Despite the rampant advances in social media marketing, emails remain as important as ever for businesses to connect with leads and customers. Since a lot of digital marketers have realised the high ROI and customer acquisition rates emails offer, an individual's inbox has become an ultra-competitive zone with multiple brands vying for his or her attention. That means your marketing emails have to be absolutely spot-on if you want to survive, let alone win, the game. Here are four ways you can improve your email marketing strategy in 2017:
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Use segmented emails instead of broadcast emails
Companies generally tend to send the same emails to all the contacts on their subscriber list. Sure, they may personalise for each individual, but the crux of each message remains unchanged. This results in a lot of subscribers receiving emails that are irrelevant to them, which in turn lowers open rates and increases unsubscribe rates. Segmented emails are the solution to this problem. Such emails are sent to specific segments within a subscriber base — divided based on previous interactions with a brand, demographics, interests, and position in the buyer's journey. Research has shown that segmented emails generate 18 times more revenue, and have a five percent higher click-through rate, than broadcast emails.
Send emails only to those subscribers who care
Businesses need to understand the importance of marketing to those people who genuinely care about what they're being offered. The first step is to send emails only to those people who have willingly given you their information; never message contacts acquired from purchased email lists. Even among those who have given you their email, there will undoubtedly be a marketing-averse few who won't ever open your emails. Repeatedly sending emails to these people will decimate your email opens and engagement rates, which in turn may cause email services to mark them as spam. It's a good idea to avoid sending emails to unengaged subscribers, or at least limit the number of times you contact them to once or twice a month.
Figure out what's going wrong and fix it. Immediately
If you think your email marketing efforts aren't proving to be as effective as you hoped them to be, it isn't a bad idea to take a break and analyse what's going wrong. If your emails have low open rates, try experimenting with different subject lines and send emails from a personal address instead of a company. A rise in un-subscriptions, while not debilitating on its own, is usually indicative of forthcoming spam complaints. That's why it's essential for you to figure out exactly why people are unsubscribing from your emails. If you can't find anything wrong, stop sending emails to those people who don't open them and instead focus on those who have high engagement rates. Getting marked as spam is fatal for your email marketing strategy. Your domain's reputation goes down and you run the risk of being blacklisted by email services. If your emails are getting marked as spam, stop sending them immediately and find out what's causing your subscribers to take this action. Maybe it's a faulty CTA, a malfunctioning sign-up form, or a missing link; whatever it is, it's crucial to identify and fix it before resuming your email marketing efforts.
Constant testing is the way to go
The ideal email marketing strategy — the one that pays the most dividends for the time and effort you put into it — can only be formulated by excessive trial and error experimentation. There are no fixed set of rules that guarantee a successful email marketing strategy, only guidelines that you have to work within to create one for yourself. Testing things like the days and times when you send your emails, the subject lines you use, and which types of your emails have the highest engagement allows you to better understand your subscribers' behaviour. This helps you create effective email marketing campaigns that resonate with your subscribers and have the intended effect on them.
Your email marketing efforts will certainly get a boost if you follow these tips. If you have any other strategies apart from the ones mentioned here, do share them with us in the comments below.