Feb 4, 2014

5 Features Your Emails Are Missing

We’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the past 14+ years, and we’ve noticed some areas for improvement when it comes to email marketing. Email marketing isn’t as fun and glamorous as some other areas of the web, but it remains one of the most effective (and cost effective) tools for any business – when used correctly. Here are five features that your email strategy may be missing or just in need of improving in 2014.

5 Ways to Improve Email Marketing

Copy. Writing great copy requires more than 30 minutes of typing and sending an email out to thousands. Each communication with your subscribers should be part of a larger, long-term content strategy. You are in a direct line of communication to your subscribers and you must bring something valuable to the conversation each and every time. Cut through short attention spans and inboxes filled with spam by getting to the point. Check out these tips on persuasive writing and how to create great copy for your emails (and other communications).  

Personalisation. 2014 is the year to get better at personalisation. As other companies begin to harness customer data and improve their offerings, a more personalised touch to emails (and other online channels) will just be expected. Rather than blindly sending out emails according to a set schedule and never venturing beyond that time frame, send emails based on user behaviour. Here are some examples of when to send an email based on a user’s activities or preferences:

- Abandoning their shopping cart; Send a reminder and alert them of current discounts or almost-sold out items.

- Opening an email; Send a follow-up email within 48 hours to users who opened up an email and follow up on their initial interest.

- Events and webinars; Send several reminders to reduce drop-out rates, and don’t forget about follow-up emails!

- Birthdays and anniversaries; Send a special message for birthdays or other important personal dates (when it’s relevant to your organisation), and include a 10% discount or a similar offer.

- Favourite items reminders; Send an alert when an item that a user has ‘favourited’ or added to a wish list is almost sold out, or when an item is back in stock.

Landing Pages.  Sometimes it’s ok to send a subscriber to the homepage of your website; but there is more often than not an opportunity to offer a targeted message to your customer by sending them to a landing page created specifically for this email message or campaign. Here, you can add copy, images, and calls to action that further enforce your original email message, and also provide more relevant and valuable information to the email recipient than a normal web page might. Landing pages are also great areas to test out different messaging and images, and see which one draws more action from users.

Auto-emails. Don’t ignore auto-emails. You know, those messages that are automatically sent when a user signs up for a newsletter, makes a purchase, signs up for an event, etc. Use this communication opportunity to send more than a standard “You Are Now Subscribed” email to new users. Write a friendly and welcoming message, and link to important areas of your website (e.g. Check out our latest blog; Browse our latest items; View our product videos), or

Test, test, test. Use email marketing as a chance to experiment. Track your emails and see which email landing pages work best, or if there is a particular time of day or day or the week that brings more responses to an email. Subject lines are also a great are to play around with and see which causes higher open rates. 

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