You’ve got Mail

When was the last time you received a hand-written letter in the mail? If you’re like most people, it may have been quite a while ago. But you probably still remember how it made you feel. Opening it was exciting, and reading it made you feel special because someone you know wrote something especially for you.

Now, try and think of a promotional email that made you feel this way. Do any come to mind? Emails like this are probably few and far between, which is the challenge brands face in connecting with their audience.

When the desired marketing results aren’t achieved, it seems like the first response is to worry if you’re annoying your audience by sending too many emails. Instead of stressing over the number of emails, you should focus on how to send better quality messages – emails that delight your audience.

Consumers have more ways than ever to interact with brands. If you would like them to engage with your company and not your competition – it’s time to up your email game both from a quality and quantity perspective.

Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t get me wrong – it is possible to go too far.  Sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing anymore. So, think about what messages delight your audience – and the ones that don’t.

A few things to avoid: blasting the same messages to everyone in your database, bad data merges (wrong name, no name, etc.) sending promos to people who have already purchased, sending offers outside of someone’s geographic area, failing to establish a consistent brand voice, focusing on the product over the consumer, using too many CTAs – the list goes on.

A few ways to engage your consumers: using a welcome series to build a friendship, sending emails based on previous purchase behavior, remembering their birthday or other key dates, and using personalization based on their behavior – anything that shows similar thought (or effort) as receiving the handwritten letter.  

Crunching the Numbers

Now – how much email is too much? The tricky part of this is that there is no ‘magic number’ that will perfect your strategy. Every customer and industry is different. Decreasing the not so good emails and sending more of the better quality is an easy start – but you need to build towards that.

Build a Strong Foundation

Get to know your audience, and create segments based on what you know about them. Have they bought from you before? A lot, or a little? If they haven’t bought from you, might they buy soon? Sometime later in the future? Maybe they have shown interest in a certain style or product. Tailor your emails to the needs of these segments, and you might see improved results.

Beyond segmentation is testing. Testing can help you to determine what types of content each segment of your audience finds valuable. You can do this based on open rates and clicks, sure… But are these the best metrics to measure your success? Most businesses value conversion and sales more than opens. Yes, open rates are important too, but the better measure is to see how much revenue can be attributed to email campaigns. Now gameify this across your marketing department to test and identify ways you can influence behavior and conversion – to go beyond opens, clicks or unsubscribes.

Personalization is the New Black

Don’t stop after segmenting and testing your database – the true measure of a mature email marketing strategy is personalization. Once you know your audience’s traits and behaviors, you can meet their needs with emails tailored to each segment of subscribers. The true answer to the email marketing question is about sending the right messages – instead of decreasing the numbers, enhance the quality.

Understanding your marketing strategy can help you to take your emails to the next level. Developing ways to measure your goals, winning the support of your management team, and using the right tools can also go a long way.

What’s your score?

The best way to start improving is to know where you stand. Are you an email marketing pro, or are you making mistakes that are hindering your results? We’ve developed an assessment to help you find out. Answer eight simple questions, and you’re on your way to marketing success!