What not to do in an email campaign

What not to do in an email campaign

What not to do in an email campaign

Throughout this month we are focusing on email campaigns, the tips, tricks, dos and don’ts to get you on track. Today’s blog looks at what not to do in an email campaign. As though they are a quick and easy option to put together, they can also quickly and easily go wrong.

Here are seven easy mistakes to make they may cost you business.

 

Send it to everyone

You have some email addresses. You know you should go through them really, but that takes a lot of time that you just don’t have. So you send your one email to the entire list.

This brings you a lot of bounces, unsubscribes and generally not a great return on your ‘effort’. So why doesn’t it work?

Well there are a number of things wrong with this scenario. Firstly, you should regularly clean your data, as database’s tend to decay 22.5% each year. You should also take the time to ensure everyone has opted in for your emails. Then you need to look at the other data you have. Check out our previous post for more on this. But really you need to be making sure that the email that lands in your customers inbox is one that is relevant, useful and personal to them, otherwise what is their incentive to buy?

 

Put really long subject lines

So you want to make sure the customer knows exactly what they are opening, so you write a brilliant subject line. It’s a little long, but it’ll be okay, your customers will understand once they open the email.

Wrong. If your subject line can’t be seen fully in the preview, chances are they won’t open the email full stop.

It has been proven that more emails are opened when they have a shorter subject line and ideally you should be keeping them under 50 characters. Make the line as short, snappy and to the point as you can. It should point to what the content is, but the email itself should explain what’s going on, the subject line is just the precursor.

 

Bad timing

Newsjacking or scheduled emails can go horribly wrong pretty quickly. Always check current events and the schedule of the email, and if in doubt of how it will be interpreted, always get a second (non-biased) opinion.

Newsjacking or topical content is a brilliant tool, but when you are delivering that content straight to someone’s inbox, you need to take extra steps to ensure it won’t cause offence.

 

Spamming the hell out of people’s inboxes

Have you ever thought ‘Ooo that’s the fourth email I’ve received from that company this week, I definitely want to go and check out what they have to offer’ … No didn’t think so. So why do we think it’s okay when we’re the business?

Your emails should be useful, and if you have to send 5 in a row, they might not be providing all that benefit to your customer. Not to mention they should be expected, and your customer will most likely be expecting all the information they need in the minimal amount of emails.

Carefully plan out your email schedule, and explain at the point of signing up what users can expect in terms of emails from you. If you state then and there you will be sending an email every day and they still sign up, then that’s okay.

Also remember to only re-send the same content to non-openers. Don’t annoy the people who are actually clicking your email.

 

Not suitable for mobile

Did you know that 45% of email opens occur on a mobile phone? So why when building up your email do you not consider what it will look like on a mobile phone?

Consider how your images will resize. Is there a lot of text? Will people be having to try and expand to read it? If you received an email that just didn’t look right on your mobile, would you click back off it and forget all about it? I’m guessing you probably would.

You have to design for mobile first if you want to keep up with your customers. Luckily most free to use email programmes such as MailChimp already use responsive templates, you just need to make the most of them!

 

No obvious action

You’ve got a great subject line, loads of your recipients have opened, but then nothing. Why is nothing happening? You’ve spent so long putting together this fabulous email with a beautiful design. And it’s full of loads of useful information too!

But what did you actually ask your customers to do? Was there a singular call to action which was obvious to the reader? If you are bombarding your readers with lots of beautiful pictures, and all of this information, how do they know what to do next? They may just absorb everything and continue with their day.

All of your email should be pointing to a single call to action which is clear to the reader, and appealing enough to inspire them to click. Make it as easy as possible for the reader to complete the action, and for you to be able to measure the result.

 

Not bothering to test, or read through, or just generally speeding through.

Again, we love to rush and get these things out don’t we? But how do we know our links work? That it makes sense? And that its going to achieve what you want it to achieve? You need to test it!

Send it to yourself, to your colleagues, to a beta set of customers. You need to test drive this to make sure what you send out will have people looking forward to your emails, not unsubscribing from your list.

You also need to commit to the changes you may need to make. Though you may love the design, or you really hadn’t factored in the time to change your CTA button, you have to change to make it better. Otherwise what was the point in testing? Or sending for that matter.

 

What has been the worst email you’ve received and why? What would be your advice on what not to do in an email campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Email Marketing Statistics to consider in 2016

Email Marketing Statistics to consider in 2016 header image

Email Marketing Statistics to consider in 2016 header image

Email has changed in 2016. With a boom in automation and mobile use, we take a look at what this has done to email marketing statistics.

Email is a marketing tool which goes back and forth as being “dead” and not worth much. But as with every marketing tool, if it fits with your strategy, and is done well, it can achieve great results, just as these email marketing statistics show.

