While social media is often in the limelight, email continues to be the lead workhorse for many businesses. This means that as customer sophistication evolves, so too should your email strategy.
Here’s five tips to keep your email campaigns in tip top shape based on the results from the Vision 6 Email Marketing Metrics Report (July – December 2011):
1. Segment your send lists and email messages
Results show smaller send volumes deliver better open rates and better click through rates. Logically, placing alike customers into segments and then using that segment’s similarities to make the email more relevant will boost interactions. Even better if you can dynamically populate email content (real content not just merging name) based on each customer’s profile.
|Under 500 in list||5000 to 9999 in list|
|Open rate||33.17 percent||24.44 percent|
|Click through||7.31 percent||4.12 percent|
|Bounce rate||5.28 percent||6.04 percent|
2. Don’t send on a Thursday
On average the highest number of emails are sent on a Thursday. Unless that day is strategically important for your business, try sending your email on another day that’s not so email busy. Test and see what works best for your business.
3. Design for taps as well as clicks
Mobile devices accounted for 18 percent of opened email with a ten percent growth year-on-year. Position your hyperlinks so a stubby finger on a smartphone can correctly tap their selection and not have to worry about isolating their choice from a cluster of hyperlinks.
4. Make sure you’re ready
Nearly 30 percent of emails are opened within the first hour of sending and open action tends to be all over within three days. So if you have offers, freecall numbers or need to complete some kind of fulfilment, make sure staff in all areas of your business know the content and when the email is sent. There’s nothing worse for customer satisfaction than a customer having to explain the email offer sent six hours earlier to a contact centre agent who hasn’t been briefed.
5. Don’t sacrifice text for graphics
As more people use devices to access email, some customers will turn off the ‘display graphics’ option to reduce data usage (and possible extra costs). Don’t get caught with an email full of white boxes – that were once gorgeous graphics – and no call to action, which makes click through is impossible. At minimum, always have a plain text version of your call to action (including hyperlinked text) and include alt tags on your call to action graphic.
Note: open rates are notoriously fickle as filtering graphics and preview panes can sometimes skew opens reporting. Click through rates are better indicators of interest as the customer has indicated interest with an action – the click or tap. An even better indicator is if you can track sales (or desired final outcome) to the click-through and ultimately the email campaign.