6 tips to revive your outdated email strategies
Is the response to your email campaigns not as you expected? Or do you notice that the results of your emails are dropping, even though you don’t see anything wrong with the copy or design? Don’t start revamping your emails just yet. Here’s a better plan: take one step back and re-evaluate your email strategy first…
Ask yourself the key question: am I still doing email marketing the old way? Whether or not you are using an outdated strategy, it’s always a good idea to re-evaluate your strategy every couple of months and tweak it if needed. Your consumers’ behavior evolves continuously, so don’t expect them to be waiting for that next mass email or salesy and impersonal email: “72% of consumers reported that they’d only be willing to engage with marketing messages if they are personalised and tailored to their interests.” (Smart Insights)
No worries, we are here to help you out. Take in these six tips and pump some new life into your email strategy in no time: you’ll notice more engagement and better results before you know it.
TIP 1 | Review your data to get to know your audience better
You already have an email marketing strategy in place. And you’ve clearly outlined what you want to achieve with your email campaigns and how you want to achieve it.
First things first: review the data you have captured in your email marketing tool up until now. Take a close look at the interaction data of your campaigns by looking at the click-to-open rate, the open rate and past top-performing email campaigns. Those metrics tell you if your audience is engaged with your content (CTR) and if your audience find your topics to be relevant (OR):
- Who are your active subscribers?
- Who are your inactive subscribers?
- Which are your best performing email campaigns?
- Which subject line(s) worked best?
Also look at behavioral data linked to email campaigns via tools such as Google Analytics:
- What are your users mainly purchasing?
- What is the most popular content on your website?
- Which device(s) do they like to use?
- Where do they browse your website or shop?
Finally, run through the descriptive data (demographics) you are already capturing to get more information on gender, age geography, income, attitudes, preferences and so on.
TIP 2 | Start caring about your readers by using data the right way
Email as such is far from dead. But mass emails are on their way out… fast. As mentioned before, consumers are not waiting for generic, impersonal emails to clutter their inbox.
Rule #1: use the data you have wisely. In other words: use your descriptive, interactional and behavioral data to segment your audience into distinctive categories. For example, group contacts based on where they live, what they have bought or by gender. By doing so, you can send better targeted emails and let people know that you really care about how their interact with your brand. It’s a simple ‘trick’ to enhance that customer experience. Don’t know where to start with segmentation? Look up our blog post: 5 tips to help you segment your contact database, or check out this Hubspot list of segmentation ideas.
Segmenting your audience is step one. Next, you’ll need to personalise on content level. Again, it’s best to use all the relevant data you have about your consumers and use it to set up your dynamic content. Sending unique and highly relevant emails to your consumers is the best way to get them engaged with you brand or company.
TIP 3 | Build an email list with only your target audience
Another key factor to the success of your campaigns is to keep your main focus on your target audience.
Addressing a broader audience to draw in more subscribers might get you a bigger database. But in the end, a bigger database should never be a goal in itself; more active subscribers in your database is what you want! ‘Sleeping’ subscribers will only pollute your database and will eventually have a negative impact on your results. Want to avoid having to clean up your database (take it from us, it’s a drag)? Start off on the good foot and target your ideal audience from day one. It’s a win-win situation.
TIP 4 | Vary your content
After having reviewed your data (see tip 1) you know what works well with your audience. Use that insight to re-evaluate the type of emails you are sending.
Keeping your email content varied and fresh is an incredibly powerful way to stay on top of your subscribers’ attention. Keep them interested with a clever mix of promotional, informational and inspirational emails (blog content, recent news items, giveaways…).
When deciding which type of emails you should go for, be sure to keep the different steps in the customer journey in mind. Determine which emails you want to send out, depending on the position of your contacts in their journey. Only sending out promotional or sales emails will not do the trick anymore. It’s better to interlace them with informational emails and inspirational emails, so the consumer knows you’re not just trying to sell your product (even if, in the end, that’s what it’s all about…). Be sure to add some value for your consumers. Show that you do care about their interactions with your brand and you want to give them the best possible experience.
One more thing: did you know that your transactional emails— invoicing, shipping, updates about orders… — have hidden marketing potential too? They are one of the main contact points with your consumers. Spend some time thinking over a smart design and copy for these emails to enhance the customer experience. It might encourage people to engage with your other emails as well.
TIP 5 | Invest in the right automation tools
Having all that valuable data at your disposal is one thing. Having an automation tool to put it all to good use by automating your email flow is the next level.
Believe us: an automation tool that suits your needs will make your life so much easier. In the first tip you analysed all your data, so you now know which data you can use for your email marketing campaigns. Now you’re ready to implement this data in your campaigns. For example: want to trigger-send emails based on specific click behavior? Then make sure you have chosen the right marketing automation tool to handle the job for you. If it doesn’t, you might end up disappointed.
In short, a feature-rich automation tool will help you set up automated retargeting campaigns, onboarding programs, personalised emails, re-engagement campaigns and so much more. It will show your contacts you care about their interactions with your brand. Automating manual processes will see you spending less time on collecting more and better data from your consumers.
TIP 6 | Always do some A/B testing
Test, test, and test again. Bet you’ve heard that a gazillion of times.
Still, it’s common knowledge: testing is an indispensable part of your email marketing strategy. Different subject lines, types of content, CTA buttons, graphics and whatnot: test what works and what doesn’t and keep on optimising your emails on the insights you gather. In the end, it’s all about finding out what exactly they need from you and keeping your customers happy.
Want to try something new, but have no clue whether your audience would be interested? Do A/B test to determine what makes them respond and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that a consumer’s brain is not a static entity. It constantly changes and evolves, and so should your email marketing campaigns.
Before re-evaluating if your email marketing strategy is outdated, it is important to look at the data you are already capturing via your different tools and channels. Determine if it’s good enough to achieve your marketing goals. Build a list with only your target audience, as they will be your most active subscribers. Then use that data to personalise their customer experience: use segmentation and personalization and adapt your content to your consumers’ expectations, depending on where they are in their customer journey. And finally, invest in the right automation tools and test to determine future needs of your consumers.