Email marketing proves time and time again to be one of the most effective avenues in digital marketing.
Sure, there are countless arguments on whether or not email marketing is dying, but rather than trying to convince you that it’s still “hip,” and more importantly, working – I’ll let results and statistics speak for themselves.
After we dive into the data, I’ll walk you through the steps to master email marketing.
The most recent averages from 2019 Email Benchmark Reports (with an analysis of over 30 billion emails between January 2019 and December 2019) reports the following general averages for emails sent across all industries.
B2B sales emails show a 19.3% open rate, which is slightly above the average.
Campaign Monitor reports that people are using the following devices to read their emails:
The following statistic offers insight into the return on investment you can expect from email: For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect to get an average return of $42.
So, what does all of this data tell us?
It shows that email is a valuable marketing and sales tactic. But only if you know how to master your email marketing efforts.
Come with me on this six-step journey to mastering email marketing in 2020.
I’m assuming most people reading this article already have some experience in email marketing and most likely deal with several lists, so I’ll focus on engaging subscribers and re-engaging inactive ones.
Email marketing is a way to build a relationship with prospects and clients using strategic email messages to promote a product or a service.
Before you dive into detailed email marketing strategies, you first have to get people to open your emails.
What’s the first thing that your customers see in your email engagements? Subject lines.
With the focus on re-engaging clients who haven't followed through with received quotes, downloaded marketing materials, or have abandoned their carts, we want to look at what role subject lines play.
Here are some telling statistics that can help inform your subject line strategy moving forward:
It’s your job to figure out what it is that your audience clicks on and why they click on it.
A spam filter is an email categorizing tool that classifies incoming emails in an attempt to prevent digital “junk mail” from getting through to the inbox.
Spam filters work on a point system in which the filters watch for certain keyword phrases and other elements that will accrue points every time they’re found in your email campaigns.
The higher the points, the more likely it is that the email will hit the spam box.
This is where you have to be careful. While it’s important to know which subject lines perform the best, it won't matter if the email doesn't even hit their inbox.
So, when you’re creating your subject lines, be aware of what triggers spam filters. If you don't, once your campaign reaches a certain number of points (spam score) all of your emails will go straight to the recipients’ junk folders.
There isn't a set number of triggers, however, as all thresholds are dependent on different servers and their specific spam filters.
Here are a few examples of the type of mistakes you can make that spam filters will flag, along with the average amount of points that you will accrue if you include this content, according to MailChimp:
Here are a few other missteps MailChimp advises avoiding to make sure your spam score stays low.
A call-to-action tells a website reader what action you want them to take. For example, “Buy now,” “Get started,” or “Click here.”
It’s important to tell your website visitors what action you want them to take. That’s the job of a Call to Action, or CTA.
Best practices can be dependent on the specific business or industry that you’re in, but there are some general “rules” for getting the most out of your CTAs.
The best tips and practices for CTAs are:
B2C businesses experience an average 69% abandoned-cart rate.
Implementing strong re-engagement marketing campaigns may be the key factor that makes or breaks your existing and returning customer relationships.
Let’s look at two examples. The first one is of a strong re-engagement email, and the second is a weak re-engagement email.
The following email is from Urban Outfitters. It's their attempt to re-engage customers who had not taken any action as a result of receiving prior emails.
It’s clever, funny, and definitely attracts attention. A customer receiving this email will give a second thought to unsubscribing.
Cycle Surgery is a large bicycle corporation from the UK. This is an email they sent out to try and gather abandoned cart users by trying to leverage a conversion.
This was done with a poorly written and displayed “transactional” email.
There are quite a few things wrong with this email – which explains the horrible conversion rates that they have on re-engagement (Less than 3%).
Here are just a few mistakes in this email:
We know that 50% of emails are being opened on mobile devices, so it’s a no-brainer that responsive design is a big deal.
Another tactic to make your emails mobile-friendly is to add “click-to-call” buttons.
When offering products and services, using click to call is an effective tool for streamlined communication with little navigation.
Vivint SmartHome has a great example of how to utilize click-to-call:
All rules apply to click-to-call regarding design, responsiveness, etc., but if this is done right, it can be quite effective.
According to a study by Marchex, consumers will spend approximately $1.12 trillion through click-to-call this year.
To enhance the effect of one-to-one communication in your email marketing, it’s vital that you use personalization.
Personalized emails (with the recipient's first name) can pull down six times higher sales conversion rates and two-and-a-half times higher click-through rates.
Email Monday did a global marketing survey in which marketers found that segmenting email campaigns gave them a 760% increase in email revenue.
Episerver recommends that you segment your email lists by marketing persona. This allows targeted content to enhance the personalized messages.
Many of the sources (and our team at Flight Media), highly recommend you send re-engagement emails as a human and not a company.
Salesforce even recommends adding a picture in the sign off of a real member of your team when you send re-engagement emails to comfort the customer and build trust.
Let's dig a little deeper. Personalizing and segmenting may seem like fun and games, but what’s happening to the individuals who are clicking through your CTAs? Where are they landing?
If your answer to that question isn't "a landing page," then maybe it’s time to make a greater effort toward converting. When it comes to email campaigns, the most important aspect of a landing page is relevance.
Many marketers make the mistake of providing calls-to-action and links to irrelevant landing pages. And as a result, that user doesn’t convert.
Hubspot recommends giving free content to provide value in exchange for information, such as:
If you have a customer that has abandoned their cart or not converted quite yet, sending them an email (following all above guidelines) that offers them a relevant and free information source, can increase your conversion rate and sales.
If you’ve made it this far in the article, I’ll assume you’re a marketer who’s interested in mastering email marketing efforts.
It’s good to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between data and insight. While this article provided TONS of data from relevant and credible sources, it may not all apply to your specific situation.
While you can take this information and use it to make practical decisions, take the time to develop your own data from your email marketing experiences. From there you’ll be able to develop strategies based on how your list responds to your marketing.
Now THAT’S mastering email marketing!