This blog reflects on the Econsultancy seminar on advanced email marketing at Technology for Marketing & Advertising, 2010. More can be found at www.econsultancy.com.
If you want successful outcomes from your email marketing campaigns, you need to think about conversion and deal with all the possible barriers to getting them to open it, read it, click through and do something when they hit your website. Yes, all the metrics around email marketing are useful, but they won’t keep your business ticking over if they don’t effect action.
As eConsultancy advocate, ‘think beyond the click’.
1. Start simple. Simple techniques might involve posing a question in the title, placing a big action button in the email and generally giving them enough but not too much so they have to click through for more.
2. Avoid averages. Some ‘experts’ always mention averages when discussing metrics on successful email marketing conversion. But with 2% of prospects opening your email, versus 10% of your customers, an average of 5% gives a false impression of what is happening and what is working.
3. Segment. As a bare minimum, your email marketing should talk to customers and prospects differently. Customer emails need to engage and bind and can be personalised taking into account past behaviour and preferences. You can target customers who have abandoned baskets, failed to complete a download etc. Prospect emails need to be propositioned slightly differently, set out to solve a problem, inform and encourage trial.
4. Create value. Think about the value exchange in both cases, understanding that developing new customers is harder and more involved than up selling and cross selling existing or lapsed customers. Ultimately, know what is in it for them. For customers understand and tap into recency, frequency and value data and build a profile of your most profitable customers. The masters Amazon use expensive collaborative filtering engines to establish what you bought and viewed in order to make similar recommendations. For prospects, offer a service like Hotel Chocolat’s reminder service for anniversaries and birthdays that gives you permission to make contact in the future. All are designed to keep you front of mind.
5. Personalisation. Get your salutations right. Have you deserved the right to use a first name? Conditional content – where certain areas of email (like images and personalised content) can be tailored within an established framework – is now becoming the norm. You can effectively mail merge using data in an Excel – even using what if scenarios.
Above all, keep it readable and keep it credible. Imagine your email without the images – the message and who it is coming from should still be clearly understood.
Image from http://www.theweblog.be