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The Marketer's Dozen

Tips for 2020

March 30, 2020
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I understand that I’m rather late in asking, but here goes: How are your 2020 resolutions going so far? Hopefully, better than mine! But that’s personal, and I don’t feel like talking about it. How about your business resolutions —  assuming you’ve made any? Do I hear you saying you haven’t made any? Then better now than never, as they say.

Here’s an idea: With what’s left of 2020, try to commit to realistic and principled marketing goals, starting with learning as much as you can about your audience. Keep in mind that doing so may involve more than what appears to on the surface. That being said, with so much data and tools available, creating a unique experience for each subscriber is easier than ever.

Target some of these 2020 email marketing goals for a start:

Increase your opening rates.

Industry-wise, the average email open rate varies quite a bit, but when we look at billions of emails worldwide, we find that the averate is close to 18%. That means that less than 1 out of 5 people who get an email bother to open it. However, you should take a look at your personal industry to see where you are targeted and try to 1) better your current open rate, and 2) get over the national average threshold.

To expand your average rate above the industry average, start fresh with the following tips:

  • Use growth guerrilla tactics and build a sense of urgency in your communications
  • Make the “From” field feels like a personal conversation
  • Ensure that the text is clear and explains the message’s intent.

It’s not surprising that people are more prone to open personal emails, so it’s important to have immediate connection with your subscribers. Anything you can do to foster a more personal relationship, you should. This means being transparent about who is sending your emails and what they can expect to find in them.

Set up automated campaigns.

Automation does not mean robotic or simplistic; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Automation can help you reach yearly objective by saving you time and creating a more personalized communication channel. Start with some automated campaigns like:

  • Welcome emails
  • Thank You emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Birthday reminder emails

Automated campaigns typically ensure better open and click rates because they are both more timely and relevant. Welcome emails, for example, can generate an average of 50% open rates. Meanwhile, birthday emails offer a high transaction factor near 5x.

Build personalized customer journeys.

Once you’ve set up your automated campaigns, add automatic customer journeys (aka drip campaigns) to your 2020 email marketing goals.  It is now time to embark on automated journeys at different intervals and using relevant content. When someone signs up, you can send them pre-arranged campaigns to introduce them to your brand. When you think the subscriber’s inventory is low, you can send product reminder emails. Why not set up an automated re-engagement series? Phone companies do that as soon as they noticed you moved to a different brand of devices, so should you. The subject lines can say: “We missed you; Let’s introduce xxx” or “ Let’s get to know each other again.”

Make it a point to connect with your subscribers.

In an increasingly digital world, people seek human relationships. The first step is to segment your subscribers list by demographic, such as location, gender, age, and interests. Next, revisit how you write your copy. Pretend you’re writing for one person - not 3 dozens. Your writing feels more like a conversation than it does a marketing pitch. You need to look to your industry to see where your targets are in their journey.

Make sure your emails are accessible.

By 2022, there will be 4.3 billion web (and thus email) users worldwide. That number includes people of all abilities and backgrounds. For example, one in every 12 men and one in every 200 women experience color blindness. As part of your 2020 email marketing goals, try and assess your customers as much as possible and ensure that everything they receive is accessible. Follow the guidelines when designing your message:

  • Keep a good intensity ratio between text and background
  • Use Alt text to describe your images
  • Ensure that there are no flashing elements that could trigger convulsions
  • Including titles or scripts for every video
  • Avoid complicated sentences and over-engineered vocabulary

You can divide your list into age groups and create campaigns with large and bold fonts for older audiences.

Include some interactive elements.

Interactive content helps increase engagement because it encourages subscribers to click through in your content. You do not have to search for places to include interactive elements. Instead, look for interactive features that fit your entire email strategy. Reviews are a great place to start. You can also send content that incorporates interactive menus, image sliders, quizzes, polls and games. All these elements will ultimately increase your revenue.

Improve your click rate.

Speaking of click-through rate: having users open your email is only half the battle - how do you make them click on the links inside the email? The average email click rate is under 3%, so if you want to generate the highest ROI from your marketing efforts, you need to do all you can to keep subscribers engaged. If you set other 2020 email marketing goals on this list, you’ll need to improve your CTAs:

  • Keep a single goal and CTA for each email.
  • Use the CTA button in the opposite color than the hyperlink.
  • Surround your CTA button with plenty of whitespace.
  • Use functional language without conflict words.
  • It’s also a great idea to consider your writing style.

Integrate your email marketing campaigns.

In spite of well-defined and standardized marketing strategies, most marketers are still creating email campaigns in a vacuum. Become part of your 2020 email marketing goals to integrate your email campaigns with other platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or SMS. Analytics and integration options from email service providers such as Campaign Monitor make it easy to track your subscribers over the Internet and create personalized campaigns. Facebook Pixel does the same, so you can easily categorize your list using the Facebook functionality.

Keep your newsletter level.

Gone are the days of regular email blasts. Today, personalized content is what people expect. Nearly 70% of users think it’s what’s best. Newsletters should also contain some personal content. Start the newsletter with a basic section containing relevant information based on data about your subscriber’s interests, behavior and demographics. You can also set up a landing page where subscribers can adjust their email preferences. Ask them to choose their favorite things and how often they want to hear from you.

Establish a membership program.

ho doesn’t love a personalized experience? If you don’t have a VIP or loyalty program, now is the best time to start. If you do, make it one of your 2020 email marketing goals to promote your program through campaigns. Loyalty programs are not exclusive to luxury brands. You can use them to collect information, prevent harassment, and promote oral advertising.

Optimize for mobile readers.

More than half of all emails are open to mobile devices, so optimization is crucial for engagement and ROI. Yes, design plays a crucial role, but so do your copy, your content and the media you include. Consider your subscriber mentality when sending your campaigns. Images and landing pages should load lightning fast (especially when 5G coverage is on the rise). The copy should also be straightened out and as perfect and relevant as possible. An email doesn’t require fancy wordplay and is never read like a novel.

Avoid exploitation by using a clean email list.

Finally, if your campaigns go directly to the spam folder or subscribers flag your emails as spam, you are unlikely to reach your  2020 email marketing goals. Gmail recently began asking users if they’d like to remove memberships from unopened lists in the last 30 days. Marketers should take note here and make sure their lists are clean. Send the engagement campaign again. If subscribers do not reply, it may be time to cut the cord.

The Mailman

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