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After all your hard work creating and optimizing what you thought was the perfect promotional email, there’s nothing worse than checking in, only to see your open rates are deep in the tank. For many brands, this nightmare becomes a reality quickly, often for some of the most preventable reasons. If you’d like to skip the disappointment and keep your messages out of readers’ virtual trash cans, here are five easy mistakes you’ll need to avoid as you make your way toward a powerful, and successful, email marketing campaign.

Succumbing to Link Overload

Think of the last time you cleaned out your spam folder. Chances are the messages in this portion of your inbox ranged from the stereotypical – foreign royalty asking for a small donation in return for riches – to the downright odd. However, one of the common themes across most of these spam emails is an overabundance of links within the message body. With many spam filters honing in on link overload, if you want to stick around in the inbox, you’ll need to pick and choose your hyperlink battles. Try to keep your linking to a minimum if possible, focusing only on redirecting to landing and promotional pages. It might seem like a wasted opportunity to not link back to your page throughout the message, but based on the direction major email service providers are taking these platforms, it’s your best bet for dodging an unwarranted trip to the spam folder.

Unnecessarily Promotional Subject Lines

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that subject lines can make or break your chance at connecting with a customer in an instant. But what if your viewers never even get a chance to hear your promotion out because the subject line of your message makes it suitable only for the digital trash can? Unfortunately, overly promotional or overtly sales-focused headlines often earn a ticket straight to the spam folder. To put the brakes on this problem, tone down the numbers, capitalization, and forceful words – think “hurry now,” “open immediately,” etc. – so that your message doesn’t look like it belongs with the rest of the spam folder riff-raff. Instead, keep things simple in your subject line and focus on indentifying the valuable content held within your message. This way, you’ll avoid the wrong part of your audiences’ preferred email clients, in addition to giving them a great reason to keep reading on once they receive your email.

Emails with Too Much Text

While spam filters probably won’t screen your messages based solely on the length of content within, that won’t stop readers from marking incoming emails from your brand as spam after opening something that’s better suited for a library shelf. Essentially, readers only spend about 15 to 20 seconds on each message, so if you go overboard with the length of your message, it’s hard to expect a favorable response from your audience. Unfortunately, there’s no defined ideal message length, so the answer to this dilemma is a bit murky. A good rule of thumb to stand by if you’re unsure about the appropriateness of your email length is to ask yourself a simple question – if this message found its way to your inbox, would you take the time to read it? If the answer is closer to trashing it and blocking the sender than it is to an emphatic yes, it’s time to do a little trimming with your content.

Attachments Only Cause Problems

At first glance, this section probably sounds like it belongs on a dating advice site and not a post about keeping your emails from being caught up in a spam filter. However, if you really want to keep your marketed emails in the clear, skipping attachments is your best bet. Sure, it might seem like a great idea to attach that infographic or eBook you’ve worked so hard on to every email, but this is a major red flag for plenty of email service providers. Instead, after taking a little time in the message to explain the value of these offerings, let your selective links lead back to this content via landing pages. This way, you’ll skip the spam folder and boost site visits at the same time.

Know When Enough is Enough

Tenacity is often a key part in any marketing operation. However, when it comes to your email initiatives, constantly targeting and messaging people who have bounced repeatedly is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you building ill-will with someone who’s simply not interested right this moment, your brand could also face a spot on Gmail, Yahoo, or another email giant’s blacklist – something far worse than ending up in the spam folder. Thankfully, if you can toe this line, while also keeping up with everything else you’ve learned from this post, there’s nothing that can stop your next campaign from being a smash hit with interested audience members around the globe.

Inbox vs. Spam Folder

 

While it might be a touchy subject for some, the truth is that staying completely engaged and excited when operating an email marketing campaign can be a tall order. Combining the grinding nature of coming up with new content that piques consumer interest with the hurdles that come from finding balance between your web page content and marketed emails is enough to wear anyone down. With that in mind, if you feel like your messages and overall marketing approach could use a little pick-me-up, here are five simple ways to find new inspiration as you continue to offer great content to your audience members.

