Do you constantly analyze your email marketing campaign stats?
You should. Knowing your open rates, click-through rates, bounces, spam complaints, and more is the only reliable way to gauge whether your campaigns are getting more effective…or quickly becoming a waste of your marketing budget.
If email marketing success eludes you—or you feel it’s just too much work—don’t throw in the towel on your list just yet. Because you’ll be happy to know, email still outperforms every other marketing channel by returning more for every dollar spent on it.
When attempting to maximize email campaigns, should I use open rates to gauge my success?
Now, most marketers get hung up on email open rates. And these will vary depending on whose email data you reference. To get some idea though, you can compare your email benchmarks against your industry’s average email stats assembled from MailChimp’s recent customer surveys of both large and small corporations.
However, keep in mind that open rates are NOT as important, nor as accurate, as click-through rates. Here’s why. Most people read an email through the preview pane of their email application. If they like what they are seeing, they read further and/or click-through to the offer—still from their preview pane—never even opening the email.
Clearly, the click-through is a better benchmark for determining your email campaign success. And one which today’s most successful online marketers choose to scrutinize closely.
So, how do you increase click-throughs, thus the success of your email communications? You can see here, I offer the following seven proven tips to maximize email campaigns. Check these out.
1. Be generous! Time after time I notice online marketers who struggle the most are constantly selling to their list. Even excessive soft-selling wears down consumers. Instead, inform 80% of the time…sell 20% of the time. This seems to be the consensus among successful online marketers for the right proportion of selling in your marketing messages. This prevents promotion overload, especially on heavily targeted consumers in the highly competitive natural health and self-help industries.
This ratio promotes continued enthusiasm, so your ideal prospects remain eager to hear from you…welcome your communication…and open your emails. That means, you must give your audience free content weekly to grow your likability…and boost your chances they’ll read what you send.
2. Set expectations early. Again, you want your list to be excited to hear from you. Open and click-through rates are largely based on how trustworthy you seem. So setting your subscriber’s expectations early is critical. For example, be sure you’re not springing any surprises on your prospects or customers with unannounced conditions on receiving their freebie during the sign-up process.
Say your sign-up box says “enter your email to get a free eBook”. Do NOT send them their confirmation email with a link to download the eBook indicating you’ll send it right over after they’ve made their first purchase of $50 or more. Either warn them in the signup form that there is a condition—saying instead, “buy $50 of product to receive free eBook”—or remove the condition altogether and just give them the darn thing. Why? Because otherwise subscribers will expect an unpleasant surprise with every subsequent email you send them, be suspicious, and hit the delete key…ugh!
Should you find you make a mistake and jeopardize their trust, apologize quickly…make it up to them…and assure them you’ll not make the same mistake again. Understand, your readers already know you are human. But if you’re too arrogant to admit you’ve made a mistake, you may never recover from the disaster that is sure to follow.
3. Engage your subscribers. Your follow up email to signing up should not give the impression you’re going to go MIA now for a while. Instead, use it to continue the conversation. Include a link to a bonus article, eBook or other surprise gift.
Plus, you can use it—and and any number of other communications—as an opportunity to further engage your new subscriber by soliciting questions or comments after she’s consumed her freebie, made a purchase, read a blog post, shared a Facebook post, and more.
4. Have you segmented your list? Surprisingly, only 22% of all marketers are segmenting for value and loyalty. In other words, stand out from the crowd by making sure your message is focused and sent only to that portion of your list it’s relevant to…rather than your entire list.
Across the board, studies show you’ll get better open and click-through rates, and in some cases, even as high as 35%! Now do I have your attention?
5. Create better subject lines. Tell what’s inside, don’t sell. In other words, subject lines should not read like a promotional headline or be too salesy. Absolutely no trickery, tell exactly what is in each email. Indentifying your company name in the subject line of each email further boosts your open rates.
6. To re-engage or not to re-engage (inactive subscribers). You should know who’s opening your emails. Determine the number of active versus inactive subscribers. Is it the same people every time? How many haven’t opened an email in the past 6 months or more? This might be an indication of either lack of trust in your message, or how well your message matches the interests of your audience.
To get a more accurate picture of how well your email campaigns are doing, it’s better to note the open and CTR of your emails for active subscribers only. Remember, your list is your goldmine. In this previous article, we indicate how it’s always prudent to attempt to re-engage inactive subscribers. However, you should consider culling those that won’t re-engage.
7. Continue to build your list. It’s well-known that subscriber interest wanes over time. If you don’t add to your list, it becomes diluted, and thus, less effective. That’s why you must continually work to excite your new subscribers so they don’t become your next unsubscribes, or worse, inactive subscribers.
Is it high time you learned to maximize email campaigns? Try a few of these tips. It should prove helpful in boosting response from subscribers of your marketing communications. To summarize…
• Know, manage, and continue to build your list.
• Set expectations from the start.
• Build relationships first, make offers second.
Of course, you may have others to add to our list. Won’t you share them with us in the comments below?
Jerry Bures is a direct-response web copywriter and marketing consultant. Since 2010, he has helped natural health, self-help and business opportunity clients—as well as local small businesses—become more visible, credible and profitable online.