, then try to determine the possible reason for this. Consider blocking or starting to send fewer emails to those who are not so interested.
9) If people stop opening your letters, find out what happened as soon as possible.
If the opening rate of your letters falls, then you do not meet the expectations of the recipients. Get ready for the worst outcome. This is a leading indicator that multiple spam and unsubscribe complaints are coming. You should immediately block disinterested subscribers to show the provider that you are responding to the feedback from the recipients. Experiment with the content and design of the letters. Perhaps this will improve user engagement and the opening rate.
10) If people mark your newsletter as spam, immediately stop sending them letters and search for the source of complaints.
If the letters began to mark as spam, the reputation of the domain name is under threat. You may even be blacklisted by email providers. It doesn’t matter whether complaints about spam are caused by new resources, a bad format, or the fact that you don’t live up to your list of subscribers, slow down or completely stop sending emails until you know the exact reasons for this reaction.
If you do not receive spam complaints or unsubscribe messages, this does not always mean that you are safe. Just letters can be immediately redirected to the unsolicited email folder of subscribers.
11) Be careful about the subject of the letter.
Do not use clickback in the subject line. If people open an email and then immediately go back, realizing that the content doesn’t fit the subject, this has a negative effect on the response rate.
For best results, customize and personalize the subject lines, and experiment with emoji. Professional advice: before starting the newsletter, read the topic of the letter out loud. Would you yourself open a letter with such a topic?
12) Remember. Email becomes more difficult for marketing, but still works.
Each year, engagement rates decrease, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get to the user through email. This does not mean that email marketing is losing its effectiveness. It just becomes more competitive. There is a growing gap between email marketing specialists who know what they are doing and those who have no idea what is happening, but persistently sends out letters. Therefore, make enough effort to test various strategies to attract and retain subscribers.
The essence of all these recommendations on email marketing? Check, check and check again. Each audience and contact database is unique. Therefore, be sure to test the implementation of new strategies and adapt them according to the reaction of subscribers. (And, if you're ready to click "send," here are some examples of potential customers' "processing" by email that may inspire change.)
The author of the original article: Sophia Bernazzani