There have been a lot of innovations in marketing, including the recent fascination with chatbots and other AI-driven methods. One method hasn’t changed much though, and it still ranks very high as one of the most effective ways of interacting with your customers, whether they are T-shirt buyers from your small e-commerce website or multinationals to whom you’re trying to sell expensive services.
In some studies, email marketing has delivered up to 4000% ROI, which is not surprising because about 90% of consumers use email actively and check for new ones tens of times per day.
As with any other method though, just how much ROI you’ll get from your email marketing efforts will depend largely on how well you plan and execute your strategies. Here are three ways to optimize your email marketing and maximize your results.
1.Get the Timing Right
Many studies have been conducted to determine what the best time of the day and week is to send an email to get the highest chance of it being opened or responded to. You can go through a breakdown of the studies here.
The key principle is to send your email at a time when the recipient can act on it immediately. “Just because it’s a good time to write an email does not mean it’s a good time for your prospect or customer to read it and the longer your email sits unanswered, the lower the chances that you’ll ever get one. If you send a B2B email at 10 on a Monday morning with a business proposal, it would be more likely to be attended to immediately than an email with adverts for beachwear, for instance.
It’s easy to send an email to one person at the right time, but what about when it’s to a long list of people across different time zones? It’s still easy if you use a mail service that allows you to schedule the emails for a specific time across all time zones The information can be drawn from the IPs they signed up with or previous emails they’ve opened, but even if you have to fill it in manually, it’ll likely be worth it in terms of improving your open and response rates.
2.Follow Up Effectively
You probably already know that if you haven’t gotten a reply to your email after a while, you need to follow up with another one. But what about after a transaction has been completed successfully? In the first case, studies have shown that following up multiple times can elicit a response from even a reluctant prospect, and in the second case, sending a follow up can boost customer satisfaction significantly and boost retention + repeat business, according to this publication in the Harvard Business Review.
You can automate your follow ups to go out at specific intervals but ensure that you get the settings right so you don’t keep sending emails to people who have already responded. It’ll be irritating at least and might even lead a prospect to conclude that you aren’t very competent, at worst.
You can send the new emails in the same thread as the old ones so the recipient can easily scroll up to see the contents of the previous emails. If you don’t want to do that (or cannot, because of the email service you’re using), it’s a good idea to write subject lines that help the recipient see immediately that it’s a follow-up email.
3.Segment and Your Lists
“No one likes to read cookie-cutter emails that could have been addressed to thousands of other people”, says Landon Dash, CEO of Vapocorner “unless it’s a newsletter or some other message that’s explicitly general. If you want to make a real connection with your email recipients, you’ll need to segment your lists sufficiently to ensure that your emails are as specific as possible.”
There are many parameters you can use to segment your list, starting with demographics such as age, gender and geographical location. You can also factor in engagement on your website to ensure that you’re reaching out to people with the right message for their position in your sales pipeline. For instance, sending custom emails to people who have looked at items in a particular category or ones who have put items in their carts but not checked out.
Segmenting your list and writing custom messages for each segment takes time and effort, but the pros far outweigh the cons. According to this study by Mailchimp of over 9 million emails sent on their platform, segmented emails performed between 9% and 100% better across various metrics.
Ultimately, email marketing is still a crucial part of any marketing strategy, regardless of industry or business size. The key to getting the most out of it is in making your emails as tailored to each individual recipient as possible. It might take some time, effort, and monetary investment, but the rewards will definitely be worth it.