20 May 9 simple steps to maximise the benefits of your Email Marketing Campaigns
Audience engagement in eMail Marketing is often measured by two key metrics: Open Rate and the Click Through to Rate. Additional metrics that can be used if your CRM system is integrated into your eMail marketing solution such as website page visits, dwell time on the pages. Let examine the first two of these metrics in more detail:
Open Rate (OR)
The Open Rate is a measure primarily used by marketers as an indication of how many people “view” or “open” the mail they send out.
Open Rate is calculated by dividing the number of email messages opened by the total number of email messages sent (excluding those that bounced). The open rate indicates the number of open emails compared to the total number of delivered.
How does it work? Opens are counted by the email marketing system by inserting a 1 pixel transparent image hidden in the template. The counting is invoked whenever the reader displays images of the message. A reader can open the message several times, that is, it will have multiple “openings”.
The elements that most affect the opening rate are the object and the preheader: do frequent tests and give the utmost care to the writing of interesting copies, which intrigue and that prompt to open the message.
Problem with open rate counting, if the reader does not download images, you cannot detect the opening. Also open rates can be bigger than you expect as users browsing through their emails with open pane (outlook) open counts as an Open!
Click Through to Rate (CTR)
The Clickthrough Rate is a probably a better measure of success. Click Rate is based upon users clicking on email urls to go to additional content on your website. It gives you direct insight into how many people on your list are engaging with your content and interested in learning more about your brand or your offer.
Click Rate is calculated by dividing the number of click throughs by the number of tracked message deliveries.
Open rates is an indication of relevance and the level of interest generated from the subject line whilst, click rate is determined by the content inserted within the emails – images, copy and in particular the call-to-action.
In the next section we share the 9 Simple Steps to improve Email Engagement:
- Don’t hold onto your old contact data – Clean and Update Your Email List
Regularly clean and update your email list to keep contacts fresh and relevant. Keep your list as maintained and organised as possible by removing inactive users who do not open or engage with your emails and deleting undeliverable email addresses.
Keeping inactive users on your list negatively impacts email delivery and open rates and skews results with invalid data. By keeping your list updated with engaged users you can focus your efforts on those who do open your emails and work on nurturing quality leads.
- Target your message to the right audience – Segment Your List
Not all of your email list will want to receive the same content. One email might appeal to some people on your list while others need something completely different.
The people who aren’t interested in emails will might delete them, or worse, unsubscribe if they find that your messages aren’t relevant to them.
You can avoid this by segmenting your lists to target the right group with the right, relevant messages.
Here are some ways to consider segmenting your email list:
- Past Purchases
- Industry they are in
- Job Role
- Source of lead
- Amount Spent
- Get Personal
Personalising your email for every individual recipient can improve open rates, engagement rates, and click-through. Write as if you are writing personally to one person by using the recipient’s first name, speak directly using ‘you’, and sign off with your personal name rather than your corporate brand name so that the email is coming from a real person.
If the sender name includes a person’s name, the email is more personal and more likely to be opened. For example, an email from “Allan Smith from CRM Dynamics Ltd ” will have a higher open rate than an email from “CRM Dynamics limited”.
You can further make your email more personal by using personalised past purchase data to tailor the email to what the recipient engages with. This will create more impactful emails as you send relevant messages related to their unique interests.
- Write A Subject Line That Makes Your Email Irresistible To Open
Your subject line is key to ensuring your email is opened, read, and acted upon. It’s the first thing that users see and use to decide whether to open your email so you need to use a subject line that readers just have to open.
Make your subject line stand out amongst the hundreds of emails you are competing against in subscribers’ inboxes.
Keep your subject line:
- relevant to the content in your email.
Use action words and power words to evoke urgency, emotion, curiosity, and excitement to encourage opens and compel action.
- Optimize your pre-header text.
The email preheader text is an element of the preview email text. This is either the first words from the email message or a tiny bit of text at the top of your email template. It’s visible in the inbox so you can use it as another way to indicate the benefits of reading and increase email open rates.
Here’s what a preheader looks like in Gmail.
Ensure your pre-header text supports your subject line and provides another reason to open the email by leading with an offer when relevant and using personalization and urgency (i.e., ‘ends soon’ or ‘expires tonight’) to engage the subscriber and drive your open rate.
- Test The Best Times To Send Your Email
Timing can have a huge effect on whether or not your subscribers open your emails, so think carefully about what time and day you send your emails out.
Test the best times to send out your email. This will be based on when your audience is most likely to open your email. This will differ from industry to industry and business to business, so think about when your audience is most engaged and most likely to interact with their emails.
You won’t be able to figure out the perfect time immediately, but perform some A/B tests to identify which timeframes seem to perform best, and explore those in future campaigns.
- Send Emails Regularly (Frequency)
The frequency with which you send emails has a strong impact on your readers: if you send them infrequently, there is a high probability that they will forget you but sending them too often could annoy them.
The number of users who unsubscribe from the mailing list due to too many emails has grown over time, so the best advice is to create a sort of email marketing content calendar and respect it so, instead of sending random bursts of emails, you will set a default frequency that don’t bother your subscribers.
- Make sure your emails are mobile friendly
More and more are opening email on mobile, so you need to optimise your email for mobile devices.
Ensure your email is mobile-friendly with responsive design, content that is easy to read and engaging, and a clear CTA, and make sure it automatically fits all screen sizes.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how to make sure the emails you send for your business look great on mobile devices:
- Use a responsive template.
- Clean and Simple Images
- Use buttons for calls to action instead of links.
- Avoid the spam filter
If you send enough email campaigns, you’ll inevitably run into spam filter issues.
According to Return Path, about 21% of permission-based emails sent by legitimate email marketers end up in junk folders.
If you want to maximize the reach of your email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to do everything possible in order to avoid being flagged as spam.
Here are some best practices to keep your emails from falling into spam folders:
- Make sure all recipients have actually opted-in to receiving your emails.
- Show subscribers how to whitelist your emails and ask them to add you to their address book.
- Avoid the excessive use of “salesy” language (these are spam trigger words like “buy”, “clearance”, “discount”, or “cash”).
- Include an easy way for subscribers to opt-out of your emails.