May the Odds Be Ever in Your Email's Favor - 5 Tips to Survive the Spam Folder
Black Friday deals, holiday sales, travel promotions, New Years offers... While holiday promotions provide some of the best sales opportunities, they also mark the start of the culling during this joyous season. Like Katniss and Peeta's blockbuster journey, marketers and online retailers are in a "Hunger Games" of their own as they seek to keep promotional emails alive and out of the spam folder. Those who succeed will survive the email marketing games this season, but those who don't will become all too familiar with the dreaded delete button.
Avoiding the spam folder is no easy task. A recent Campaigner survey revealed that 23 percent of consumers become so overwhelmed by holiday promotions that they ignore them, while 31 percent look, but rarely take any sort of action. Competition is fierce over the next two months—and only those with the strongest email marketing campaigns will emerge victorious.
So, take a page from the Hunger Games victor and provide an impeccable and poignant display of affection to gain the favor of your viewers. Here are five tips for email marketers to channel their inner Katniss Everdeen and emerge from the arena as a victor.
- Channel Your Inner Katniss: Learn From Your Mistakes
You can't repeat the same mistakes twice when you're faced with losing your life. Katniss consistently watches her back and puts forth the best strategy to win the cutthroat games and make it out alive. Email marketers can do the same by employing fail-safe sending precautions in campaigns to prevent ruining your chances with customers. No customer wants to be spammed with emails they can't open—a strategy that will surely result in defeat. The number of consumers reading emails via smartphones or tablets continues to grow exponentially, so ensure your content is readable and interactive by implementing responsive design (mobile) templates. Otherwise, like the cannon blast signaling a tribute's end, the delete button will sound your early departure from the email marketing games.
- Dress to Impress: You're an Email Marketing Mockingjay
Just like Katniss puts on a show to reel in her sponsors—from her clothing to her shooting abilities and alliances—email marketers need to develop and present content that creates a long-standing impression, particularly with personalized messages that customers can't ignore. Fortunately, the process is easier than you think with the help of analytics tools and A/B split testing capabilities. Test a variety of factors, including subject lines, calls to actions, graphics, etc. to determine which campaign best aligns with customers' preferences in order to gain a victory for your brand.
- Play the Email Marketing Dating Game
Chance brought them together, but Peeta eventually won over Katniss' love with his personality and good intentions. Email marketers need to turn on their charm and woo the hearts of ISPs. For example, avoid promotional topics in subject lines and "from" sections—instead, send timely, targeted emails. By doing so, you will ensure the trust of an ISP, and gain entrance into their customers' elusive inboxes. Be persistent—you didn't see Peeta giving up when he wanted to win over Katniss' heart, did you?
- The Clock is Ticking: Deception Is Coming
Competition becomes so fierce during the holiday season that customers are often sent confusing and useless offers that seem to promise unbeatable deals. For example, some marketers claim their deals are one day only, when in reality, they're available for the next week. If you choose to use this strategy, you will surely burn bridges with your customers. No one wants to find out that scare tactics were at the source of their purchase; instead, build customer loyalty with honest promotions and reliable offers.
- I Volunteer as Tribute! Find and Reward Your Loyal Customers
Katniss' willingness to volunteer as tribute was a clear sign of her loyalty to her family and loved ones. You can provide the same opportunity to returning customers by implementing a customer loyalty program. Offer personalized and targeted discounts to to instill loyalty in key customers, while also increasing sales. By combining your loyalty program with email marketing tools like segmentation and A/B split testing, you'll improve your customer experience, brand loyalty, and build an effective customer base that will directly translate into your bottom line.
With these five tips, you'll be sure to defeat any competition standing in your way and survive this year's email marketing games, while also bringing visibility to your brand through targeted content and honest promotions. In the spirit of the Hunger Games, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"