Email marketing is a powerful and essential component of any content marketing plan. Email allows you to communicate with your audience in a way no other method can. When someone opens your email, albeit for a brief period of time, you have that person’s undivided attention allowing you to directly deliver your message.
Social media, while useful for other marketing purposes, can’t deliver that same kind of attention. Your messages will be sandwiched in between oh-so many others. The same goes for blogging, which while a subtle way to convey your message, may get lost in the primary reason they are reading your post (looking for information). Once they get it, they may immediately move on.
But not email. As the email is open, a potential customer is actively opening themselves up to your marketing message. Unfortunately, if your email marketing game isn’t where it needs to be, that opportunity may be wasted.
If you are tired of seeing your email campaigns time and again yield lousy open rates and even lower click-through rates, it’s time to make a change in 2020.
Here are some ways to improve your email marketing performance. Although I’m admittedly Constant Contact-inclined, many of these features and methods are possible through MailChimp and other email tools.
Add a personal touch
Often times marketing, especially email marketing, can feel impersonal. After all, you are probably sending the same message to the hundreds if not thousands of people on your list.
Fortunately, there are ways to make your emails feel more personal without having to sit and write an email for each and every person on your list. Using the personalization features available through many email tools, you can easily make the leap from impersonal to personal. If your email database includes your contacts’ first names along with their email, you can add it to the subject line and/or the body of the email itself.
Seeing their name pop up in their inbox might as well be a spotlight shining right on your content in a sea of other emails. When given the choice to open an email with their name in the subject line or a generic subject line that everyone got, the feeling of being special they get from seeing their name makes the answer pretty obvious.
You may not have handwritten the email for them yourself, and they probably know that too, but that little extra touch can really make them feel special, and that alone can be the difference.
Lorraine has written in the past about getting personal through email and more if you want to learn more.
Experiment, experiment, experiment
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. The same goes for your email. If you haven’t had success, don’t be afraid to shake things up and try new approaches.
Some email tools like Constant Contact make experimentation with campaigns extremely easy. Make multiple versions of the same email, but send them to different parts of your list at different times. Try A/B testing using two different subject lines that go to different portions of the same list. Experiment with multiple different calls to action (CTA) within the different email versions.
Pit the results of these different approaches against each other and you may just learn something about your list you didn’t realize before. If the number of opens you received from a later send time is higher than what you usually get from your typical early morning send time could tell you that your audience is more active later in the day.
More frequent clicks to certain content or a different style of CTA may tell you what is catching your readers’ eyes. Email tools provide you with reports and data with each and every campaign – if you aren’t taking advantage of those insights you won’t be going anywhere.
Segment your list to improve email marketing results
What kind of people make up your email list? What kind of content do you distribute through your email campaigns? While everyone on your list is important and needs to be reached out to, they may not need to all receive the same content at the same time, or even at the same frequency.
Your primary list may be made up of very different kinds of people from current customers, former customers, prospects, and even partners. These are all very different types of relationships and do not all deserve the same approach.
Say you are a flooring company and you have a great blog post about how great waterproof laminate floors are. This may be great information for a prospect you are quoting or a customer who bought flooring years ago and may be in the market to upgrade, but totally irrelevant information for someone who just bought from you.
They aren’t buying any time soon and are likely to ignore the info. Creating different lists that receive tailored content is an effective way to motivate people to open and interact with your emails because the content is always relevant to them.
Update your look
Just like your website, your email deserves to get a get a visual update every now and then. Sending out the same tired old email template over years and years and can become a little stale for your audience even if the information inside is good.
Opening an email expecting one thing and getting another can pique a reader’s interest and motivate them to stick around, click around, and see what’s new. Every couple of months, shake up your emails in different ways.
I’m not suggesting you need to completely change the way your emails look every 2 months, by the way. That can take time that could be better spent working on the content of your emails. But, even some subtle changes can help keep your emails interesting.
Create a couple different versions of your standard header that you can rotate in or simply tweak the layout by moving images, buttons, or text boxes around. Sometimes a fresh new layout can go a long way.
If you want to learn more ways to give your email marketing a much needed boost, become a member of the Digital Toolbox. Digital Toolbox is an online marketing community for business owners filled with tools, tips, training programs, and real-time discussions, produced and managed by Roundpeg.
Within our toolbox you’ll find videos and resources on creating powerful subject lines, using automated campaigns, understanding your email metrics, and more. Become a free member here: