Mike is the CEO and Co-Founder of digital marketing agency Social Garden. Social Garden specialises in data-driven lead generation and marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in different verticals in Australia.
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your audience and keep your list warm, but email marketing should also be used as a channel for generating leads.
Wondering how to improve your email marketing? Look no further. In this article, we discuss optimising email marketing for conversions.
Email is still one of the economical and most effective marketing methods. According to HubSpot, email marketing is among the best methods for return-on-investment (ROI). In their 2019 research it was revealed that email generates an ROI of 3,800%.
The feeling is mutual among B2B marketers with 93% using email to distribute marketing content. And when it’s estimated that 99% of consumers check their email every day, the stats start to stack up in favour of email marketing.
With this in mind, your business can (and should) be using email as a primary channel. You can use it at many stages of the buyer’s journey and for many purposes. Whether your objective is brand awareness or lead generation, the following strategies will help you to optimise your email marketing for the best results.
Are you playing it by ear or strategizing for success? Strategy is extremely important to effective email marketing. If you don’t have a strategy yet, you can optimise by creating one. If you already have a strategy, there’s always room for improvement.
What are the most important parts of an email marketing strategy?
Identify a specific goal for each of your campaigns. This helps keep your campaigns focused and relevant. Your goal could be to gain sign-ups for a new product or service, or to convert a browsing audience into paying customers. Perhaps you want to get referrals or reach new audiences. Whatever your purpose, make sure you clarify.
You should have a thorough knowledge of your audience before launching into your campaign. Do your research and tweak your campaign as you learn more about your audience through their interaction with your emails.
Create user profiles and map your audience’s customer journey. Aside from noting demographic information, get to understand their browsing and buying habits. All of this will help you in your email marketing strategy.
No email campaign is perfect the first time around. This is why measuring outcomes is so important. It allows you to make changes where necessary. Most importantly, identify which results you will measure at the beginning of your campaign.
This email from Uber has a very specific purpose, audience and outcome in mind.
Set aside some dedicated time every fortnight to review the results of your campaign and optimise your email marketing strategy. Ensure you tick off each of the three elements above to continue to improve.
2. Perfect subject lines
Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers see when they look at your emails. The subject line is important because a user won’t open an email unless the subject line grabs their attention.
Your email subject lines deserve plenty of love. Here’s how to craft an email subject line that makes clicking your email irresistible.
- Name: Emails with first names in subject lines have a 10% higher open rate. Address the person you’re emailing as you would in a letter.
- The 4-U formula: Subject lines, like headlines, should be useful, unique, ultra-specific and urgent. Apply this formula to your subject line and see the difference.
- Emotional language: Try to tap into emotion to get your emails opened, just as you would with other marketing collateral.
- Analysis: Not sure if your ideas are making the cut? Try CoSchedule’s Subject Line Tester to evaluate your subject lines.
Map out your split testing strategy for the subject line in advance and make sure it aligns with a clear objective. This could be to test the value of an offer against its timeliness or emojis vs without in the messaging. These are the kind of learnings that can be applied to your broader marketing.
Example of personalised email from Shipt.
Today’s users don’t just want, they expect, personalised experience. By personalising, you reach the humans at the other end of the email inbox.
Personalising your email marketing automation entails more than a simple ‘Dear [first name]’ at the beginning of your email. Start by ensuring your email content is relevant and useful to your subscribers. Relevant content is automatically tailor made for your readers.
The simple act of emailing at the right time can make your emails seem more personalised and therefore get more opens. Collect data on your subscribers to know where they’re at along their buyer’s journey. Then you can email them with just the right info at the right time.
Consider entering a human name into your ‘from’ field instead of your business name. For many brands, this puts a trustworthy face behind your emails and boosts open rates.
4. Segment properly
Segmenting subscribers helps you personalise your emails, create more relevant content, and send it across at the right time.
You can segment your subscribers based on the following factors:
- Demographics: This includes important essentials like gender, age and location.
- Interests: Create groups based on interests such as products, events, new stories, content pieces.
- Engagement: Some subscribers are more engaged than others. Segment audiences based on who opened your emails and what actions they took. These can be measured through open and click-through rates.
- Purchases: By segmenting your subscribers based on their former purchasing behaviour you can instantly optimise your targeting. Don’t forget to look at behaviours like abandoned carts.
- Customer feedback: Try emailing your subscribers with a survey or quiz to collect valuable information you can use for future segmenting.
Customer feedback: this email checks in with someone who has just got a ride with Lyft.
When segmenting, try to create small behavioural groups. In this way, you know many more things about that group and can personalise your emails better. Find out more about how to use marketing automation to segment your subscribers by behaviour.
5. Split test and test again
Optimise your email marketing campaigns though split testing, also known as A/B testing. Like measuring results, split testing is essential. Split testing allows you to test two different versions of your email to see which one works better.
Use split testing to optimise:
- Email content: The subjects and themes you choose to focus on, including all words and graphics.
- Time of emails: Timing should include not just time of day but timing between emails and between actions such as sign-ups, purchases and follows.
- Subject lines: Split test these just as you would a headline on an ad.
- Body copy: Discover which tone of voice and style your audience prefers.
- Images: If you have the budget, split testing images can be useful.
- Call to action: Every email should have one CTA.
- Testimonials: Test to see if testimonials help move your subscribers to action.
- Offers: Trial offers to find out what your audience wants most.
Split test by varying only one element of your email at a time. Make sure all other elements remain identical, otherwise your results won’t be accurate and true.
6. Follow best practice
Further optimise your email marketing automation by adhering to best practice. Best practice gives you a road map for ethical marketing that achieves the best results.
● Be valuable
Consider each email you send out in terms of the value it offers to subscribers, whether that be information, discounts or freebies.
● Never spam
Thanks to the CAN-SPAM Act, spamming is illegal. But keep in mind that too many emails or emails lacking in value can also be perceived as spam.
● Allow opt-outs
Having an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email is not only convenient, it looks professional and helps to build trust in your brand.
This email from Hulu is relevant and valuable, even after a user has opted out.
Send new sign-ups a warm welcome message. This instantaneous confirmation prepares and excites subscribers for your future communications.
Optimising email marketing
As we’ve shown in this article, there are many ways you can optimise your email marketing automation. We’ve given you insightful tips that you can take action right now.
Remember that optimisation is a process involving trial and error. Adopt an experimental attitude towards your email marketing strategy. As long as you’re continuously testing and tweaking, your results will improve.
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