Four Tactics to Improve E-mail Any Time of the Year
While it’s too late to make improvements that will boost the results of this year’s final e-mail campaigns, it’s not too early to start laying plans that could provide a significant lift in next year’s e-mail response.
Stefan Pollard, director of consulting services for Menlo Park, Calif. e-mail marketing solutions firm EmailLabs, suggests marketers use the following tactics to beat the e-mail inbox doldrums.
Tactic #1: Avoid look-alike subject lines. “Present a unique value proposition for why consumers should shop with you, and steer clear of overused lines like ‘Free Shipping’ and ‘Today Only,’” says Pollard. Marketers can see what subject lines are used most often at “Subjectivity Scanner,” a daily digest of e-mail subject lines from a variety of retailers (www.retailemail.blogspot.com ).
Tactic #2: Make the savings crystal clear. “Saying ‘save up to 50 percent off’ just isn’t enough. Show the beginning price and the ending price, then spell out exactly how much money was saved—in dollars and as a percentage,” he explains. This strategy is especially important during the holiday shopping season, when consumers are pressed for time but still looking for the best deals.
Tactic #3: Use text and graphics. “Make sure your call to action and your key offer are spelled out in text, not just highlighted in a graphic,” he advises. Too many ISPs are blocking images these days, which means your text could be the only thing visible to e-mail recipients.
Tactic #4: Dress up your “new subscriber” message. Get maximum efficiency from your standard auto-responder message by adding special offers for first-time customers and shipping information. During the holidays, Pollard notes, a smart idea is to highlight cut-off dates for Christmas delivery.