In terms of ROI, email remains the most effective form of marketing, outperforming its nearest rivals, affiliate marketing and PPC, as well as traditional methods like radio, TV and post, and emerging digital forms of promotion, like social media, messaging apps and smart assistants. Research shows that, on average, companies generate £38 in revenue for every £1 spent on email marketing. Not all companies, of course, will generate that amount of return, so, to help, here are some tips to improve your email marketing.
1. Analyse inactive subscribers
People who sign up for your emails may stop reading them over time. This can be because messages are no longer relevant or even because you send so many that they give up opening them. There is no value to be gained from emailing inactive subscribers and if they remain totally inactive, it’s better to remove them from your mailing list altogether.
However, before you do, it might be worth looking at your analytics to find clues about what makes these people open their emails. Is it particular products they are interested in? Or specific offers? Or do they only open them at certain times of the year? It can be worth sending an email asking them to check their email subscription options so they can choose to join lists that are more relevant for them and stop receiving messages they don’t want.
2. Email option lists
At the end of the last section, we mentioned email subscription options. To offer these, you need to stop sending all your subscribers the same emails and segment your marketing lists so that they are of more relevance to individual subscribers. A cat owner, for example, won’t want emails advertising dog food, and young, single people won’t be interested in family holidays.
While customer data will help you put this in place, if the information is not available, you can send an opt-in form as part of the email verification process, so that subscribers can choose which emails are of interest.
3. Personalise emails
While email marketing generates £38 for every £1 spent, three-quarters of that amount comes from personalised email. If you don’t personalise, you could, therefore, be losing out considerably on your sales. The easiest way to start is to address the customer by name. Not only does this make the customer-company relationship warmer; it also helps to built trust that the email is genuine and not a phishing scam.
Again, the most effective way to personalise emails is to use customer data, particularly their browsing and shopping histories, as these will tell you what the customer is currently interested in. Data can also be used for remarketing purposes, encouraging customers to take a second look at products they had almost bought but didn’t.
Other areas of personalisation you should consider are the timing of your emails and how you send them. Some customers have a preference for when they read marketing messages, including the days of the week and the times of the day they want to see them. Additionally, as most emails can now be viewed in a browser, you don’t actually need to send the message as an email. For those who prefer to receive messages via messaging apps, you can just send them a link to the online version. This form of personalisation improves the customer experience and can help customers stay loyal subscribers. Importantly, when personalised emails are combined with customer segmentation, the chances of improving sales rise considerably.
4. Make tempting, personalised offers
Great email marketing isn’t just about personalising the products you show to people, it’s about personalising the offers you send them as well. Most men, for example, won’t want a 25% discount on this year’s bikini range. Your offers have to be of interest to the customers. They have to offer something they want at the time they are most likely to want it.
Offers also need to be tempting. While a 10% saving on a £2,000 holiday might attract a lot of attention, a 10% saving on a £2 product won’t. Customers want their offers to have value and sometimes, it can be worth giving a bigger discount for the loyalty and long-term sales it generates.
5. Increase trust in your emails
There has been a huge rise in phishing over the last few years, with scammers sending fake marketing emails pretending to come from legitimate companies. Victims are duped into clicking on links that can result in malware or ransomware infecting their devices or them being sent to fake websites where they are conned out of money or login credentials.
Growing public awareness of phishing has led many genuine marketing emails to be consigned straight to the trash folder as subscribers are unsure whether they are fake or real. While personalising emails with user names can increase confidence, companies should also ensure that the written content of their emails is error-free, as this is another tell-tale sign of a scam email.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your emails are trusted is to use Personal Signing Certificates. A form of SSL for emails, these verify to your recipients that emails are genuinely from your company and encrypt their content and attachments so that they cannot be stolen or tampered with in transit.
If you are looking to squeeze maximum benefit from your marketing budget, email’s high ROI makes it an essential part of a marketing strategy. Hopefully, the five tips given here will help make your email campaigns even more successful.
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