Stay In Touch with Industry Oriented LinkedIn Groups

First up on the list is industry groups found on LinkedIn. While this option focuses a little more on brands that deal with B2B marketing practices, with a little digging and some time spent sifting through the plethora of LinkedIn groups, this practice can help any email campaign find new options for upcoming inbox offerings. What makes this concept so powerful is that point of these groups is to promote discussion on hot-button topics that relate to your audience. After brushing up on the latest conversations happening in these groups, you can summarize the content or incorporate snippets into your emails, adding recognizable or reputable voices to your high quality content that really resonate with your readers.

Look to Support Forums for Hot Topics

Similarly, if your offerings and services aim to assist or improve a daily task or related item, checking out support forums related to the original product is a great way to figure out what the customer wants or needs in top tier email content. By browsing these forum pages, you’ll learn more about the latest issues your customers are dealing with, creating easy ideas for blog posts or any other offerings you promote via marketed messages. Sure, some of the language might be a little salty if the problem is especially frustrating, but there are few places better than support forums to find out what really interests your email audience.

Check In on Pinterest for New Design Ideas

Much like LinkedIn, Pinterest is one of the social networks that get lost in the shadows of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. However, if your brand isn’t keeping up with all the latest talk and pins on this image-based network, you could be missing out on some serious inspiration for new message content. Whether it’s browsing some of the most popular email marketing boards on Pinterest, or getting a little more specific by following the site’s most popular users that pin relevant content, this network has ample opportunities for providing direction if you need some new ideas. Even if it’s just seeing a new font you like for your blog or email headers, spending a little time browsing isn’t only fun, it’s also a great way to look at the marketing process from a variety of different angles.

Follow Along with Breaking Industry News

Of course, the biggest pitfall surrounding marketing of any kind is simply defaulting to the generic, and tired, content offerings that flood the web. For most brands, it’s clearly easier to write up boring email messages, blog articles, or social media posts that list “duh” knowledge at nauseam. Unfortunately, following this path of least resistance isn’t the best way to knock the socks off of your readers in the inbox or on your website. If you really want to generate content that supports your deals or simply gets your readers to come check out more on your blog, keeping up with the latest news in your industry is a must. Not only will this enhance your perspective for other aspects of your business, it also provides added insight and a well-researched background that helps you pack a little extra punch when you’re trying to make a point in your marketed messages.

Create Promotions That Focus on Blog Interaction

The final way to find new inspiration for your email marketing content is to just listen to your readers. While this might seem like common sense to take your cues straight from the source of your web traffic, actually getting in touch with these viewers is generally easier said than done. To help you revitalize your blog comment section and get the discussion rolling with your audience, consider creating an email promotion that rewards users that interact on your site; it’s no surprise that most web viewers love freebies and giveaways. This way, your brand not only generates some extra traffic and keeps customers excited, but it can also lay the foundation for future content ideas by watching the discussion evolve around what your audience finds most important.

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Running an email campaign is a lot like taking a swing for the fences in baseball. When things go your way, the home crowd – in this case your online audience – cheers wildly as you round the bases and enjoy the increased traffic that’s flowing into your website. Unfortunately, as any email or baseball guru will tell you, stepping up to the plate, or inbox, with a perfect batting average is just a myth. The reality is that it’s foolish to not have a plan for when you’re in a slump. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some simple tips you can employ as part of an email marketing “win-back” campaign. This way, you’ll have everything you need to reignite those conversion numbers and get your audience back into action after the excitement of your initial push slows down.

Add in a Solid Offer

One of the quickest ways to get your readers back into your campaign is to throw out a nice offer. At the top of the list, actual savings – anything that falls into the “X dollars off” range on your products and services – performs nearly two times better than any other return deal. However, regardless of whether it’s a limited time discount or free content like an eBook download, offering anything specifically for the people who have fallen off your brands marketing bandwagon can help right the ship and get them back to eagerly awaiting your regular emails.

Don’t Shy Away From Hard Data

When it comes to brand awareness and decision-making, too many people that pull the levers and knobs behind the campaign rely on the concept of “gut instincts.” Sure, in plenty of industries having a strong hunch or read on the company can take you a long way, but email marketing is a much more stats driven affair. With numbers on open rates, inbox activity, and a slew of other metrics, pinpointing the exact segments of your audience that aren’t responding, as well as what these individuals like, has never been easier or more readily available. Because of this, let the stats do all the heavy lifting in your win-back campaign and follow their lead. Not only will this help increase your response rate, it can save you a ton of time and money developing and rolling out these messages.

