5 E-mail Marketing Spring Cleaning Tips
With spring approaching, it’s time to get your broom and start sweeping out the e-mail marketing program you’ve been meaning to spruce up all winter.
In the past, marketers could thrive with unsophisticated programs because the growth in online commerce masked problems associated with running nontargeted, untested campaigns. But with consumers spending less — and companies increasing volume to compensate — marketers can’t afford to sit around and let their e-mail marketing strategies gather dust.
Here are five recommendations that'll clear the cobwebs of complacency and create an e-mail program that sparkles through the increasingly cluttered inbox landscape:
1. Make your e-mails more social. A one-way conversation no longer resonates with subscribers, most of whom are engaged in, at the very least, two-way conversations through social media.
Introduce product reviews in e-newsletters to demonstrate that your company is listening to its customers. Set up a Twitter account to inform Twitter feed subscribers about future offers. JupiterResearch, which was acquired by Forrester Research last year, has determined that half of 18- to 24-year-olds are now using social media in lieu of e-mail, so the future success of your e-mail campaigns relies on making e-mail a two-way conversation.
2. Implement more sophisticated measurement. Forrester Research recently found that more than 40 percent of marketers use only basic open and click metrics when analyzing the success of their e-mail campaigns. Certainly metrics such as click and open rates are important, but the full value of e-mail is unleashed when marketers dig deeper.
Are you measuring — and acting on — metrics such as bounce rates, customer-level profitability, customer-level ROI and postclick Web site metrics tied to individual subscribers? With widespread use of coupons and discounting, you might find that customers who purchase frequently are actually a drain on profitability.
3. Use banner ads to remarket to your e-mail list. Marketers have embraced banner ads to remarket to visitors who leave their sites without purchasing. But surprisingly few have adopted this practice to optimize revenues generated from e-mail campaigns. Tagging e-mail campaigns and landing pages allows marketers working with advertising networks to remarket to these customers as they browse other Web sites, and to reconnect more frequently without inundating users with more e-mail.
4. Add marketing copy to transactional e-mails. More than half of e-mail senders don't include marketing copy in their transactional e-mails, forgoing a highly relevant opportunity to reach customers. The language of CAN-SPAM is clear: As long as the primary intent of the e-mail is transactional in nature, supplemental marketing copy is acceptable.
The first step to creating highly relevant marketing messages in transactional e-mails is to work closely with merchandising teams to assign complementary products to each product or product category to ensure strong customer response.
5. Offer multiple opt-out options. Sophisticated e-mail marketers offer subscribers the ability to set their contact frequencies, the choice of receiving offers or content-based communications, and an option for the way they typically read e-mails. This last option is especially important now that scores of people are using handheld devices to read commercial e-mail.