Become an awesome email marketer.
If you are using email marketing as part of your marketing mix, you want to be the best you can be. You want to be an awesome email marketer.
Email marketing is often under-estimated as an effective marketing channel. But it’s actually one of the few marketing channels you have the majority of control over.
If google changes their algothrm, or the PPC cost goes through the roof, that’s going to have an impact your email marketing isn’t affected.
Facebook could close your page or perhaps everyone decides to unlike your page, that’s upsetting, but your email marketing isn’t affected.
All of your Twitter followers decide to unfollow you. Again that’s pretty tragic, but your email marketing isn’t affected.
With email marketing you decide. You decide to what message you sent to who, and when you sent it.
Looking for the email silver bullet
The silver bullet of email marketing is the ability to send the right message to the right person at the right time. If you are looking for email marketing software you’ll hear that phrase a lot. We used to use that one ourselves.
Once you become an awesome email marketer, then you’ll be able to find that sweet spot more often than not. You’ll be able to create email marketing campaigns that send the right message to the right people at the right time.
Managing the pillars of awesome email marketing
Creating awesome email marketing is based on managing three key elements.
- Managing your audience.
- Designing engaging emails
- Email deliverability.
Managing your audience
Your data provides the raw ingredients for your email success. A lot of email marketers refer to their email list, but I’m not a fan of that term, I prefer the term audience. It makes things more personal, and also acts as a reminder that each of those email addresses is a real life living person.
If you are going to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Your data needs to be accurate, and managed.
That means ensuring that you are collecting the data you need to segment your audience, and that the data you collect is in the right format.
Why is segmentation so important?
Well, if you can’t segment your audience then you’ll always be sending the same message to everyone. And whilst that’s ok sometimes, email is at it’s best and most effective when it’s targeted.
If you consider your data to be your raw ingredients, then you can consider the segmentation to be a major part of your email recipe book. Use segmentation to measure and manage your data, separating the raw ingredients into the key audiences for your email marketing campaigns.
You can use segmentation to separate your data anyway you desire. The limitation is usually the data you hold. However, it’s best to start with a very simple plan and develop your experience from that point.
A great place to start is separating customers and prospects, since the messages you’ll be sending are much more effective if they are linked to the relationship that already exists between your business (or your brand) and the person you are communicating with.
As an example of this in practice, and a slightly deeper level of segmentation. The screenshot above shows how Websand’s customer lifetime value matrix segments an audience based on how much money a customer has spent with your business.
Future legislation is going to make managing your audience more important than ever. The data protection legislation is changing on 25 May 2018 and that will really suck the awesomeness from your email marketing if you aren’t managing your audience properly. You can catch up on what that means by reading our data protection update.
So now you’ve got a plan for your data and you’ve got some segmentation in place, you are one step closer to becoming an awesome email marketer.
You already identified your audience so it’s much easier to communicate with them in a relevant and engaging way.
Our friends at SendGrid have recently published some key tips on email design (they’ve just celebrated sending the 1 trillionth email, so they’ve got the data to back this up!). To save you some time, effort and to nudge you a little bit closer to becoming an awesome email marketer, here is a summary of that report.
- Keep the subject line short and sweet.
- 7-9 are commonly used. But 3 words are the most effective for engagement.
- Avoid CAPS
- Avoid !
Remember the pre-subject line
Mobile email marketing has now over taken desktop email marketing, which makes this even more important. Make the preview bar your friend by telling your audience a little bit more about what your message is about.
Brevity is your friend.
- Try to focus on one message.
- Don’t confuse people with too much content.
- Keep the link count low
- Have a strong call to action. Tell people what they should do next.
Obviously how you apply these tips depends on the type of business you are and the reason for sending your email marketing to that specific person at that specific time.
Getting the balance right between email design best practice and your own brand is all part of becoming an awesome email marketer.
This is the final bit. You’ve managed your audience, designed a brilliant engaging message for your segment. However, if the email doesn’t arrive, that’s a huge waste of time all round.
In old school postal terms, the segmentation is the same as addressing a letter, the email design is the content of that letter, the deliverability is the postal service that picks up and delivers that letter.
Getting into your audience inbox can be a struggle, so understanding and managing your email reputation is hugely important.
Here are some key tips
- Avoid spam words in your subject line. Such as free, win, congratulations and sale.
- Make sure you brand your messages, so your audience knows that it’s definitely from you.
- Put your company name, address, registration number, contact details in the email footer. This is also a legal requirement in many countries, including all European countries.
- Keep your audience clean. Within Websand we make sure that any bounce or unsubscribe is added to a suppression list and removed from all future email marketing.
- When a message is marked as SPAM make sure that email address is added to your suppression list. That’s going to reduce people making multiple SPAM alerts, which will seriously impact your reputation.
- Get your audience to add your email to their contact list, or even better ‘safe senders’ list. That helps ensure deliverability.
- Keep an eye on your delivery reputation, and always review your deliverability.
- Remove unengaged people. Review your audience at least once a year and remove people that aren’t engaging with your emails (not opened, not clicked)
- And finally, keep abreast of key legislation related to marketing based on where your audience lives. You need to know about things such as GDPR for Europe and CAN SPAM in the US.
How you know when you are an awesome email marketer
So that’s an overview of the key elements you’ll need to manage as part of becoming an awesome email marketer. Once you get deeper understanding of the data you hold, you’ll find it easier to manage.
A deeper understanding of your data, will then help you to find new opportunities. To get deeper with your segmentation and unlock new areas of growth.
But the easiest way to tell if you are an awesome email marketer, is if your results are improving. You’ll be sending the right message to the right person at the right time, and most importantly, you’ll be getting the right results.
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