Never Write Anyone Off

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to starting up one of these re-engagement initiatives is to assume that portions of your inactive audience are off limits. While it might seem like a long shot to get back in touch with the people who haven’t opened one of your emails in months, the truth of the matter is that win-back campaigns can drum up interest with customers who haven’t responded in up to 300 days. Basically, it’s never too late to get things rolling again, even with the most unlikely of candidates.

Not surprisingly, the same holds true for the time that comes after you fire off these win-back emails. As long as the reader hasn’t opted out, there’s nothing stopping you showing that persistence is a virtue with this group of out-of-touch consumers. Considering that you just might one day pique their interest enough to rekindle a connection with your brand, it’s well worth the effort of covering every nook and cranny of your contact list, no matter how unlikely the lead might seem.

Your Subject Lines Matter More Than Ever

If you’re familiar with a large portion of the posts on this blog, you’re well aware of just how powerful the subject line is when it comes to enticing customers to dig a little deeper into your marketed messages. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that having optimized and powerful headings in this area is crucial to a great win-back campaign. To help you get there, skip the caps button and generic terms, like “urgent” or “final notice,” and focus more on explaining just how valuable your offers for returning customers can be. This way, when your forlorn viewers sit down and start sifting through their messages, these emails can stick out on the preview pane for all the right reasons.

Build Toward a Follow-up

One of the biggest misconceptions about these types of campaigns is that once you re-engage your customers, you’re done with the work. Unfortunately, all this does is put you back into the same spot later on down the road. Instead of finding yourself in this endless engagement cycle, focus on working multi-level offers and follow-up requests into your campaign that keep your audience active and connected with your company. If you can do this, your customers will always have a great reason to keep your brand on their minds, ensuring that lost segments and lackadaisical contact list entries become a thing of the past.

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If you’ve read one blog about optimizing you’re marketed emails, it feels like you’ve read them all, right? With so much generic information floating around the web, the talk surrounding optimization has definitely grown a little stale. However, there’s one interesting part of the process that doesn’t seem to actually get much attention – the emergence of preview panes across mail platforms. Considering that this is the first look readers have at what you’re trying to show off, giving some serious attention to how your brand comes across in these little windows definitely makes sense. To help you make a great first impression in the preview pane, here are some smart tips for optimizing your messages when they take center stage on this limited screen real estate.

Put an Emphasis on Building Trust

Considering that the inbox can be a “Wild West” of sorts with so many scams and shady messages floating around, the best way to avoid having your emails hit the virtual trash bin is to make it readily apparent to your reader that the message they’re looking at is legit. This means showing off your brand logo and name prominently in a place that won’t be cut off in either vertical or horizontal preview panes. The top left corner of the message is your best bet if you’re aiming to keep things visible. By sticking to smart formatting like this, you can avoid turning off skeptical readers before they open your email.

Limit the Amount of Copy in the Preview Pane

While it might seem a little odd to skimp on the body of the message, having a solid brick wall of text in the preview pane isn’t the way to go about your email marketing campaign. Not only is this not an attractive way to showcase your deals and offers, it also cuts down on the chances of your audience seeing the really important parts of the message. Before firing off a new round of content, take a moment to think about everything that shows up in the preview pane. If you even have the slightest concern that something in this window might be extraneous, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and pull it. Otherwise, you could be kicking yourself when you realize that the first thing viewers see isn’t an enticing offer, but rather filler content that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

HTML is Your Friend

With 59 percent of users blocking images in their email clients, leaning heavily on external images isn’t a good idea in the preview pane. Sure, these images can help you track open rates, but they are most definitely suited for the body of the message. When possible, coding the portions of the message that popup in the preview pane with HTML is the best way to work around the rise of image suppression. Naturally, this might require a little extra work if you’re trying to keep your logo prominently displayed, but you’ll definitely be happy with results. After all, if you don’t like seeing those annoying red “X’s” that signify a blocked image in your inbox, what makes you think that your audience will like it when it comes to your marketed emails?

