#1) Making an Unprofitable First Impression
First contact is typically the best opportunity to move the sale/relationship forward and a common email marketing mistake. Here’s the fix…
Create a Welcome Email that Means Business – A well-crafted, automated ‘welcome email’ will set the proper pace and garner a very nice ROI if the marketer doesn’t beat around the bush or blow smoke. This is the time to drive action and set mutual expectations.
Create an Onboarding Series that Tells the Tale – If the offer can support a series of emails, start now. Besides communicating the full value of the product/service an onboarding series will set the stage for putting an email marketing program on autopilot, the Holy Grail for smart marketers.
#2) Not Working Hard Enough Where it Really Matters
Email marketing eats man-hours and brainpower, so we’ve got to prioritize in order to maximize the human capital investment. But often times the best allocation resources and ROI has nothing to do with campaigns…
Invest More into List Growth – Email marketing is largely a numbers game. The bigger the email list, the more revenue that list will produce (assuming that the subscribers are qualified and receptive). Organic email list growth can seem painful and slow but if marketers would only be more strategic, and execute at every appropriate/feasible opportunity, they will see a substantial lift.
#3) Working Too Hard On the Wrong Things
Let’s face facts; it takes time to create a single email marketing campaign, much less a kick-butt email program. Marketers need to automate at every opportunity if they are to focus on the ROI. Here are two huge time savers…
Connect Your Lists and Applications – The exporting and importing of lists is not only a huge waste of time it’s also ripe for human error. Examples of connecting of customer databases, with that of an email service provider, include syncing lists with a CRM system, e-commerce platform or product recommendation engine. Marketers have already paid for these tools; why do they not use them to their fullest? Not only will syncing applications create efficiency, they can also automatically segment lists by activity, product, you name it. Going further, this will help to increase relevance by sending individualized messages, which are based on the subscriber’s actions and attributes. It’s a onetime fix that most of customers tell us was well worth the expense.
Let Automated Emails Do Most of the Work – Once these automated emails (a.k.a. autoresponders, triggered emails) are locked-down marketers need only to review/test their performance periodically. Even the simplest of today’s email marketing delivery tools offer some form of marketing automation. These triggered includes are typically date or user behavior based; examples include product expiration notices, birthdays/anniversaries, appointment reminders, and recommendations based on historical data.
#4) Sending Too Few Campaigns for the Wrong Reasons
Again, email marketing is a numbers game. Send more email, to more people, and more revenue will be generated. Simple stuff right? Yet this is usually the biggest failure. Here’s two fixes…
Consider Outsourcing Production – As we all know, it takes a considerable amount to time and expertise to plan and execute an email program. If an organization doesn’t have the resources for their program to be effective, managed email marketing services might be the best option.
Test the Frequency Tipping Point – Email is not a marketing channel for the timid. Try sending more campaigns, a lot more. Perhaps the list will tolerate, or even appreciate, a considerable increase in campaign frequency. Test it internally or work with a partner, but test it.
#5) Partying Like It’s 1999
The way in which customers interact with emails has forever changed; mobile readership is growing exponentially, inboxes are busy places, and attention spans are plummeting. You’ve got to future-proof your message framework now…
Update those Crusty Email Templates – A template refresh would ensure that all messages are actionable on desktop and mobile devices, today and tomorrow. Recommendations include the addition of pre-header (preview) text in order to further incentivize an open, organic and seamless personalization using known data, as well as a highly skimable approach to content, fingered-sized bulletproof buttons, and compartmentalized, truncated content to aide mobile email readership and ultimately clicks.
|Now what? As luck would have it we can fix every mistake outlined above and quite a few more, so let’s talk email marketing!|
These are some great insights Scott, thanks!
(I like #2 the best)
Thanks Evan. I agree #2 is the biggie.
Great article! I’d want to add another:
#6) Not trimming the deadwood
Just because your subscribers are still subscribers, doesn’t mean they’re still engaged. Every message you send costs you – both in deployment fees and in focus. Stop sending to individuals simply because they haven’t expressly told you they don’t want to hear from you…
Engage with engaged subscribers, and say goodbye to those who’ve already disengaged – Analyse your responses on a regular basis to establish what the actual engaged percentage of your subscriber list is.
Focus on these engaged customers to drive your revenue further via more conversions and sharing (to grow that DB). In conjunction, focus on re-engaging with dormant customers by targeting and talking to them differently. And set objectives – if dormant customers still haven’t shown interest by interacting with you adfter a period of time, remove them from your list. You’ll save time and money on not marketing to the deadwood, and you’ll almost certainly see that your specifically targeted “re-engagement” messages will bring some customers back with new vigour to engage!
Nice one Stacy! How long do give inactives before you attempt re-engagement?
Scott, I think it would depend largely on your engagement/sales cycle and what the end objective is (i.e. is it to make a sale, or to educate). The time period would be shorter for different verticals, say an online clothing retailer compared to an automotive company.
Additionally, you could use other tools such as analytics to help you to further decide if your users are in fact still engaging with you, just not with your emails, or have disengaged completely – example being purchase information.
What are your thoughts Scott?
Oh, and happy festive season! Hope your New Year is a good one – keep safe!