Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Phases of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign, Part 3 – Reporting, Review and Revamp

You’ve compiled your email campaign recipient list, crafted your message and sent it out. Unfortunately, your work is never done with email marketing. 

Your email campaign is like a car, needing regular inspection and upkeep stay on the road. Consulting your campaign reporting tools is that trip to the mechanic.

Get the Broad View 
Your email campaign service comes equipped with reporting tools, offering at-a-glance performance insight and in-depth data.

Your reporting dashboard is a vital signs monitor for your email campaign, measuring opened and unopened emails, opt-outs, click throughs, among others.

Be Open to Change 
The dashboard scratches the surface, it’s time to dig deeper.

The open rate tool tells you how many recipients opened and read your mail. An email-by-email evaluation is your best bet.

If your open rate falls short, go back and do a postmortem of underperforming emails. Divide your contact list in half or into thirds. Send out your next email at different times of day to these groups and gauge which one yields the best results.

Other reasons for lackluster openings could be…
  • Unrecognizable or Spammy-looking “from” names
  • Equally shoddy email addresses 
  • Overlong and muddy subject lines 

Go back over your content strategy to ensure you're executing it properly.

Over-the-Top or Under the Radar? 
Email marketing is a stricter baseball hitting count; TWO strikes and you’re out. Your first swing and miss was the unopened mail. Strike two is opt-outs.

Are you sending your email too often? If bombarded enough, people feel as if their inbox is the landfill of the web. You also don’t want to disappear for months at a time and then abruptly ask to crash on their inbox couch.

Send out a survey polling recipients on their desired frequency of mailings. Take another look at your opt-in language. What tone of frequency did you establish on this successful form? What kind of content did you promise? Make sure the pitch matches your product.

Cash in the Chips You've WON 
While trying to remedy any failures of your email campaign, don’t neglect to capitalize on the successes.

Reach out to your regulars, recipients who consistently opened your mailings. Your reporting tools also offer a click through feature. This tells you who accessed your website or blog via the mailing.

Your message resonated with these recipients. Use this appreciation to make a customer out of a contact.

In Summation 
You’ve paid for the email campaign service and the collected data. Consider the reporting tools to be a marketing currency mint. Now make sure you re-invest it wisely.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Three Phases of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign, Part 2 – What to Say and How to Say It

Last time on the Terrapin Shout Box, we covered how to put together your email campaign mailing list. Now that your signup pitch worked, what’s your message?

You Can't Land Anything with a Bare Hook 
When your email comes in, your recipients will ask, “What’s in it for me if I open this?”

Start with a punchy, concise subject line. For example, Clear our shelves, stock your closet or 5 Can’t-Miss Sales Tips. Make an effort to work in numbers. Using “5” instead of “five” makes for a more readable subject line.

Some bad subject line habits to avoid include use of words like Free! and Advertisement. Check your own spam folder and make a list of what’s in those subject lines. These words will likely get your email tagged with the exiled princes offering you $1 million.

Just remember, if a song has a catchy intro, you’re more likely to keep listening. You don’t want your recipients to skip ahead to the next “track,” or the next email in their inbox. 

Keep Your Momentum Going 
Your content has to keep reader attention now that the subject grabbed it, just don’t count on a long attention SPAN. Keep your message tight and to the point.

Supply the reader with appealing, diverse content. Don’t repeat yourself. Shake things up from mailing to mailing. Good starting points for content are:

  • Expertise
  • Industry Trends
  • Company News
  • Special Offers

Include eye-catching but not overbearing visuals. Follow the written content philosophy of clean and tight. Don’t turn the mailing into a “Nascar” by overloading it with graphics and color. 

What is Your Email's Endgame? 
Is your email’s purpose to keep the line moving to your site or a download? Maybe your goal is a “call today” scenario. Either way, a clear call to action (CTA) is a must.

Lay out your CTA in simple, clear terms. It could be as basic as a post-text button or hyperlink labelled, “Click here to download,” or “Check out our latest deals.” 

Not to Be Overlooked... 
Check back next time with Terrapin for our wrap-up email campaign post. Here’s a quick checklist of other email campaign best practices:

  • Use a consistent format, but don’t be afraid to experiment with subtle changes
  • Offer HTML and plain text
  • Make your email readable with images disabled
  • Address your recipient by name; no one wants to be called “Dear subscriber.”