Avoid Link Overload

One of the most grievous faux pas your brand can inadvertently slip into is link overload. This means cramming excessive amounts of links into the space that shows up on a horizontal or vertical preview pane. Obviously, you’re going to need links to products, deals, or your homepage somewhere in the message. However, the real problem starts when all of these, and then a few more, end up crowding a preview page and turning it into a cluttered mess. Adding in that plenty of spam messages from shadier brands or scammers come jammed with links as well, doesn’t put your messages in good company that you’d be proud to keep anyways.

Focus on the Call to Action

Finally, the biggest thing your message can do in the preview pane is generate a powerful call to action. At the core of any marketing message that shows up in your audiences’ inboxes is an incentive to do something with your products or services. Whether it is a limited time offer or a handy guide for using these retail items in new and exciting ways, having a clear and concise call to action not only helps streamline your message as a whole, it also keeps your preview focused and enticing for viewers. Before worrying about images, content length, or anything else, making sure you have this fundamental piece of the puzzle in place in the best way to keep your message on track and give your readers all the reason they need to read on after the preview.

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In a world where it seems like every minute detail of your marketing content is subject to unbelievably intense scrutiny and analysis, sometimes the simple question of “how does your email actually look to the customer?” goes unanswered. While the substance of what ends up in customer inboxes is definitely the primary focus of any great promotional email push, if you don’t wrap it up in a visually pleasing package, don’t be surprised when it ends up in the virtual trash bin. To help you avoid this advertising calamity, let’s delve into the world of color theory and see just how important picking the right shades on the palette really is to the success of your brand.

What Is Color Theory, Exactly?

Of course for those of you who decided against the arts major in college, bringing up color theory might as well be like asking you how much you know about astrophysics. Thankfully, it’s really not that complex once you get the hang of it. The basic gist of the concept is that a color wheel defines the harmony between the colors, which in turn affects how people, like the readers of your emails, react to these choices. From here, creating an understanding of the connections between all of the choices on the wheel can add an extra layer of appeal that puts your brand imagery and content over the top with your audience.

Finding Balance and Harmony in Selections

Digging a little deeper shows that selections made via color theory start with evaluating sequential hues and shades found on the wheel, before branching off into three different approaches. The first approach focuses on analogous colors, or colors that stand side by side on the 12-part basic color wheel. Generally, the selections come in threes, with one color taking center stage for a brand’s color overall or email oriented color scheme. Additionally, pairing complimentary colors – or colors that exist as direct opposites in placement on the wheel – is also a popular strategy.

Finally, it’s not unheard of to look to the natural world for a little guidance when picking a color scheme for your brand or upcoming email marketing initiative. This branch of color theory selection asserts that Mother Nature often comes up with the best or most visually striking combinations anyways, so why not take a page out her book and save yourself some time?

Is Color Theory Really That Important?

Now that you’re up to speed on how color theory works, the natural next step in the process is looking at why it works. At the heart of the argument for putting a little more thought into your color selections when creating promotional emails is the fact that 93 percent of customers claim that the visual appearance of a product or message is the top factor that goes into a successful marketing operations. On top of this, 80 percent noted that well designed and pleasing color selection increased brand recognition and visibility. Basically, if you can find the right colors for your brand and for your emails, you’re well on your way to hitting a home run with your customers.

Adding In a Little Psychology to the Mix

Aside from aesthetics, the selection for your next campaign can also send another, more subtle message to your viewers based on psychological tendencies connected to these colors. Yellow, red, and orange denote optimism, energy, and aggressiveness respectively, while green brings up elements of wealth and prosperity. On the other hand, purple and blue emphasize trust and security, with black representing new or sleek products. It’s important to note that these relationships coincide directly with North American consumers, and that different cultures and regions attribute varying characteristics to these same colors, so selections should take into account where your target audience resides.

Building a Strategy for Your Brand

The final piece to the puzzle comes with setting up a strategy that compliments and emphasizes what you’re messages have to offer to viewers. Naturally, there’s no universal selection that works for every brand, but you can build around general strategies that help refine your color selection based on what you’re trying to accomplish. For instance, retooling your entire brand image based on a more appealing color scheme isn’t a bad idea if you’re thinking long-term. Likewise, focusing on the next campaign and finding the colors that really compliment your promotional deals and products is just as worthwhile an endeavor. Regardless of how you approach the process, it’s hard to go wrong with retooling your brand and message look to create a stunning visual your audience can’t resist.

