Thursday, May 29, 2014

The 4 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Email Marketing

The 4 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Email Marketing image email1

Let me just put this out there: I don’t think you are running a bad email marketing campaign. In fact, chances are you have worked your way through some rough attempts early on and have landed upon a strategy that offers consistent returns time and time again.

What I am suggesting, however, is that the tried-and-true email campaign strategy you are currently placing faith in may be riddled with unsuspected mistakes that are holding it back from generating more leads, more conversions, and more ROI. Browse through this checklist of common errors to see if any of these minor (yet costly) oversights have infiltrated your fool-proof plan:

Mismanagement of Reader Expectations

Email marketing is a delicate practice. Marketers must know how to provide relevant information to the consumer without overloading their inbox with unwanted clutter. When marketers fail to manage reader expectations with each campaign, click-through rates drop, conversions plummet, and ROI starts to dwindle. Therefore, marketers should take the time to monitor email activity and consumer responses so opportunities are not wasted and high-quality leads are not driven away.

Prior to receiving the emails, you should explain to consumers what signing up for email alerts entails, the frequency of the messaging, and any other information that may be pertinent to the decision-making process. This will prevent a consumer from being surprised with regular emails in the inbox and create a sense of trustworthiness in the brand.

To ensure email recipients have appropriate expectations for each email, make the purpose of the message very simple and honest. The subject line of the emails should be transparent and match the content in the body. Rather than trying to trick your recipients into opening the email, only leading to disappointment or resentment, place yourself in their shoes and be respectful of their time and attention.

Segment for Success

If you find yourself swimming in consumer data on a daily basis, you are not alone. Most companies are generating large pools of customer information thanks to the availability of marketing automation and analytics technologies that gather, report, and optimize information constantly. This data may seem overwhelming, but when properly harnessed by the right tools can be incredibly helpful in increasing email marketing ROI.

When you peruse an email marketing list, think of how best to separate the recipients based on a number of differentiating factors derived from customer data. This list segmentation is a great way to create more personalized messaging and content to customers to make them feel special, without having to draft unique content for each reader. The more specific and refined the segmentation, the easier it is to identify trends, address consumer interests or concerns, and build a long-term relationship with higher ROI.

One easy way to segment an email marketing list is by customer persona. Every brand has at least a few customer profiles it is selling to based on product or service use case. Once the personas have been identified, and the list segmented, you should create subject lines and content messaging that appeals specifically to each persona. This means touching on a common concern or interest of a specific group such as “financial tools for small business owners.”

Not Enough Testing

Marketers are no longer allowed to rest on their laurels and slide by with haphazard “Eureka!” moments. To be a successful marketing team there has to be a system of measurement and reporting in place to maintain accountability to the C-suite. While executives are placing greater trust in marketers as sources of high-quality leads and conversions, that trust must be earned with testing and data reports. From these statistics, decision-makers can extract actionable insight to guide future investments and strategies.

For email marketing, specifically, it can be challenging to decide what content should be included in each message. When drafting a blog or whitepaper, you may be able to deliver the key messages effectively while writing for a broad audience. Because emails are designed to appear more personalized to each recipient, the crafting of content messaging is key to lead generation and ROI.

Therefore, marketers often create a few versions of an email blast and test the responses to each to determine which tactic is most effective. Each version should have a slight variation in its presentation to the reader so you know what aspect of the email should be changed to drive sales. For example, test different subject lines to gauge open rates, or switch up the calls to action in the body of the email to monitor responses.

Not Enough Tools

To properly test an email marketing campaign, however, it takes patience as well as marketing automation and analytics solutions to gather the data and report the findings. These solutions will help you identify patterns of reader behavior and create more effective email campaigns in the future. The C-suite will love the reports from these technologies, as they can break down the findings by a variety of components such as channel, conversions, and open rates.

For example, when call tracking technology is used in an email marketing or nurturing campaign, you can add unique, trackable phone numbers into email content to monitor phone leads generated from a specific email. After the test is complete, the call tracking data can be integrated with other marketing automation and analytics tools to provide executives with a complete picture of the testing results so a winner can be chosen.

Call tracking can also work hand-in-hand with marketing automation and analytics solutions to follow the multichannel experience of a customer moving through the sales cycle, as he or she hops between online and offline platforms. Understanding where leads are coming from specifically will guide you toward the most effective marketing strategy based on lead generation and conversions. The more efficient the strategy, the higher the ROI. Hard to argue with that!

Source: B2C_Business

The 4 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Email Marketing

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