Email marketing has been one of the most common means of online marketing for quite some time now. However, just because it has been popular for years doesn’t mean that it is not changing. On the contrary, it is changing a lot.
Practices that worked like a charm a few years ago are now outdated. New ways of doing email marketing are taking over.
Data-Driven Email Marketing Takes Over
The days are long gone of sending long, boring newsletters to your entire obtained database of email addresses on a weekly or monthly basis. You should be sending shorter and better-targeted emails to the people in your database.
That’s right. I said people, not email addresses. Having just an email address is not enough. It is true that it can suffice, and you will be able to send your regular dose of emails.
But the odds are that your emails will not perform well. Why? People are receiving tons of emails every single day. They don’t want to read boring messages with content they don’t care about.
The idea of data-driven marketing is to send the right message to the right people at the right time.
To do so, you simply MUST have more information about people in your email database. You must know more in order to provide your leads with the information about which they specifically care.
How can you get more information? You can simply try to ask them. If that strategy doesn’t work, you must use their behaviour to gain a certain advantage.
Use their implied and expressed preferences to determine what your users care about and how they want you to present the information to them. Of course, you will need to automate this process.
Eye Tracking Is More Accessible Than Ever
The technology needed for eye tracking has never been cheaper than it is now. People have used it mostly to improve the user interface (UI) of websites, web, and mobile applications.
But you can take advantage of eye tracking even when trying to improve the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your email marketing.
Eye tracking can help you improve the click-through rate of calls to action (CTAs) in your emails. When you know how the human brain “scans” the emails people read, you can use this information to place the important elements of your emails at the best possible locations.
Shorter and Mobile-Friendly Emails Are a Must
We are using mobile devices more and more. While mobile-friendly websites are pretty much a standard nowadays, many business lack mobile-friendliness in their email marketing communication.
If your emails are just plain text, you have nothing to worry about. Just keep your messages short and simple. Keep in mind that in portrait mode, which is the mode we generally use when browsing or reading emails, the subject line is quite short.
If the subject of your message is too long, it will get cropped out in most people’s mobile email. That’s why you should keep your messages short or at least put the important information at the front.
Test Your Options with A/B Testing
A/B Testing is a method people use to determine which of two (or more, depending on the type of A/B testing) options performs better.
When designing a marketing message for delivery through email, you can use A/B testing to try pretty much anything:
- Which of the two subjects will have a better open rate?
- Which of these buttons will bring more customers to your website?
- How does the colour, size, or font of the text influence the click-through rate?
These are just some examples. I am sure you will figure out how to use A/B testing to improve your email marketing communication.
Optimize the Way You Obtain Contact Information
So far, I have focused mostly on the communication itself. But first, you have to actually get people to give you their private (or business) email addresses.
Sure, some people have a separate email address for the sole purpose of signing up for email lists when they don’t want to give out their actual addresses. But still, it might be hard get that email address from them.
A large number of websites use pop-up windows that ask visitors to give them their email addresses or other personal information.
If you use pop-ups, try to use the type of pop-ups that don’t obstruct the entire website. I am sure you find it to be an aggressive marketing method, and so do your visitors.
What’s more, you should also offer your visitors something in return for giving you their personal information. Many websites use ebooks or other kinds of downloadable documents.
Gated content (content that is only available after entering an email address) has to be amazing. It needs to be something for which people will give up their guarded email addresses.
Your visitors must truly love your company in order to hit the “Sign up for our newsletter” button on your website. Offer them something in return, and you will most likely get a higher number of subscriptions.
Track More KPIs and Focus on Their Improvement
Everybody in the email marketing industry knows the two main KPIs: the open rate and click-through rate.
These are the most important ones, and you should definitely focus on improving them. That way, more people will read your emails and more people will click on the CTAs in them.
However, there is much more you can explore when it comes to email marketing. Track the locations of your subscribers and their bounce rate. Then see how your email marketing is influencing different aspects of customer behaviour.
Sophisticated tools can communicate directly with other business applications and help you calculate the actual return on investment (ROI) of your email marketing endeavours.