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Sometimes, even the best sales pitch in the world falls on deaf ears. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with traditional email marketing methods; there are just certain customers who put more stock in the words of their peers than the brands that spend big bucks on advertising. However, there is one tool – the customer testimonial – that bridges this gap by letting your satisfied customers spread the good word about your products and services. To ensure you pull this technique off just right the next time you roll out a new set of promotional emails, here’s everything you need to know about testimonials and how they fit into your marketing strategy.

Understanding the Benefits of Testimonials

Before getting into the “how,” let’s look at why testimonials can be so powerful. To start, few things can assuage the concerns of a buyer on the fence more than having someone who has already interacted with your company rave about how great your service or your products are. On top of this, firsthand knowledge of how to get the most use out of what you’re selling helps cut down on the uncertainty found in new buyers. Perhaps the best part about the testimonial approach is that when done right, these additions to your marketed emails don’t come off as “salesy.” For discerning viewers who are tired of blatant advertising tactics, honing in on this aspect can go a long way toward building a lasting connection.

Staying on the Right Side of the Legal Line

Unfortunately, some brands go a little too far when leaving the company voice behind while letting happy customers take the lead, creating both moral and legal issues. To keep your company out of hot water and in the good graces of your customers, there’s a few things you need to avoid at all costs. First off, don’t mislead your customers with vague or overtly false testimonials. If it ever comes to light that you’re pulling a fast one on your audience, you could do some serious and lasting damage to your brand image. Also, disclosing any relationships or affiliations with the customers profiled in your emails – like former employees or family members of current workers – should be a high priority, to avoid questions regarding conflicts of interest. Finally, if you’re pulling anything from an online review on Google+, Yelp, or another open source, it’s better to go overboard with the citation than come up short and find yourself in the sticky situation of using content without express permission.

Getting the Most out of Your Testimonials

Once you have all your ducks in a row as far as the legal stuff’s concerned, you can jump into the fun part of actually building a great testimonial to feature in your next email series. As you harvest customer feedback and start sorting through the responses, keep an eye out for short quotes that are snappy and easy to read. While having a devoted customer write a novel espousing the benefits of your products is definitely nice, the average browser isn’t going to sit around and sift through page after page of review. Additionally, try and pick testimonials that match up with your target audience; having a customer that fits into this demographic can help readers relate and connect with the person giving the review.

A testimonial that addresses specific problems or concerns your customers might be facing is another great way to build the case for your products and services. If possible, presenting this content in a “before and after” shell is a smart approach that hammers home the need for your offerings and how the customer can get the most value out of this purchase. Once you have the ball rolling, don’t rest on your laurels. Keeping a steady stream of new and updated testimonials can build content for your site and create additional reach via repurposing on your social media accounts.

There’s Room for Creativity Too!

Of course, the best part about setting up a run of testimonials for your email marketing operations is that there is no cookie cutter format for what turns audiences on. If you want to spice things up with a YouTube channel dedicated to these reviews and demonstrations, there’s nothing stopping you. Additionally, weaving in social media interaction by asking customers to post their own reviews on your company’s Facebook or Google+ pages is another simple tactic to get a little added value out of this marketing push. As long as you stay on the right side of the process, the sky is literally the limit for where your testimonials can take your brand.

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Saying that Gmail is kind of a big deal to your email marketing operations is like saying that it might get a little rainy during a hurricane. With over 425 million users, including 5 million businesses, and 66 of the world’s top 100 universities, chances are that a big chunk of your email contact list is dedicated to reaching out to Gmail’s vast base of users. Because of this, making sure you know how to tailor your messages and target these customers is one of the biggest hurdles standing between your brand and an audience that is more than willing to keep in touch. To help you along the way, here are five great tips for connecting with the millions on Gmail, regardless of how big your contact list is currently.

Avoid Constantly Changing Sender Addresses

Having a “From” address that is all over the place is not a smart way to make a good impression on these users. The main problem here is that most email users equate a constantly changing From address as a highly spammy tactic. While some marketers do incorporate constantly shifting sender addresses, this isn’t exactly the company you want to keep when it comes to your brand’s outreach. Instead, stick with a stable and easily recognizable address. This way, your audience can view your emails more like a message from an old friend and less like a shady scam sent by a spammer.

