Dec 11th, 2013
Email is a busy channel. Many companies are even considering dropping emails in-house to avoid the waste of time it produces. Even though getting people to read your emails is not as easy as before (opening rates are dropping over time), it is still an efficient way to deliver your message. Let's explore that topic and find out what can be done to put this channel to good use.
Optimizing Email Marketing
Email Content Marketing
Regularly feeding a mailing list with emails is important to keep it alive and help your subscribers connect to your brand. Content marketing plays an important role. It will help you deliver valuable information to your audience. You have to carefully plan the type of content you want to deliver.
Here is a list of content types you want to consider to catch your audience's attention:
- Weekly Newsletter: Showcase Industry news wrap-ups, user-generated content (if applicable), your best sales or featured product if you are in the retail business, news of your company, ...
- Tip of the day: Improve the usability of your product or service by educating your user.
- Latest blog posts: Deliver new content from your blog directly into their inbox
- Call To Actions: Try to limit this type of email to once in a while. Your customer gave you their email to get value, not to be spammed with sales pitches.
Here are a few tips posted by Hiten Shah (KissMetrics founder) on Quora:
"Here's some more stats on email marketing:
- The best open rates and CTRs happen around 6am EST.
- CTR's only drop slightly if you send more than 4 emails per month. You can more than make up for the drop by increasing your frequency of emails. - As you increase sending frequency, unsubscribes don't increase. Y
- You'll get the best CTRs from users that have been subscribed to your list for less than 10 days."
The last point again insists on regularity with email updates and delivering value constantly so that people are not tempted to unsubscribe.
To boost your open rates, always think about your email subject as a blog post headline. Craft your title as a value proposition. Your potential reader will only open your email if he thinks there is something valuable in it.
Automation for Transactional Emails
In eCommerce of SaaS, you might be using the email channel at some point. Reacting to a user event is the best way to get a high CTR for an email. If your customer uses a feature for the first time, you can see if all went well. If he got interrupted, it may be the moment to send something. In eCommerce, you can react at any point of the sale cycle.
Consider these emails as another communication opportunity. Your customer needs to know that it is a targeted email. You have to be specific. Do not miss this opportunity to deliver value. It may be explaining how to get something from your product depending on his behavior, up-selling something, or providing information.
New GMail Tabs Are Opportunities
Gmail rolled out new tabs a few months ago that terrified a lot of marketers. They feared the email marketing channel could be disappearing because of thoses. New Gmail tabs are separating emails in four categories:
- Primary: Contains emails from "real" people directly addressed to you. - Social: Contains every notifications coming from social networks. - Promotions: Contains emails about special offers.
- Updates: Contains newsletters and notifications from other kinds of websites.
I personally do not think it is a bad thing. You do not want your reader to be disturbed while doing important work because of an email. Instead, you get a reader who decides to check the tab in which your email will end up. This reader will be available to consume your information. He or she may take longer to access your email, but it may result in a better conversion in the end. If you really want your email to end up in the the Primary tab, you can still ask your reader to drag it there. Be sure to deliver valuable content if you want that to happen.
GMail Call To Actions
GMail also provides a new feature called "Quick Actions" to help with transactional emails (i.e. : when you want your user to confirm his or her email address). You need your user to complete an action. This new feature will put a button right next to the email subject in the list of emails.
Try to use this to your advantage. For example, when you need your audience to attend an event, it is easy to add a "RSVP Quick Action". You will easily know if they can attend a webinar or an event. Be sure to get recognized as a trusted sender, before hoping your reader will act upon these "Quick Actions".
Right now, Quick Actions support only viewing a YouTube video, viewing a Dropbox or Google Docs document, RSVP, or confirming an email address. Google Offers are also benefiting from the feature. Let's hope Google lets any marketer use those in the future.
Responsive For Mobile
More than 40% of emails are opened on mobile from what ZURB said. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that your emails display correctly on those devices. You can create the most compelling newsletter ever, but if it is not responsive, you have a 40% of chance that it will display badly and that your email will not have the effect you want. ZURB published a framework to help email template developers to use the necessary tools to create responsive emails. The following article explains everything :
Thank you for reading this article. Feel free to share your tips on email marketing and give your feedback,in the comments section below.