Okay, let me get one thing straight: email marketing is strategy with ample potential for success, even now, in the age of text messages and FaceTime. Yeah, it’s a bit of an old communication medium by today’s standards, but 85 percent of the world population still uses it on a regular basis, which is especially impressive when you consider only 62 percent of the world is on social media. I mean, you still use email, right?
Email marketing has enormous potential ROI, with some estimates ranging as high as 400 percent. But my guess is you aren’t seeing those kind of figures (otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this post). And unless you’re suffering from some kind of technological failure or problem with your platform of choice, I’d bet good money it’s due to one reason: your campaign is boring as hell.
If you bore your readers, you won’t see any new subscribers, your existing subscribers won’t engage with you, and they certainly won’t be more willing to buy from your brand. So how can you reverse this and make your email campaign more engaging?
Optimize Your Subscribers
Your first step is to optimize your subscriber base. If you have 100,000 email subscribers, that’s great to brag about, but if none of those email subscribers is truly interested in your brand, it won’t matter much. That’s why it’s almost never a good idea to blindly purchase a list of email subscribers (and by extension, why you should never pay for social media followers). Instead, you need to cultivate subscribers that you know already have a fleeting interest in your brand and/or industry; use social media to earn more attention, and look at your competitors to see how they’re earning more followers and subscribers. You’ll also want to refine your lists over time by segregating them into different categories, such as verified leads or total newcomers.
Focus on Value
Your email marketing campaign isn’t about you making money. Okay, it sort of is. But if you want to see any meaningful results, your main focus has to be on providing some kind of value to your users. If you aren’t giving them anything valuable, they aren’t going to engage with you, and in all likelihood, they’re going to unsubscribe from your uninteresting email blasts. What’s valuable? You’ll have to do some market research and competitive research to find out. But most of the time exclusive content offers, interactive contests, high-quality content, and special discounts are good bets. Just don’t get too repetitive, and be sincere (rather than overly sales-y) with your messaging.
Cut to the Chase in the Subject Line
Your subject line is where your email lives or dies. Write something boring here, or something your audience has seen a thousand times before, and you’ll get deleted. It’s that simple. Too many email marketers think gimmicks like “Save 30 percent now” or “You won’t believe this” still work; you have to opt for a unique approach, and more importantly, cut to the chase. People are busy, and they don’t have time to play your games. Something like “Learn how our client saw 137% ROI” works perfectly well. You could also attempt humor; generally, funny or clever subject lines get opens simply because you induced a positive emotion.
Stop Spamming. SERIOUSLY.
There’s little correlation between the volume of emails sent and your total return. Yes, on paper it makes sense; if you’re seeing a steady amount of click-throughs, sending more emails could translate to more visitors, and thus more conversions. However, spamming your subscribers with constant emails is bound to annoy them, and result in long-term losses for your brand reputation. Instead, focus on quality over quantity, and only send out one or two emails a week—max. If you’re really desperate to send out more emails, save them for the segments of your list who have already proven themselves to be loyal to your brand.
Be a Tease
It’s not a good idea to give everything away up front. In the body of your email, if you include some kind of tease, you’ll increase your engagement rates, and even better—you’ll prime your subscribers to keep watching for your emails in the future. Something like “we’ve got a big announcement coming to your inbox in the next few weeks,” or “there’s a deal in your future, so keep your eyes peeled for updates” can instantly make your email marketing campaign more interesting, and tether your subscribers to your brand.
Include a Personal Message
It’s tough to do, but if you can, include a personalized message in your emails. Using a custom greeting that draws on a person’s first name is a good start, but it’s even better if you can customize the message. This is where list segmentation comes in handy; keep the segments of your audience separated, and message them with different offers. The more specifically relevant your message is, the more likely it’ll be to hit home.
Change Things Up
Finally, a bit of general advice; change things up from time to time. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’re going to keep seeing the same results. Changing things will keep your audience on their toes and prevent your content from going stale, and more importantly, it will grant you the opportunity to experiment and see what other tactics might work better for your campaign. Keep a close eye on your engagement metrics, and if you find something that works, stick with it.
With these strategies in place and a newfound focus for what your customers actually want, you should start seeing an increase in your engagement figures. You’ll see more click-throughs, you’ll get fewer unsubscribes, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll start to see higher sales traction from your email subscribers.
If you’re still struggling, or if you need a powerful content marketing campaign to really add oomph to your email marketing approach, contact us! We’ll get you set up with a near-perfect system to generate more leads and revenue.