Don’t Go Overboard on Shortened Links

Speaking of spam tactics, one that often finds its way into the world of email marketing is shortened links. While there is nothing wrong with slimming down your message with a shortened link or two, having a message full of these sometimes cryptic looking additions can leave your Gmail users wondering if this message is full of digital landmines that they’d rather not navigate. Instead, keep things simple with only a few links and let the body of your message speak for itself. This way, Gmail users don’t get the wrong idea and blacklist your message before finishing the first sentence.

Keep up a Reliable Headcount

Another smart way of targeting Gmail users is simply knowing how many you have on your list. While this might seem like a “duh” statement at first, there is a lot of info you can glean from an accurate headcount. Comparing Gmail usage to other providers gives you the basis you need to properly interpret analytics. For instance, since Gmail caches images to keep user information private, and you potentially have a large number of Gmail users on your list, viewer location and other tracking statistics may be way off base if you are assuming the numbers accurately represent your entire audience. Should this be the case with your current system, having a revelation like this regarding your Gmail users can not only help you plan around gaps in information regarding this audience, but also gives you the added benefit of refining the numbers supporting the other portions of your email contact list.

Understand the Real Power of Segmentation

Plenty of email marketing “experts” like to talk about segmentation, but chopping up your audience by email service providers isn’t exactly being thorough. The best way to segment your users, specifically those who stick with Gmail, is to sort your list by interests. Whether you find this information via surveys or by tracking activity on your page once users click your links, having this knowledge on hand gives your list a new sense of definition that can drastically improve your targeting process. Considering that really connecting with your customers is the name of the game in email marketing, it only makes sense to put a little more effort into the process than just checking off whether they use Gmail or some other service provider.

Do You Really Know How Deliverable Your Emails Are to Gmail Users?

To wrap things up, the biggest way you can enhance your targeting and success with Gmail users answers a pretty simple question – are they even reading your messages? With over 85 percent of the world’s email traffic considered malicious in nature, it can be pretty hard to get users to even give you a chance to move this message out of the spam folder on Gmail and into their inbox tabs. By tracking placement rates, you can see where your message ends up 7 days a week, clueing you in on a sudden shift in the wrong direction – namely toward the virtual email trash can – and giving you a chance to retool these messages toward more relevant and desired content that entices Gmail users to give your brand a second look.

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Everyone who has a stake in the world of email marketing loves to talk about the “power” of reaching out to customers in their inbox – but where are the hard facts backing this up? If this is your first go round with tailoring messages toward a specific audience, there’s plenty of stats, known as key performance indicators (KPIs), that can help you sift through all this talk and find out what’s really working and what might need a little bit of tweaking before the next email campaign. Instead of wasting your time listing off dozens of KPIs that may or may not have some bearing on how you gauge success, here are the five crucial stats that not only apply to any email marketing initiative, but also do the best job showing off exactly how well things are going once your messages hit the audiences inbox.

Gross Sales

First on the list is the gross sales stat. While it might seem pretty obvious, there are few performance indicators that make it easier on you when you need a quick and simple method for figuring out what’s working and what’s not. The whole process for evaluation goes a little something like this; email campaign starts and sales go up, then you’re doing something right. If sales stay the same or dip, it’s time to bring things back to the drawing board and retool your plan. Naturally, this is cutting out a ton of variables – changes in the industry, new product releases, etc. – that can shift sales one way or the other, but it’s a great indicator to start the evaluation and lends itself well toward digging into the more specific measurements.

Site Traffic

Another KPI that takes a look at the big picture is site traffic. Like the name implies, this one’s all about taking note of visits to your site from repeat customers and new shoppers alike. While most companies just glance over the totals for this site metric, doing so could cause you to miss out on some highly valuable info every time you don’t spend more than a few seconds looking into this stat.

Understanding the nature of the visit helps you break down performance by going beyond the plain old “good” and “bad” labels. Instead, looking into how many new or unique visits come in, or how often repeat visits occur with known customers, helps explain your sites traffic in terms of what segments you do well with and what segments might need a little extra attention. Depending on your products and services, looking beyond the surface of this KPI can really give you the insight needed to knock the customers’ socks off with your next set of emails.

