As email continues to be one of the most critical communication channels for marketers, it’s important they have the tools in place to evaluate what’s missing from their strategies. The reality is, however, marketers are more strapped than ever for time and resources: In fact, according to our 2017 Industry Report, 64% say they don’t have the time or personnel to do the marketing they would like. As a result, best practices can often slip through the cracks.
As we head into the holiday season—for many, the busiest season of the year—it’s especially imperative for marketers to evaluate what may be missing from their email marketing strategies. By following some of these tips, marketers can quickly get more ROI from their efforts and turn first-time buyers into loyal customers for life.
Get Personal With Timely Automation
Instead of sending generic holiday promos to their entire audience, marketers should set up automated emails to fire off based on their behavior, like product browsing history on their e-commerce site or engagement with certain elements of past mailings. During last year’s Black Friday campaign, for instance, online retailer Lulus included an “Invite Only” section in regular emails leading up to the big event. When someone clicked on the call to action, they were added to an automated workflow specifically centered around Black Friday promotions.
People respond much better to emails that are actually relevant to their needs and interests, so this is an easy way to prevent inbox fatigue and reduce unsubscribes, especially during the busy holiday season. Plus, triggered emails drive 624 percent higher conversion responses for the same number of sends as compared to “batch and blast” emails (BlueShift).
Embrace A/B Testing
A/B testing everything from their call-to-action buttons to their subject lines gives marketers instant insight into what their audience likes and what they don’t like. Maybe the CTA copy just isn’t compelling enough. Maybe the value of the email hasn’t been communicated well enough in their subject line. It’s impossible to know without testing, so marketers must test, test, and test again.
This also might seem obvious, but it’s still worth saying: Marketers should only test a single variable at a time. It might be tempting to test two completely different emails to see what resonates better with an audience, but the only way to learn what changes are actually working is to make them one at a time.
It’s always important for marketers to have a solid mobile email strategy, and that importance only increases during the holidays. Over 54% of all email is now opened on mobile devices, and checking email is the #1 activity on smartphones. If marketers don’t optimize their emails for mobile, they’ll lose half their audience when they find out the email doesn’t render correctly on their iPhone or Android.
Marketers should use big, tappable CTA buttons to encourage engagement on mobile and be sure to optimize their landing pages for the small screen, too! They might send the most beautiful, valuable, targeted email ever—but if their landing page isn’t converting because it’s awful to navigate on a smartphone, all the hard work put into that email will be wasted.
Experiment With List Segmentation
Every time recipients invest the time to open an email, they’re expecting a more personal, customized experience. And if they don’t get it, they’re gone: 56% of people unsubscribe from emails due to content that’s no longer relevant to them (Chadwick Martin Bailey). The good news is that when marketers get that subscriber experience right, it leads to major results. Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (Juniper Research).
Segmenting by demographics like age and gender is a great start for today’s email marketer. But for those looking for the best results possible, it’s much more effective to segment subscribers by behavior. For example, send recipients targeted messages based on their purchase history and see conversion rates skyrocket: 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make purchases as a result of emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences (Harris Interactive).
Email is hard, but having a retail readiness checklist in place will surely help retail marketers evaluate what’s missing from their strategies in order to build email campaigns that drive remarkable, engaging experiences in the inbox and beyond.