Marketing Focus – Tips for improving email marketing results
Last time I wrote a Marketing Focus piece about Email Marketing and why it was such an effective method of communication. However I know that if you are already undertaking email marketing and you are not getting the results you want, it can be difficult to know what to change.
In order to improve your email marketing campaign and generate better results, you need to ask yourself where you are going wrong and be very self-critical. To help you evaluate your email marketing, in this post I have pulled out a few key elements to examine and some essential things to do.
Ask yourself the following important questions and be honest!
How good is your data? – You should be making sure that people are aware they are opting in to your database and the process of signing up has made them aware of your company or product, so they are primed to be positive about receiving your emails.
This data should be regularly checked, cleaned and verified to make sure it’s up to date and that bounces are minimised. Data goes out of date quickly, especially with business details, so be prepared to clear off out of date emails if necessary. However, data is very valuable, so if you have a phone number why not call them to check their email and find an alternative name and or email address.
As a side note, make sure you are complying with data protection rules when gathering and storing data, people’s personal details must be treated with the upmost confidentiality and respect.
How good is your email? – We have all received badly designed, badly written email newsletters which portray a terrible image of the company. Don’t let your company down by sending out a poor email newsletter. It’s better to do nothing at all than to present yourself in this manner! If you are going to spend time and money on email marketing, please invest in a well-designed template and take time to create interesting, informative content which your subscribers want to read.
Unless you have a really appealing and diverse product range like clothes, consumables or gifts, don’t always sell in your newsletters. Offer interesting information related to your field to supplement company news and keep it short and sweet.
How often are you mailing people?– Now there’s no science to this and opinions differ on what the optimum mailing frequency is. It very much depends on what type of company you have and what you are offering, but for the majority of the businesses on the Costa del Sol, I would suggest doing a monthly mailing. This frequency means that people do not forget about you, but you don’t annoy them by clogging up their inbox all the time. It is also achievable in terms of budget and time needed to send it.
If you only send out 2 or 3 newsletters per year you are unlikely to get a good response as people will have forgotten about you, but if you email someone daily, you will see your opt-outs increase as people get annoyed by you. This is something you can test by varying the frequency and seeing whether the response rates differ, or alternatively why not ask your database? You could conduct a survey or poll, asking how often people would like to receive your newsletter and what they want to read about. This will help you deliver what your readers want to receive and also engage your readers further in your company and newsletters.
What’s your call to action? – If you are getting a good open-rate and a low opt-out rate, but you don’t get many clicks or good conversion, it’s probably because your call to action is weak.
Consider doing teaser stories which are expanded on your blog to encourage people to click, or which link to a relevant page on your website. Or to change a contact into a purchaser, how about offering a limited special offer for newsletter subscribers only to test response rate. Another nice idea is to reward newsletter subscribers for reading and get their opinions by running a competition. You don’t need to do this all the time, but make sure that every newsletter links back to your website in a few different ways.
Monitor & Test – One fantastic element of email marketing is how easy it is to monitor. We suggest that you use a mailing company like MailChimp which can send out your mails securely, manages your data and complies with the latest spam regulations. MailChimp gives you fantastic statistics after each mailing e.g. how many people the email was sent to, the bounce rate, open rate, click through rate, forwards, what links people clicked on and how many clicked on each link. This is a great way to see exactly what people respond to and what they don’t.
Try to vary your sending frequency, your calls to action, your stories and your design and see how people respond by studying your results for each mailing. This will help you refine your email marketing to get the best results possible.