Click Rate

Going a little deeper, click rates can help you sort traffic into different groups via the source – who’s coming in from your emails, from social media, Google search pages, etc. – in addition to frequency and the type of visit.

With this information in hand, you can determine if a link was compelling enough to warrant a click, and if users are responding to certain landing pages more than others. On top of all this, by having the raw numbers in hand and comparing them with the metrics from your other outreach avenues, you can really gauge exactly where your emails stand in your entire marketing initiative.

Bounced Messages

Stepping away from KPIs that are mostly used to show how good things are going with your emails, here’s one that can help uncover a big problem that might be undermining all of your hard work – bounced messages. Companies that experience high bounce rates are dealing with a contact list that’s full of incorrect or deactivated email accounts, both of which lead to undeliverable or “bounced” messages. If you’re working with a marketer or software that has the right tools, simply setting up your system to automatically ditch these duds as soon as they bounce will go a long way to clean up your list and more importantly increase your ROI.

Churn Rate

The final KPI that should be an essential part of your next email marketing evaluation pulls a little bit of inspiration from some of the others on our list. The churn rate of an email marketing campaign keeps track of the number of people who decide to opt-out of your contact list. Obviously, in a perfect world you wouldn’t see any; however, it’s just part of the marketing process, so turning a blind eye to it can only hurt your options moving forward. Instead, staying aware of your unsubscribes, as well as how they stack up to new and sustained contacts, can give you a great overview of where your outreach stands – especially when you pair it up with the other leading KPIs found on this list.

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By now, you know that email marketing and social media are two peas in a pod when it comes to reaching out to your audience. Whether it’s one of the countless marketing blogs out there telling you how great these two are together or your own personal experience doing a little brand promotion work, it’s not exactly the best kept secret in the industry. However, what plenty of talking heads fail to cover is exactly how you can put this connection to good use and grow your email contact list without a lot of extra effort. Thankfully, all you need to do is take a few minutes and look over these must see tips to get the ball rolling on your next big email marketing push.

Use Facebook’s Built-in Apps to Make an Email Opt-in Form (and Don’t Forget to Promote It!)

One of the absolute best synergies between social media and email marketing comes from the biggest social platform in the world. As part of its extensive app library, Facebook gives your brand the opportunity to setup an email opt-in form right on your page. While this might not seem like much, think back to the last time you were browsing a page and had to click an external link to check out an article or sign-up for something; chances are you probably just kept scrolling down because you didn’t want to leave the Facebook page or app on your phone. Your customers have the same mindset, so make it easy on them with a sign-up sheet that keeps them on Facebook. Once you have it up and running, don’t forget to post about it so that it pops up in their newsfeeds.

Each Social Site Deserves a Little Extra Attention

In a world where everything is automated and lumped together for convenience, it’s easy to be lazy and approach your social media engagement in broad and generic strokes. So many platforms give you the ability to post to all sites at once, so why not do this and save a little time? While this sounds good at first, the reality is that different people prefer different networks, so using the same method to promote your list across all of them isn’t your best bet.

Much like your email templates that have links and icons for each network you post on, instead of just one option, your promotional messages should also mix things up to entice different portions of your audience. While this does mean that you’ll need to test and tweak the different parts of your posts to see what Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. viewers like, the sign-ups you get in return will make you happy you didn’t take the easy way out and just click “post to all.”

Free Stuff Is a Great Motivator

If after all this you’re still having trouble with sagging contact list numbers, don’t be afraid to do start handing out some freebies. While you might not want to make this your go to plan, it doesn’t hurt to have some giveaway ideas in store for the times when you need to inject some new life into your audience’s enthusiasm. After all, nothing gets the online crowd buzzing more than a post offering goodies or discounts to those who take a minute to sign-up. If you really want to go deep on this strategy, adding in a small bonus for those who like or retweet your offer will have it popping up on potential new customer newsfeeds in no time.