 

Email Automation

Email automation has taken a huge jump; as online shopping is now proving to be the consumer’s favourite. Acting as an instore offer, or a happy to help assistant, triggered emails help to get customers to the till. Whether that’s incentive to come back and pick up their basket, or to buy a little extra than what they normally would.

Using inbound methodology of allowing the customer to control the sales process, automated emails offer the company to chance to convert the customer.

So does this actual work?

  • B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50% – eMarketer
  • Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. – Epsilon Email
  • Companies who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle. – Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups

From these stats it appears so. Automation, when done correctly, seems to be the perfect balance of nudging consumers down the sale funnel, whilst the customer is still in control.

Will this continue to be the case?

Prediction: Email automation tools become even more useful, offering email marketers more ways to creatively use them and an ever expanding list of triggers – Daniel Codella of Zurb

 

Email and mobile

As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of stories about mobile ready website, and mobile friendly ads, and email marketing is no exception.

Over half of email is now opened on mobile, meaning your beautifully crafted email needs to able to open on mobile to be successful.

This means looking at responsive design. Perhaps a more ‘drag and drop’ style then hard coding your email. Meaning more people will receive the full benefit when they open.

But is this something you really need to worry about? Let’s take a look at the stats:

  • About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. – Campaign Monitor
  • Though the number of new Internet users is growing at less than 10% per year, the number of new smartphone subscribers is growing at a 20%+ rate. –TechCrunch
  • It is more common for a reader’s second open to be on a mobile device than it is on a different device: 70% will stick with their mobile device, and 30% will go elsewhere. – Campaign Monitor

Mobile marketing is no longer a gimmick. It’s something you need to consider in every aspect of your marketing campaign. Especially with email.

Prediction: Email marketing will experience a second coming of age in 2016, thanks to mobile strategies, more integrations and more insights from data. – Chad White of Litmus.

 

Email personalisation and segmentation

Automation has helped with email personalisation and segmentation, as emails are triggered by a user’s action. But if you are looking at a more traditional email marketing campaign, is it still worth segmenting?

Yes. Of course it is! The user who is receiving your email doesn’t know if they are part of a “traditional campaign” or an “automated” one. All they care about is if that email is of use to them personally.

So should you be taking the time to segment your data? Let’s take a look at the stats:

  • Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. – Aberdeen
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. –  Campaign Monitor
  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. – Experian

The truth is, as consumers we provide a lot of data to companies, and when we receive un-personal, generic emails, it’s kind of a kick in the teeth. Use the data you have, cater your messages, and you will receive the rewards.

Prediction: “hyper-personalization” is becoming a reality. Specialist third-party services pop up in deliverability, testing, live content, remarketing, predictive analytics, email advertising & customer intelligence. – Rene Kulka

 

 

Email Vs Social Media

Email marketing is often compared to social media. However, this is not something you should be doing. Email and social stand at different parts of the sales funnel. Social media is there to attract, and draw new people in. Whereas email is to convert, as they have already filtered down the sales funnel.

So of course statistics are going to look amazing for conversion levels of email, but sometimes you need to view these in context. Here are just some of the statistics out there:

  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.- Campaign Monitor
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
  • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook. – Radicati

Don’t choose between email or social, as they are not an either/or option. Both have their merits, and their faults, but they are two very different things.

Just remember that if you have someone’s email address that you have permission to use, chances are, they are more willing to convert as they have passed on their details.

 

Other email statistics

Just a few last email statistics for the road, to give you thought for your next campaign.

  • The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 4.3 billion accounts by year-end 2016. – Radicati Group
  • 76% of marketers see active growth in their number of email subscribers. –Ascend2
  • Open rate is highest when companies send two emails per month. – Database Marketing Institute
  • Email marketing was the biggest driver of Black Friday transactions, with 25.1% of sales originating from the marketing channel. – Custora
  • 65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text. – HubSpot

 

Do you use email campaigns in your marketing? What do you think of these email statistics? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

If you require help or advice with your email campaign, then why not speak to the team about arranging a free marketing consultation to see if we could work together.

 

10 email marketing tips to help you improve your email campaigns

10 email marketing tips to help you improve your campaign

10 email marketing tips to help you improve your campaign

Email marketing can be a bit of a minefield. So we’ve put together 10 quick tips for creating and sending an email to help you generate leads and sales.

Make subject lines interesting and short

Think of your subject line as a news headline. It needs to be short and interesting to pull people in.

Keep keywords and the real interest part as close to the start of the subject line as possible. In case some people’s devices don’t show the entire subject line.

Don’t use these words…

There are some words that set off spam filters which mean your emails may end up in the spam folder.

