Are your e-mail efforts stuck in a rut? If you've been sending e-mails to your customers for some time, you may be seeing flat results. You can inject some new life into your campaigns and make them more profitable through optimization.
Here's a four-step process to fine-tune for success. Let's take a hypothetical campaign for a one million-name mailing and see how the optimization process works.
Step 1: Net Delivery
Use list hygiene, e-mail change-of-address services and bounce management to improve delivery.
Conduct list hygiene on undeliverable names. You may find input errors, such as missing extensions (no .com), extra spaces, extra periods or transposition errors (loa.com instead of aol.com). With proper hygiene you can correct up to 5 percent of undeliverable addresses.
Consider using an e-mail change-of-address service. They're getting better as more names are added to databases.
Also, resend your soft bounces. If you work with an outside service bureau, it can help you put a plan in place to redeliver messages over a predetermined timeframe.
I won't deal specifically with filters because it's difficult to measure whether e-mail has been filtered; but consider using content-checking software to minimize the risk of your e-mail getting filtered as spam.
Step 2: Open Rates
You want to ensure more people are opening and reading your e-mail. Pay attention to subject lines and the "from" address as well as the day of the week and time of day it's being sent.
Look at subject lines. Do they provide value? Are they targeted based on demonstrated and implied preferences? Is personalization used? Test subject lines—this will make a difference. Also, many recipients use the preview pane to see the first two lines of a message, so the lead-in should be compelling.
Examine the "from" address. Is it immediately clear to the recipient who the mail is coming from? This takes on heightened importance as people deal with increasing inbound e-mails and only look for mail from trusted senders.