Whether you are new to email marketing or a savvy sender with lots of opens and clicks, take a step back and think through your 2013 strategy. Here’s a quick checklist to get more results out of your email campaigns.
1) Write down your key goals and KPIs for your email marketing strategy for 2013
Is the primary goal top-of-mind branding or driving more traffic to your web site, or is it driving sales and retention for your e-commerce site? Define your key goals, decide on the key metrics, and choose the right vehicle: newsletter, e-blast, drip campaign, etc… and get to work.
2) Adopt Active List Management for Growth Tactics
Make sure it’s extremely easy and enticing to subscribe to your email list from your web site, blog and Facebook. Use a simple and inviting call-to-action on every page and consider offering a promotion if appropriate. Only ask for the minimum amount of personal data (email, first name, and maybe birthday if B2C) and make it ridiculously easy to sign up. If you feel a bit more aggressive, consider a subscription pop-up on your web site.
3) Optimize Key Elements of Your Email Design
Does the design reflect your branding and web site? Are there clear calls-to-action? Is there a pre-header? Are there numerous links in every email to your web site? Is there an easy way to unsubscribe? Check your analytics and if many of your readers are reading your emails on a smartphone, consider a mobile-friendly design, narrower, without sidebar, and with big CTAs to eliminate the “pinching” effect.
4) Check for Cross-Platform Renderability
How well does your email render across the most common readers? Check your analytics and test your design on the top 4-5 email readers (Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc..) and browsers (Explorer, Firefox, Chrome,…). Do you include a visible link to a web version and a text version that’s informative when images are turned off?
5) Maximize Inbox Deliverability
Send your emails from a dedicated email domain and adhere to DMARC guidelines. Use a “friendly from address” to boost open rates and test different names to maximize results (i.e. sales people, CEO, news@, etc…). Are your subject lines putting your readers to sleep? Keep them enticed and informed and run some A/B tests for best results. Have you tried resending to non-openers a few days later with a different subject line?
6) Don’t Forget Engaging Content!
You know that your content needs to be engaging and informative. Newsletters should be full of case studies, tips and best practices, industry updates, events, etc…. Whether it’s a B2B newsletter or a sales blast, if the calls-to-action lead to a landing page, make sure the page is “sticky” and concise with an easy-to-fill form. If you have a blog or a content rich web site, link your email articles with a “Read More” to drive more traffic and engagement toy your web sites.
7) Integrate Email and Social Media
If you have a social presence make sure you have clear “Follow Us” icons in a consistent place in your email. Consider only highlighting the most important social media icons that are relevant to your business (i.e. FB and Twitter for B2C and LinkedIn and Twitter for B2B). Separate the “Share” icons from the “Follow Us” icons and make them look different. The share buttons are typically placed at bottom left of the email next to Unsubscribe icons. If you have a Blog make sure you link to it from the email articles and from a dedicated icon.
8) Do NOT Neglect Reporting and Testing
When was the last time you reviewed your analytics, and looked at the best and worst performing campaigns? When was the last time you did an A/B test on a FROM address, a subject line, or a call-to-action? Don’t feel guilty, but get into a routine for 2013 of scanning your monthly or quarterly results and running some tests for optimizations. If you use a full service firm to send your email, ask them to push reports to you and recommend some tests to maximize results.
9) Is It Time For Automation?
The beauty in email automation is that it generates results for you while you are sleeping, or trying to sleep. It requires a bit of planning, but it’s extremely effective and is guaranteed to have a very high ROI. Consider a basic “Welcome” email series, or a birthday email or an automated drip campaign to a prospect after they signed up for a software demo or downloaded a white paper…etc. A very effective form of automation is Cart Abandonment and Browse Abandonment emails- these email will help you convert web browsers to clients with timely reminders based on prospects’ your web behavior.
If you want to maximize your Lead Generation try “form abandonment” triggers, or if you have an eCommerce site, Cart Abandonment triggers. And lastly, if you use a CRM such as Salesforce or MS Dynamics, integrate your email marketing with the CRM to provide your salespeople with information that can increase your sales.
If you need any help optimizing your strategy for 2013 give us a holler. Click here to print out our one page 2013 Email Marketing Checklist.