Give Your Users a Chance to Sound off

With the rest of the tips on this list focusing on how you can make the sign-up experience enticing for customers, this one shifts the balance of power in the other direction a little bit. Customers love giving feedback, so why not give them a chance to speak their minds and let your brand know exactly what they like and dislike about your email campaigns. It doesn’t have to be an open Facebook post or Google+ community discussion, but linking back to feedback forms and customer support email accounts on your social media pages offers a direct line to the people you’re trying to connect in the first place.

Don’t Forget the Secondary Networks

The final tip that can really grow your email list doesn’t have anything to do with Facebook or Twitter. While these guys are definitely the top dogs when it comes to social media, that doesn’t mean they are the only players in the game. Working with Pinterest, LinkedIn, and the other up and coming platforms can help you tap into a user base that might not connect very often on the bigger networks. Additionally, getting creative and doing things like saving your email offers as pins on Pinterest can help push your brand image ahead of the competition. When it comes to email marketing and social media, isn’t that where you want to be with your audience?

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When you were growing up, you probably got tired of your mom saying that you couldn’t leave the dinner table until you finished everything on your plate. These days, you probably look back on this memory from a couple different viewpoints. First, her food sure was better than that microwave “meal” you tried to eat after working late the other night, right? Next, the concept of making sure you don’t waste anything, from food to creative content, is a lesson that resonates with your adult self a lot more than it did with the kid version of you. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how this mindset can help you repurpose your email content and ensure you always get the most out of this kind of customer outreach.

What Exactly Is Repurposing?

At this point, you’re probably wondering what we mean by “repurposing” your marketing emails. Basically, this technique takes content you already have – say a line of emails full of juicy stats and great ideas – and reviews it to see if you can re-use any of the info or ideas in your next email campaign. To some, it’s probably going to sound like scavenging through scraps, but that’s not exactly the mindset associated with repurposing content. Instead think of it as double dipping into facts, stats and ideas that are simply too good to not use again.

Waste Not, Want Not

It’s no secret that as time goes by, it gets harder and harder to write great content, especially when you’re sending out more than one email per week. A few months into a campaign like this and you’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to come up with fresh and exciting ideas. With repurposing, you’ll still need to put in a little elbow grease to avoid sounding stale, but at least you’ll have a great foundation to build from that saves you hours of extra work. With everything else on your plate, cutting down on how much time you spend doing research to help promote your products and services can go a long way toward making your workdays far more manageable.

Getting the Most out of Your Old Emails

Now that you understand the basics of repurposing your email content, it’s time to dig into the particulars of putting this strategy to good use. First, any stats or figures related to products or industry news that is still relevant are fair game for your next email. Additionally, if these little gems are especially compelling, don’t be shy about sneaking in a tweet or Facebook post containing this content. As part of any smart email marketing campaign, any time you can get social media in on the act, you’re definitely doing something right.

Aside from this, if your emails are cyclical in nature – meaning that you tend to rotate deals in and out during the year – keep a copy of your specific seasonal templates and pull out the particulars whenever it’s time to run the same promo. Obviously just copying and pasting your last version isn’t a smart idea, but if you’ve already done some serious research and put it to use in these emails, reusing it and adding in a fresh take for your customers is definitely a good call.

So, Just How Powerful Is Repurposing Email Content?

Of course, you’re probably not sold on the idea of repurposing your emails until you see some hard facts showing just how powerful this process really is in practice. To help answer this question, let’s take a look at a case study that Marketing Sherpa recently released on repurposing. In this example, Evo, a retailer focusing on outdoor lifestyle products, took content from prior email campaigns and other outreach initiatives to kick its email operation into high gear. After the dust settled and it was time to tally up the results, Evo recorded an increase in clickthrough and open rates by 904 and 160 percent, respectively. With numbers like that, saying that repurposing email content can deliver major results is putting it mildly.

Thinking Long-term

Perhaps the most enticing thing about repurposing your email content is that it can extend to every facet of your marketing operations. Whether it’s breaking white papers down into an email series or turning that question and answer series your brand released on YouTube a while back into a string of Facebook posts, there’s plenty of ways to breathe new life into content that still has value to your customers. Eventually, there will be a time and a place to put this content to rest – like when new research comes out or your brand shifts its marketing focus. However, until that day comes, there’s no reason not to make sure you repurpose your emails and other offerings to ensure you give your audience the best experience possible and save yourself a little time and hard work while you’re at it.

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