There are some words we immediately associate with spam such as ‘free samples’ or ‘be your own boss’.

You may have to use some words which are considered ‘spammy’ such as ‘free’. But use your own discretion and where possible switch a spammy word for a less spammy word.

Click here for a list of 100 words you shouldn’t use in emails.

Make it mobile friendly

As more and more people buy smartphones and tablets the number of people opening their email on mobile devices increases.

A study by Litmus found that in 48% of emails were opened on a smartphone or tablet.

The percentage of mobile opens will vary between each sector and business. But the point is that you shouldn’t be ignoring those mobile users.

If your email can’t be viewed properly on a phone or tablet, the chances are the recipient will just delete your email.

Split test subject lines

It’s important to test two or three subject lines when running an email campaign. So you can begin to figure out what works, and what doesn’t work, with your audience.

You can use results from split tests to make sure subject lines you create in the future appeal to your audience.

Include an unsubscribe link

You need to include an unsubscribe link in your email somewhere to allow people to opt-out of receiving your emails.

Proofread it!

After you’ve finished writing your email, give yourself a short break from it. Go back to it and imagine you’re reading it for the first time. You’ll probably notice a few errors you didn’t spot earlier.

Get someone else to proofread it

It really pays to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your copy. As they’re more likely to pick up errors because you know the copy. So you probably aren’t looking at it in great detail.

Check your links

As well as checking your copy you need to check the links work and go to the right place.

Make it count!

Make sure your email means something to recipients and that it encourages them to do something which appeals to them.

Always ask yourself ‘so what?’. Okay, so it’s a nice email about an offer we’re running but what does this mean to my customers or prospects?

If you do this your marketing messages will appeal to your recipients and mean something to them.

Monitor it

You don’t just get to sit back after your email has been sent. Keep monitoring it and look at open rates, click through rates, whether anyone converted from the email and keep an eye on replies.

Looking at your data can help you improve future email campaigns.

We hope our 10 quick email tips have been useful and will help you create emails which bring real benefit to your business.

If your business is based in the Burntwood, Lichfield or Staffordshire are and needs help creating email marketing campaigns that generate leads or sales get in touch to find out how we can help.

Proof that Great Email Marketing Messages Generate Leads.

edo email image

edo email image

Following on from the renaming and repositioning of SSC Learning to edo earlier this year. They couldn’t wait to get out there and start telling people about how edo could benefit businesses and help learners.

Once we had completed the rebrand. Designed and developed their website and updated all of their social media to include their new name and branding. We began working with edo to do their marketing, beginning with their email marketing.

In the past they had tried email marketing, including their own internal emails. But had never really seen any benefit from it.

 

The Challenge

After many years of providing solutions and training in the care sector. edo have a really good understanding how people working in that sector felt about apprenticeships. And their concerns about taking out a loan to fund their qualifications.

This meant that marketing messages need to be targeted and relevant to the decision makers. To inform and reassure them that funding doesn’t have to be as scary and confusing as it sounds.

 

The Answer

We worked closely with edo, utilising our combined knowledge of the care sector to develop messages which showed the decision makers empathy and understanding. And provided them with a real solution and links to pages on their website which contained more information.

After developing the key messages and calls to action, we designed and built three different versions of the email. A plain text version, a HTML version and an online version. All of which were mobile optimised, meaning that any type of client or prospect would be able to view the email. Before sending the email we also ran it through the spam checker on our email marketing software to ensure it would get through spam filters and into recipients inboxes.

 

So What?

Just 20 minutes after the email was sent, edo received an inbound call from a prospect. Who had read the email and visited the website, and following a conversation they are now a confirmed edo client.

The good news doesn’t stop there. That phone call was the very first inbound lead edo have ever had, as both edo and SSC Learning. So the edo team couldn’t be happier.

 

Next?

After seeing the results they received from their first email marketing campaign, they are chomping at the bit to get on with some more. As a result we are going to work with them to create email invites for their launch party. And run email marketing campaigns about qualification funding and how edo are able to help recruitment companies.

 

Here at The Marketing People it’s really important to us that our work benefits our clients. That it provides them with good opportunities to sell their products or services, so we’re never happier than we are when we find out that our work has helped a business gain a sale or a new customer.

 

Contact Us

If you’re a business based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock, Staffordshire or the West Midlands and are looking for marketing that really works, get in touch to find out how we can benefit your business. Call us on 01543 495 752 or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com

If you’re a business owner looking to develop your workforce’s skills or you’re looking to further your education, whether you’re a jobseeker or in employment, visit edo’s website to see if they might be able to help you.

Email Marketing: Five Best Practice Tips for Subject Lines.

