3 Tips for Improving Financial, Retail and Media E-mail Opens
In conducting a consumer study, Forrester Research compiled its Consumer Technographics Data, which analyzes the creative and standard drivers of consumer interest when opening marketing e-mail. This data reveals the priority of the consumers' needs and emotional reactions versus their standard interests in fixed items like offer, subject line and message timing when opening e-mails.
From this data, Forrester published its white paper Consumer Interests Drive Email Opens, which details areas for marketers in financial services, media and retail to focus on in improving their e-mail marketing open rates. Below are the highlights of these e-mail program best practices.
1. Build Customer Preference Centers in Financial Services
Financial services customers come to the e-mail inbox with immediate needs, but they are looking to meet more long-term goals in their relationships with financial institutions. Instead of sending all of the e-mail subscribers the same promotional content, financial firms should develop online customer preference centers to determine which financial events a customer is planning for. This information will allow marketers to meet customers' ongoing needs in a more timely and relevant fashion.
2. Vary Retail Testing Strategies
Rather than conduct subject line tests, retailers should focus on more e-mail customization and frequency testing. To develop custom content, first collect data from the customers; then send out an e-mail campaign tailored to the findings and monitor for increased open rates. Sending out a follow-up survey helps determine whether the custom content improved customer satisfaction overall. Testing e-mail frequency helps avoid campaign fatigue and list attrition. One example is a retailer originally mailing five days a week to keep up with its competitors, which then lowered its frequency to three times a week to a subset of best customers and two times a week for the rest of its list. Revenue doubled as a result of the lower frequency.
3. Media Firms Should Cater to Core Audiences
The study found that people who consume various media in print, television and online have different attitudes regarding opening e-mail messages. One initial best practice for media firms is to establish multichannel preference centers to determine which medium subscribers use most and reflect that preference in campaigns. A Web site audience's needs and interests are best met by triggered messaging that can mirror each individual's experience with the site, while print publication e-mail should be highly personalized, as print consumers are less likely to focus on traditional selling points like offer and editorial. For television audiences, program preferences and e-mail preferences align, and messages with content from the consumer's favorite shows have the highest open rates.