Your email marketing strategy can have a huge impact on your visibility and bottom line, so it’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t. With the new year comes a fantastic opportunity for e-commerce sellers to review last year’s email wins and misses. Here are a few tips to help you understand what to review and how to use that information to fine-tune your email strategy going forward.
Be your own worst content critic
If you’ve used the same email marketing platform, copywriting style and/or topics for a while, think about switching things up. Looking for a starting place for making changes? Consider how well you’re hitting these content marks:
- Subject line. Does it clearly and quickly let the recipient know what to expect before opening it? Remember to give a heads-up about special offers, new products, reviews and other incentives to click through.
- Body content. Does your opening grab the reader’s attention? Are you using fresh terms and active language, and concisely constructing your sentences? Are you including tidbits of information that your readers may not have found via other outlets (and have you double-checked your sources to ensure what you’re reporting is accurate)? Content that’s relevant and riveting will keep your readers clicking through for more of the same.
- Design. Are you using fonts, colors and graphics in a way that enhances your message without distracting from it? Does your email platform translate well between mobile and desktop devices?
- Call to action. What’s the main point of this communication? If you aren’t clear about it, your readers won’t respond. For example, if you’re looking to up your number of Instagram followers, craft your subject line, copy and closing to tie together to remind readers how they’ll benefit from following you (for example, sneak peaks at new merchandise, special giveaway for followers or breaking news from your shop).
- Social media links or buttons. Do readers have to dig for links to your store’s social media accounts, or do graphics and repeated references draw them right to them? Have you listed your most active social media links first?
Look over your list
You may create gripping emails, but they won’t help your business if they aren’t being seen. Is your email marketing subscriber list stagnant? Are you seeing more un-subscribers than new prospects? Consider what resonates with readers and how you can entice your current subscribers to stick around as well as adding new subscribers.
Make opting in simple
Save shoppers a step by offering quick links to subscribing to your marketing emails at intuitive points, such as point of checkout and at the bottom of emailed receipts.
Create a calendar
By mapping out your email projects in advance, you’re more likely to schedule a regular and reliable mix of content, such as sales, trends, insider events and other opportunities for customer engagement and conversions. Here are few more points to consider as you plan out your project calendar:
- Send time optimization. Some email vendors, such as MailChimp, analyze your open rates to provide real data about the best timing for future messages, even down to the hour of the day and day of the week.
- Multiple calendars help steer your own. A traditional 12-month calendar alerts you to upcoming holidays and other high-shopping seasons. But are you also paying attention to dates connected to your industry, such as Fashion Week (if you sell clothing) and trade-show schedules? If you ship internationally, are you remembering the differences in seasons and traditions that could help drive your sales?
- Frequency fairness. Have you reviewed reasons given for unsubscribing? If it’s “I get too many emails from you,” work on spreading out your messages so they’re a welcome addition, not a nuisance. Similarly, if you’ve worked hard to refine your list and your customers aren’t hearing from you, set a goal of incrementally increasing your messages, then review your data after a few weeks to get a feel for the level of engagement.
A healthy open rate and strong click-through numbers indicate you’re doing something right, but you’re still missing the mark if you aren’t seeing an uptick in sales from your emails. An effective retargeting campaign—a marketing technique that tags visitors to your site so they may be directly served with your ads on complementary websites and social media—can help your customers make that crucial final conversion.
Don’t be blacklisted
Are IPs incorrectly filtering your messages as spam? Since the process is algorithm-based, it can be tricky to reverse this roadblock—and in addition to not wanting your email list members to miss your messages, the last thing your shop needs is to be on the wrong side of anti-spam regulations. How can you prevent your emails going to spam?
- Rethink your subject lines. All-caps and words like “Today only!” can easily send your emails down the spam path.
- Review your customer relationship management software. Accidents happen – there could be a glitch that’s easily correctable.
- Check blacklist sites. Sites such as SpamCop and MultiRBL have search functions that allow you to look up domain names and IP addresses that have been labeled as spam. If you’re on it, sites like Spamhaus provide instructions on how to get off the blacklists.
Let 2018 be the year your email marketing takes off!
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