Is Email Marketing on its Way Out?
If anyone tells you that email marketing is on the way out – that simply isn’t true. According to a study by Experian, email volume increased 10% between the second quarter of 2011 and the same quarter in 2012. Open rates are actually increasing. On the downside, it means your emails have greater competition but there are a number of ways of improving your chances of your message being read and any calls to action being followed.
Open rates still hover around an average of 10-20% depending on your market. If your open rates are considerably lower than one in five then one solution is to clean up your list. If you can pare your list down to recipients who are truly interested in what you have to offer, your percentages will increase. Smaller lists outperform larger lists. If you concentrate on a highly targeted list, or break down your audience into smaller lists of fewer than 500 subscribers – obviously with a different message for each – the average open rate can be as high as 28% according to mailermailer.com. Again it all depends on your industry.
Analyze your open rates carefully and you can compile a list of names that rarely, if ever, open your emails. Turn those names into a separate list and do something completely different. The idea is to target and re-engage those subscribers by doing something you wouldn’t normally do. As long as it’s relative to your industry you can experiment by adding humor or being controversial. The recipients may become interested again or unsubscribe – but they’re diluting your success rate anyway!
With all the hard work you’ve done to build an email list it goes against the grain to actually dump those who never open emails however hard you try, but as we said above, your chances of success and your open rate percentage can increase significantly if you regularly purge those non-responsive subscribers.
The K.I.S.S Principle
Your email recipients don’t want to have to spend time figuring out what you want them to do! Don’t bombard them with multiple offers and dozens of links. You only have their attention for a few seconds so quickly direct them to any call to action. Emails should be concise and to the point and you must have something relevant to say.
If you don’t know what K.I.S.S. means, Google it.
Titling emails is very important. In a long list of unread emails your title is key to getting it opened, and if it’s not opened within the first hour of receipt the chances are it’s never going to be. You can always experiment by sending the same email to small batches of recipients with a different title for each list. Check your open rates and you’ll see what kind of title gets the best response.
Make it Pop
If you’re sending out a newsletter or emails with pictures take the time to include original ones. If I see the same smiling blonde girl with the headphones on Live Chat pop-ups (and I even saw her on TV the other day!) that just spells lazy and unimaginative. It’s more effective to include one original photo or graphic than half a dozen stock photos and again, keep it simple.
With catchy titles and great graphics accompanied by social media sharing buttons you can achieve so much more with your emails – and build your subscriber list rapidly. According to research done by Experian’s Cheetahmail there is a 70% increase in email marketing campaigns that combine their message with an opportunity to share it on social media sites. Twitter leads the way, Pinterest is becoming increasingly popular within the social media sphere – gaining 25% higher clicks than many other leading social media campaigns.
The Guaranteed Winner
I left the best till last here. Emails that contained coupons get vastly higher click-through and open rates – a whopping 50% more than campaigns that didn’t offer coupons. Send those emails out to your list so they arrive between 8 and 9 PM or 3 and 4 PM on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and you’ll definitely be onto a winner.
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