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This may seem simple but it’s worth bearing in mind. Plan out key times of year for your business. For example, a florist would plan a Valentines campaign, a gardener one for Spring. But it doesn’t stop there. Selling camping equipment? Hit festival season. Dairy free treats? Capitalise on Veganuary. The possibilities are endless.
By carefully planning your activity you can capitalise on key events. But also be prepared to react to sudden consumer trends to make the most of any short-term interest. Remember #BusterTheBoxer? As well as being super cute, the ad that made him famous has also been attributed with a 300% rise in online searches for trampolines! A well-timed email marketing campaign could definitely have capitalised on that consumer interest.
Mobile email design has been around for a long time, but it’s becoming ever more important. With smart phone sales ever-increasing and the latest generation of consumers never knowing life before mobile internet, it’s now commonplace for even younger people to receive emails on their mobile devices. An email that doesn’t work on mobile will be deleted, fast.
Leading on from this, you need to think about your layout. It’s important to remember that text is essential to ensure your email doesn’t end up in SPAM, but with the increasing use of mobile, it’s also important not to overdo it. The best approach is to have a short, succinct intro and then a link to the long form copy on your website.
Just to illustrate the point, here’s a handy pie chart. This is from a recent campaign we sent to 15000 people, and shows the prevalence of individuals opening the email on mobile devices…
Since we’re agreed that mobile design is important, a logical assumption is that less is more. Your potential customers don’t want to scroll through pages of info on their mobile, they WILL give up if they don’t see what they want quickly. Shorter, targeted email campaigns are much more effective than long emails containing a loads of offers.
So, if you’re not going to go with a one-size-fits-all approach to your email templates, how can you make sure as many of your offers are seen as possible? It’s simple, segment your data. Whether it’s previous purchase information, their age, their location, their favourite colour or whatever, you need to find a way to decide which offers will be relevant to which customers, and then send them a short, targeted email containing just that information.
The subject line is one of the most important components when it comes to getting your message into a recipient’s inbox. Too much call to action and your email will be caught by their SPAM filter faster than you can say “junk mail”! Having said that, the subject is also likely to be the first thing someone sees, so if it’s bland you can guarantee they’ll be hitting delete, probably without even reading your beautifully crafted email.
So how to balance the needs of the SPAM filter with grabbing the recipient’s attention? Firstly, you can include call to action, you just have to be clever about it. For example, words like “free” or symbols like £ signs are dangerous territory, but phrases like “Don’t miss…” or “Find your perfect…” both represent a strong call to action without sounding spammy. Another good tactic is questioning the reader, like “Do you have what it takes?”. A question is guaranteed to inspire a person’s curiosity.
If a communication seems relevant to you, you’re more likely to take notice, yes? So, it’s logical to assume that if your audience receives a targeted email that seems personal to them, they’re more likely to engage with it. There are a number of ways your email can be personalised. In its simplest form, personalisation can just mean inserting the recipient’s name into the email. But it doesn’t stop there. If you run a car dealership, how about inserting their registration number? If you’re a florist, what about an image of their favourite flower, or the date of their anniversary so they don’t forget? The possibilities are endless, your only restriction is the information you have about a person.
This cannot be emphasised strongly enough. It is oh so easy to get an email campaign out, but also oh so easy to make a mistake. Nothing will ruin your legitimacy quicker than a spelling mistake in your subject line or a personalisation fail. Ever received an email addressed to “Dear Forename”? Or one where the links don’t work? It doesn’t help build trust. Proof read them carefully, test every link. And then get someone else to check them too for good measure.
The beauty of email marketing is how measurable it is. Whether it’s split testing subject lines, analysing your most popular products or seeing who opened and engaged with the content, the data you can get back is so valuable, it’s criminal how many companies don’t utilise it. Stay a step ahead and make sure to see what works and what doesn’t so you can improve your next campaign.