Fix Your Email Marketing

Hummingbird CreativeBranding & Creative

tricks for a better engaged audience

Email newsletters are awesome.

They’re a great way for your brand to interact with clients and followers, then can generate leads and sales, and they can help your overall marketing plan.

According to My Content Co,

“Email marketing continues to outperform other digital marketing tactics in terms of ROI. Research conducted last year by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122 percent– more than 4x higher than other formats examined, including social media, direct mail and paid search.”

The email newsletter is a great way to work in the core tenants of inbound marketing in just one piece: lead generating, lead nurturing, sales and customer delight. Every month, you put together your brilliant newsletter and faithfully send it to your subscribers. After a few months, you’re not convinced it’s working very well at all.

That’s probably because an email newsletter isn’t the end-all-be-all of email marketing. There’s a bunch of other ways your brand can market through email, and, if you’re just marketing through a monthly newsletter, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities.

But how do you know if it’s time to start rethinking your email marketing strategy?

Sign number 1 it’s not working– lots of unsubscribes. If your subscriber list isn’t growing, there’s a problem you need to address. No matter what your goals are, your list should get bigger and bigger every month. When it becomes stagnant, it’s time to reconsider.

You might see your open rates take a nosedive. You want people to be excited to have an email from your brand, not just click the delete button. All the hard work put into building the email list, finding the content and designing the layout all go to waste if no one is actually opening what you’re sending. There’s a lot of reasons someone might not open a branded email:

  • Bad subject line- you’ve got to make it interesting
  • Unfamiliar sender
  • A history of uninteresting content
  • And more

When people do actually open your newsletter, are they clicking on anything? A study by Epsilon says that the average clickthrough rate (or CTR) hovers around 4.3 percent. While that seems low, consider this: Marketing and advertising industries have, ironically, the lowest CTRs, according to MailChimp. They’re bringing that number down with their 1.95 percent compared to Media and Publishings 4.70 percent. But, still, even with their 4.70 percent, Media and Publishing isn’t that much higher than the average. But, what’s even worse is when your carefully thought out call-to-action (or CTA) isn’t getting any clicks either.

So, you’ve seen the red flags. How can you fix your email marketing strategy?

reconsider your sign up strategy

How do people get on your email lists in the first place? Do you just sign people up? Is there a widget on your website? How do you do it?

Consider getting creative.

You can create multiple email subscription types that you use to send more targeted content to specific segments of your target audiences. Since email recipients are more likely to open emails specifically targeted to them, you’ll hopefully increase qualified leads and sales.

Reinvigorate an old email list by creating an engaging opt-in message and sending it out to your old list– promising to remove all contacts who wish to be removed. Even if it seems counterintuitive, removing unengaged users from your email lists is a great way to improve deliverability and increase the odds of your branded content getting shared with those outside of your current database.

test your email elements

Maybe your email marketing is just too broad and no one is finding anything interesting. You can try to narrow the focus of your newsletter content and to appeal to a more niche audience. Sometimes, the more niche, the better. As a note, if you’re going for a more niche audience, you will need to parse down your email list to fit that niche. The more relevant the email is to your contact list, the more likely someone is to open it.

Try out different subject lines, since the first click starts with the open. Avoid using words like “free” or “act now” in your subject line– you might get hit with the dreaded spam filters. Also, you should avoid using all caps, because NO ONE LIKES GETTING YELLED AT. It also feels pretty spammy to see something in all caps and a potential qualified lead might just trash your carefully crafted email all because of your subject line.

Subject lines should also be actionable. Which would you be more likely to click?

“April Newsletter” or “10 Easy Ways You Can Better Your Brand This April”?

This first is just a month, but the second tells readers that they can find 10 easy ways to make their brand better this month.

When increasing clicks to your CTA, try changing up the design. It’s possible people just aren’t noticing it. Change the colors, the fonts– even the shape– just make it noticable. The CTA needs to pop from the rest of the content.

include social sharing options

People like to share things they find interesting and your brand needs to take advantage of that. There are several reasons people might want to share:

  • Self interest- sharing to win an award, it’s a core premise of those “tag-a-friend-to-win” contests on Instagram
  • Altruism- they feel good about sharing your content
  • Affinity- people feel more apart of a community, they feel more connected

With so many reasons to share, it’s important to take advantage of these reasonings. Including social sharing options to your emails can generate an increased CTR than emails without. CTR jumps even further if there’s three or more sharing options included in the footer of the email.

Email marketing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to streamline conversations, regardless of industry. Strategic approaches to email marketing can garner impressive results for your brand when executed correctly and with forethought.