More than any other social media marketing, email marketing campaigns achieve the best results in terms of responses from new and ongoing clients. They deliver focused content to recipients who want to know more about you and your products and services.
Good email lists typically consist of what’s known as warm connects: people who have opted in to receive content. These connections raise the likelihood of a positive response or sales conversion.
Strategies for email marketing are mature enough at this point to identify successful methods. With the goal of reducing bounce rates, increasing open rates, and improving response rates, here are a few prime tips for a successful campaign:
1. Maintain Quality Email Lists
A clean email list contains quality emails that reach the intended inboxes. Keeping your email list clean will help with your marketing data analysis. Bad or invalid email addresses can skew your open and bounce rates and, obviously, won’t get you client conversions. Using something as simple as an email verification tool can help ensure you’re targeting the right audience.
You can even purchase email lists from vendors. Many do the right thing and sell solid lists, but unless you analyze it yourself, you have no way of really knowing. Building your own list has the added bonus of gathering addresses from truly interested recipients who “opt-in.” Opt-in recipients choose to receive your information, making them prime targets for conversions.
Opt-in methods can be single or double. A single opt-in is a one-step process for the user. They simply provide you their email address and are automatically added to your list, helping your database grow rapidly. The downside here is that you often will acquire misspelled, unuseable, or fake addresses which will lead to more bounces.
With a double opt-in, your recipient provides you with their address, then receives a confirmation email. They are added to your list only if they click the confirmation link the email contains.
The upside here is a list full of qualified, confirmed recipients that are likely to become conversions. The disadvantage, however, is that potential consumers do not want to spend too much time just to sign up for an email. The confirmation click-through process has a failure rate between 20 and 40%.
Whichever method you choose, you can and should periodically clean the list. Some things to look for:
- Role accounts: These accounts are not specific people and have generic-sounding names like info@, support@, or admin@.
- Misspelled email providers: Look for variants on gmail, outlook, or yahoo such as “gmal,” “outlok,” or “yahooo”.
- Check for proper domain syntax: Is the period missing before “com,” “net,” or “org”?
- Review your bounced accounts and eliminate ones that have no obvious spelling errors.
2. Great Subject Lines Increase Open Rates
Whether you are new to email marketing or trying to figure out what you can improve on, creating intriguing subject lines should always be a top priority. With almost half of all emails generated daily going straight to spam, you need to rise above the noise and stand out as someone worth paying attention to.
Filters have become fairly sophisticated in identifying spam, and subject lines are the first thing they look at. You should strictly avoid:
- Clickbaiting, come-on subject lines like “Great Opportunity Inside!” or “Limited Time Offer”.
- Exclamation points, especially multiple groups of them.
- Using all caps as an attention-getter.
- Limit use of words like “offer,” “sale,” or “buy”.
Clear and informative subject lines receive higher open rates. Don’t “bury the lead,” meaning hide the important information for later. Readers want to know upfront what the email contains and why they should read it. “5 Ways to Improve Email Marketing” will likely work better than “Marketing Secrets Inside!”.
3. A/B Testing Improves Click-Through Rates
A/B testing is a way to test which of two options performs better. For instance, you might send two emails out with the same content but different subject lines. Or, your call-to-action button can be in a different color (yes – that level of subtlety can matter sometimes!).
Once you send out your test, compare your key metrics to determine if the change makes a noticeable difference. For example, did one email have a significantly higher open rate than the other?
For meaningful results, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Have a big enough sample size for valid comparison. Having at least 1,000 observations is likely to be helpful.
- Only examine one item per test. If you change both an image and your first paragraph and find a notable difference in a metric, you will have no idea which change made the difference.
Periodic Review is Part of Your Strategy
These three steps can improve your email marketing campaigns dramatically. Make each of them a routine part of building your strategy, and continue to monitor the results over time.