Email marketing five best practise tips

Email marketing five best practise tips

You know what it’s like yourself, you have an inbox full of emails and you have no intention of reading them all; you just scroll down looking at subject lines waiting for one to catch your eye. So what can you do to encourage people to open your email?

Subject Length

First off, most email clients are only able to display somewhere between 30 and 50 characters and mobile devices will show even less, about 20 to 30 characters. This means ideally you don’t want your subject line to be longer than 50 characters and if the majority of your opens come from mobile devices, it needs to be even shorter.

If the majority of your emails don’t come from mobile devices, then try and ensure your main keywords are within the first 30 characters so that your subject line interests anyone who does use a mobile device.

 

Create Urgency

It’s really important to try and create urgency and to make your recipients stop and want to open the email right away instead of telling themselves they’ll read it later and completely forgetting about.

For example if you are emailing your customers to tell them that there’s an offer ending soon make sure you get that urgency across by using the words ‘ends soon’, ‘ends today’, ‘ends tomorrow’ etc.

Another thing to bear in mind that using ‘Re:’ and ‘Fwd:’ at the beginning of your subject line to try and trick your recipients into believe a friend has forwarded the email onto them may well annoy them and leave them feeling tricked of scammed.

 

Clear Subject Lines

Be honest with your customers and make it obvious and clear what the email is about. If your subject line says one thing and your email is really about something else, they may feel tricked and won’t bother reading the rest of your email.

Make sure your subject line also contains keywords which will mean something to your customers. You should have a good idea of what kinds of keywords your customers use, but if not check your websites Google Analytics which will be able to show you what people are searching for to reach your website.

 

Words and things to avoid

There’s a lot of debate over whether a certain word or phrase in the subject line will get you caught in a spam filter, it’s more likely that your email will be marked as spam due to a number of things rather than mentioning a spammy word in your subject line.

However as best practice avoid the obvious spammy words such as; act now, extra cash, no obligation, money back guarantee, limited time, click now etc. If you do use a word which is associated with spam and you do get through spam filters, the recipient may well think your email is spam because the words ‘limited time’ to them sets alarm bells ringing.

As well as avoiding obvious spammy words;

  • Don’t write your entire subject line in caps
  • Avoid exclamation marks
  • Avoid using different fonts
  • Don’t put unnecessary g  a  p  s between characters or use numbers and special characters in the place of letters

 

Test, test and test again

When coming up with a subject line write a list of all the possible subject lines and keep revising subject lines which sound good until they sound great.

A good way to improve your subject lines is to look at what emails you’ve opened recently because the subject line interested you; what was it that caught your attention and made you open the email? Also put yourself in the customer’s shoes; is this subject line something they would open?

Once you’ve got a list of a few great subject lines select three of the best and use these as a split test for your email campaign.

After you’ve done a few campaigns and looked at the results of your split tests, you’ll begin to get a good idea of what your customers like and what interests them the most and equally as important, what doesn’t interest them or get them opening your email.

 

Contact us

If you’re a business based in Burntwood, Cannock, Lichfield, Staffordshire or the West Midlands and need help creating opportunities to sell your products or services though email marketing, get in touch with us to find out how we can benefit your business.

You can get in touch with us by calling us on 01543 495 752 or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com

Email Marketing Campaigns That Deliver – Browns Distribution

email marketing campaigns that deliver

email marketing campaigns that deliver

Email marketing is a simple and easy way to reach your customers. Better yet it allows you to easily segment your customers and send each group an email targeted to them.

After working with Staffordshire based Browns Distribution at the end of last year to rejuvenate their brochure for the New Year ahead. They engaged our email marketing services to help them introduce their brand to prospects.

The aim of the email campaign was to introduce prospects to the brand. To ensure that existing clients were aware of their full range of services and ultimately, to generate leads and sales over a series of three emails. The email campaign is also being supported by a direct mail flier, which also lists their services.

To ensure their email was successful and beneficial to their customers and prospects. We worked with the team at Browns Distribution to create a list of key messages which needed to be included in the email.

After working out the key messages and calls to action, we were able to create a visual. Then build an email which was inline with Browns Distribution’s branding and would get through contacts spam filters.

Before sending the email we also asked Browns Distribution to update key areas of their website. So that the website would support the email campaign and encourage any visitors from the email to download their brochure.

Our Email Marketing Works

The email successfully generated leads for Browns Distribution. One of which was a prospect they had been trying to get in touch with for the past 12 months and had been refused through the normal sales channel.

Using the stats, open rates and click throughs from the reporting system. The Browns Distribution Business Development Team were also able target effective follow ups.

If you want an email marketing campaign which works and delivers against your goals, get in touch with The Marketing People to find out more. Call us on 01543 495 752 or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com