Emails are not all the same
Email marketing is promising yet complex. Learn how a mix of mass, transactional and newsletters can improve your reputation and conversions
When businesses approach email marketing they often expect quite little. On the other hand, well crafted email marketing is one of the best converting tools available to marketers.
Underestimating the effort and the possible outcome can leave potential growth on the table.
Having produced hundreds of email campaigns for our customers, and running our own digital marketing automation platform, we have gathered insights on what the main drivers and necessary tools are. The goal is to achieve the maximum email marketing profitability by focusing on these few key areas.
Determine what email types are needed
Both automated and manual email marketing sends can be categorized in four main types according to their nature and technical properties:
Mass emails: these are one-off emails sent to a list of recipients according to a filter or condition.
Newsletter emails: as a variation to mass emails with the added twist of being recurring and their content variable on each release. Think of these emails as a series of blog posts sent over email.
Transactional emails: this email type is sent to a recipient list with the addition of a filter based on past events (user behavior). One good example is an email sent every Monday to all users who did visit a landing page but did not register for a demo in a call to action form.
Triggered emails: are normally sent as a direct consequence of an action on a web page or other touch point. For example, a confirmation email sent to a user who registered to attend an event, and containing the event ticket and location details.
Design and plan all the email types at once
A well-thought content strategy is the key to achieving greater results through consistent messages in different intent conditions.
When planning for the various touch points and different email types, maximizing both the consistency and relevancy of the message is the goal to achieve. Other than having a clear and consistent look&feel, email messages need to match with the intent and provide immediate, actionable benefits for the recipient. For example, a registration confirmation email needs to provide all the event information, details, maps and contact details useful to attendees. It needs to be so useful that the recipient will flag the email for later reference.
Newsletter emails need to provide a clear benefit to the reader. The idea is to maximize their utility by providing up-to-date information, tutorials, tips, value in any form that the user will want to stay subscribed or even refer someone else to the list.
A proper content strategy considers each touch point according to its nature and intent, and provide a message that goes in the direction of pushing the recipient through the funnel, according to the general email marketing strategy.
Make the communication personal
Each recipient is different, and each recipient's current condition and intent are different. Knowing your customer is the key to achieving relevant messaging that gathers attention and promotes action.
A good analytics system tracks user activities while preserving their right to privacy, and informs the marketing system with insights on users activity to personalize every touch point.
Email marketing is hard when the outreach is standardized and irrelevant to its recipients. A successful plan on the other hand conveys a personal message to each recipient, using their names and offering personalized content according to well-crafted segments based on interest, location or recent interactions.
This isn't an easy goal to achieve. The complexity of connecting analytics tools with marketing databases, and coming up with the right content strategy are not an easy puzzle to solve. ReachOut makes the process easier and enables personalized sends on conditions like recent actions as well as recipient filters.
Ensure that the message is heard
There are thousands of growth strategy tricks to be experimented with in the email marketing industry. Ranging from attention-grabbing subject lines containing the recipient details to using preview snippets in the head so that email clients display a catch phrase, they all represent valid advice if the basics aren't neglected.
Emails are hard to actually land in recipient inboxes. Technical setups like DKIM, SPF, DMARC and domain reputation are the pre-requisistes to being accepted by receiving email systems.
The nature, language and formatting of the actual email message also contribute to an automated classification of the message by corporate filters and public spam lists, determining if the email message will be accepted by the recipient's inbox and which folders will it land to. While it's fine to end up in the Promotions tab in Gmail, being caught by a large number of spam filters is detrimental to the overall reputation leading to further rejects in the future.
Our team has optimized campaigns and monitored the success rate of hundreds of email campaigns, learning the vital art of planning for emails in a professional way. The effort is worth every minute of work spent on optimizing each of these areas, and leading to open rates above 45% and click rates of around 20% in many cases.
Growing the recipient base with the right calls to action and carefully considering each user's intent will allow to capitalize on the email marketing plan, growing both the reputation and the business overall.