Email marketing continues to provide positive results for marketers, helping to capture leads and develop customer relationships. Even in the face of competition from social media, email continues to offer better conversion rates and greater engagement levels. Email, like advertising and search engine optimization, can be tweaked and scrutinized at
even the most minute detail. For most marketers, though, it will be more efficient to focus your attention on a few key elements that will provide the greatest returns. So what are the three core elements of email marketing?
List management is the process of ensuring your list does not have problems with spam complaints, sends the right messages to the appropriate people, and reengages old leads. Firstly, high numbers of spam complaints could lead to your email account being shut down. To avoid any problems, you could use a double opt-in method, requesting subscribers confirm they wanted to join the list. Also, ensure the unsubscribe information is clear at the bottom of the email. If you are getting consistent soft bounces from accounts, check the email addresses and delete any suspicious subscribers.
The second part of list management involves segmenting your lists to create tailored emails for different groups. Buyers should be receiving, when appropriate, different emails to your prospects as they have proven they are willing to spend money. You can also segment people according to actions taken, so if a subscriber clicked a link within the message, you could transfer them to an alternative list. You don’t need to overdo it, but a certain amount of list segmentation can improve conversion rates. Finally, reengaging old leads can both earn and save you money. A tempting offer, a controversial message, or an apology are a a few of the ways to get an old lead to pay attention. Most inactive leads won’t even open the reengagement emails, so you can remove them and potentially reduce your autoresponder costs. The people that do open and engage with the email,
though, can be moved back into another active list.
A/B testing is more commonly associated with sales pages, but testing email will ensure you are running an optimized campaign. Some of the most common testing elements include subject line, body copy, anchor text, banners or videos in the message, and time of sending. The more subscribers you have, the easier it is to run accurate A/B tests, mainly because you need a large enough sample size to make accurate assessments. Nevertheless, smaller list owners can still run tests, but ensure you limit to one factor per split test.
A/B testing runs into problems when it is hard to discern what has made the difference to a tested factor. This problem normally occurs when there are too many significant changes going on at once. If you test different body copy and different anchor text at the same time, you cannot be sure what led to a change in click-through rate. Try to keep all other factors the same during a test, but alter a significant element to look for any difference in your analytics.
Engaging Subject Lines
Subject lines are a vital factor in email marketing, with two separate subjects often offering a wide disparity in open rates during tests. A good subject line could invoke curiosity by asking an open question, using a quirky idea, or using an ellipsis to end a thought early. Alternatively, you can stand out with digits, symbols, or odd punctuation. However, the subject line shouldn’t suggest or offer something irrelevant to the body copy as this can lead to unhappy readers and more unsubscribes.
There are many elements that could improve your email marketing efforts, but focusing on these three areas will be the best use of your time. Email is still proving incredibly effective, with subscription and open rates even translating over to mobile devices. Marketing is still reliant on finding leads, building strong relationships, and improving conversion rates, with few options performing these tasks as well as email can. With a focus on the right areas, you can set up a smart funnel that transforms the way you connect with customers.