Email Marketing is huge these days.
Just open your inbox and witness the overflow of emails you can’t even remember signing up for. A few weeks ago, we decided to jump on the digital bandwagon ourselves, by sending out our very first newsletter, telling the world about our Dauntless rebrand. So in light of our experiences and what we’ve learned, I’d love to share some thoughts on email marketing in this post. Not necessarily the typical 'top 10 tips' that a Google search will provide you with, but some insights that I think could be genuinely useful before you set up your own campaigns.
Ask The Right Questions
Quite often, campaigns are sent without too much thought about the target audience, the main objective behind the email, or a strategic long-term vision. If you want your campaign to succeed and achieve your desired results, don’t be afraid of going back to the drawing board to ask yourself a few basic questions:
- Who would benefit from receiving my email?
- How can I grab my readers’ attention and get across the message?
- Can I add value by sharing information that is useful and practical?
The better you are at answering the above questions, and the stronger your overall strategy, the more likely the recipient will actually open your email and click that sparkly call-to-action. Our very own copywriter, Chris Berry, wrote a post with a few great insights on how to improve your digital strategy - have a read and be inspired!
A high spam rate should be avoided at all costs: it affects your credibility as a company and can even cause you to get blacklisted. In all honesty, it really doesn’t feel great to be branded as an intrusive spammer!
Here are just a few tips that will make a difference right from the start:
- Make sure to clean up your contact lists before importing them into your chosen email marketing software.
- Only add contacts that have actually given you permission (clients, potential leads, business partners, your proud parents!)
- Try to refrain from buying data lists online: doing this will most likely increase your number of spam complaints.
At Dauntless, we currently use an email marketing tool called Active Campaign and we’ve found their advice on how to reduce a high abuse rate extremely helpful. For example, so that we could avoid being marked as spammers, we added the unsubscribe link both to the header and the footer of the email, so our readers would not have trouble finding it.
For more useful tips, check out their advice on spam reduction.
Make It Happen
Creating a recurring email campaign requires a fair amount of conversation and preparation. It will add a few extra hours to your and/or your team’s already busy schedule. Admittedly, it is also very easy to get side-tracked by more pressing matters, so be careful not to move the campaign to the bottom of your priority list.
For our crew, we’ve added a weekly meeting to the calendar – just to be sure it stays on the top of our minds. Or, why not be super prepared and design a few extra emails when you’re in that creative zone? They might come in handy one day…
Learn From Your Mistakes
Many email marketing platforms have the ability to track statistics about your sent campaigns and offer plenty of information that can be used for further analysis: the number of opens, clicks, forwards, unsubscribes, etc. This data will help you to better understand your audience and measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
After we let our Dauntless rebrand campaign loose on the world, we noticed a high number of bounces (or rejected emails) and had to acknowledge that the quality of our contact list wasn’t superb. These bounces negatively impacted our spam rate, and we ended up spending a significant amount of time just cleaning up our database. All this hassle and extra work could have been avoided by carrying out a proper data quality check beforehand. So, I would encourage you to set aside some time and vet those contacts before uploading them into your platform of choice.
Finally, it’s not easy to find that ‘perfect’ timing. Unfortunately, there is no magical hour of the day when everyone just stops for a moment and simultaneously checks their emails – though we wish there was! We've tried different days of the week – as well as times of day – over the last few weeks of our email campaign, and thanks to this, we’re slowly getting a better insight into our audience preferences. It definitely is a game of trial and error, so give your email campaign a go and don’t be afraid to make adjustments if your open rates aren’t necessarily what you hoped for.