7 Lessons You Can Learn From Your Email Marketing Campaign
Who are the people who have subscribed to your email list and how did they find you? You already know that your email list is an invaluable tool for email marketing strategies, ensuring your customers and prospects have news and branding yourself as an innovator in your industry, but if you’re overlooking data from your email marketing database and reader responses, you’re missing some key information to inform your marketing strategy.
1. Know Who Reads and Who Converts
Remember: Not everyone who subscribes to your content necessarily converts. If you’re a movie prop and high-end memorabilia dealer and you have a bunch of young 20-somethings on your list, they might think your products are cool, but you’ll have to invest time before they can buy. Instead, you could produce inbound content that attracts buyers who are slightly older and in a higher income bracket to move up that buying process.
If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to conduct a content audit. What type of content attracts your key demographic? Is your content attracting an unexpected segment of the population, and are these leads resulting in conversions? An audit can provide essential information that will guide the direction of your marketing efforts.
Make sure you analyze your email marketing software for demographics and other key metrics to base such decisions on solid logic.
2. Understand Which Emails Work
Many email marketing programs reveal your open rates and your click-through rates. There are several important factors here:
- Frequency: How often do you send emails? If you send too frequently, people will report you as spam and unsubscribe (or ignore your messages). If you don’t send often enough, people will forget you.
- Relevance: How specific do you have to be when it comes to your niche? If you’re selling movie memorabilia, you’ll want to create newsletters and content about subjects beyond what you’re selling. You might want to include a link to a quiz about movies, your blog posts about the Oscars, or tips for scoring opening night movie tickets. Expanding a bit further, you could blog about other types of memorabilia or geeky trends or send holiday greetings.
- Subject line: Your subject line is a major factor in the success or failure of your email campaign. Depending on your business or message, you may even wish to use emojis. You’ll want to avoid stop words and spam trigger words as well. Keeping your users away from that spam button is imperative! If you’re unsure, getting a deliverability assessment may be wise.
- Subject matter: While your subject line itself may be at fault for unsuccessful emails, the topic of the email can be hit or miss as well.
- Time of day: When you send your email also matters. This depends on when your customers are most likely to read them (Tuesday mornings are ideal if they’re white-collar workers, for example) as well as other factors, such as their time zones, office hours, and holidays.
Your primary tool for measuring the success of these items are your open rate and your click-through rate (CTR). Your email management software can provide you with metrics on these rates.
3. Use Heat Mapping Tools
Heat maps allow you to track how your user interacts with your email. This gives you some insight regarding your layout, where your readers’ attention goes immediately, and the parts of the email that drew their attention the most.
Successful emails cater to the users’ tendency to read in an F-shaped pattern. Readers also respond to clear calls to action and photos of people.
4. Learn From A/B Testing Emails
A/B testing, or split testing, involves sending some members of your audience one version of an email and something slightly different to another group. You can use A/B testing to experiment with variables like we mentioned above:
- Subject lines
- Calls to action
- Image placement
- Message customization
- And more
Don’t forget to track and compare click-through rates, open rates, and conversions. This will show you which specific elements of your emails are having a positive influence on these.
5. Segment Your Email List
In a similar vein, different subgroups of your email list might like different things, and organizing your subgroups by interests is a key strategy for increasing traffic. Going back to our movie memorabilia business example, some of your fans might love comic book movies, while others may prefer horror films.
If you segment your email list (or ask users to self-select their interests when they sign up for your email), you can better target content to them. Those romance movie fans might not care about buying an original “Scream” mask prop, but you bet your horror fans will be all about it.
Similar to A/B testing, you can see how different segments respond to the same content in order to further personalize it. If you’ve already segmented your email list, take true advantage of it by narrowing down which aspects of your content are performing well (and which aren’t).
6. Want to Know What They Think? Ask!
Are you a little stumped about where to go with your email marketing efforts? Are you unsure about why some people don’t respond or unsubscribe? Ask.
The best way to do this is to offer your email subscribers a discount or credit for answering a two-minute survey about your content. The data you’ll get is well worth it.
Another way to collect data is to offer the same credit or discount at an in-person event, such as a trade show. Ask people in your industry what they think about your content or emails, and invite your frenemies and colleagues to exchange critiques.
7. Improve Metrics With Better Content
Marketers often don’t feel sure where to get content to link to in their newsletter. Many marketers make the mistake of simply sending out specials, updates on hours, and other announcements. What most readers actually want is informative and friendly information about their interests.
With something like our hypothetical movie prop business, it’s pretty easy to find fresh content. To beat the competition, check out available tools online to discover experts and the content they publish about your specific niche.
You can also ask your users to share content. Make sure you track which subjects are hits.
Lastly, don’t forget your goals. Metrics should serve the purpose of meeting those goals. Are you looking to drive more content to relevant blog posts? Do you want conversions such as phone calls or emails? Define your goals and re-evaluate them at least quarterly for your best chances of success.