Digital marketing trends come and go, but email marketing just keeps on winning. Why? First of all, because the global reach is simply unbeatable, with 4.03 billion email users worldwide (compared to 2.85 billion Facebook users).
What’s more, email delivers value like no other channel. It offers a too-good-to-be-true ROI of $42 for every dollar spent on email marketing. And third, email actually sells products, with 60% of consumers reporting they’ve purchased a product based on a marketing email, while only 12.5% of consumers consider clicking the ‘buy’ button on social media.
It gets better! Thanks to new technologies like dynamic content and personalization based on marketing-specific AI, emails are becoming more targeted and relevant than ever. Plus, consumers can start shopping straight from their inbox – if you send the right offer.
So without further ado, here are the 5 Email Marketing Tactics You Really Need Right Now:
1. Start with a Clean List
Straight out of the gate, your email marketing program needs a solid foundation. And in 2021, that means a carefully maintained, fully owned list of email contacts. Keep in mind that emails generate conversions like no other channel, so you should invest the time to meet the following basic requirements:
- Check if every contact is opted in according to GDPR and/or CCPA (really a no-brainer at this point)
- Remove permanent bounces and undeliverable addresses
- Complete as much profile info as possible, especially first and last names (for CRM fields in personalized emails)
- Also read our free guide on creating email campaigns that definitely hit home.
Once your list is sorted, you don’t have to blast your entire contact list. Working in segments is better, as segmented campaigns achieve higher open rates than non-segmented ones. Plus, recipients are 50% more likely to click on a link in a segmented email.
Pro tip: While we’re talking fundamentals, how good is your email deliverability? We just achieved a major breakthrough, as Selligent clients sent a whopping 90 million emails per day (or 33 billion over the year) with a 97.09% average deliverability rate in 2020. If you’re looking to learn how, download our free Email Deliverability Benchmark Report.
2. Deliver Real Value to Email Subscribers
Treat your email contact list like a valuable asset. Because it is! These are the folks who have explicitly agreed to receive communications from you, so make sure to provide added value at every step of the way. This starts with opt-in: Consider adding a pop-up to your site to nudge email subscriptions, as they deliver up to 300% higher sign-up conversions than other tools. Also start the relationship on the right note by rewarding sign-up with a discount of at least 10%.
Then keep the benefits flowing throughout the email lifecycle: From providing early access to new product releases – like Sony did for the (still sold-out) PS5 – all the way to exclusive sales events. Your audience is already listening, so treat them as the special people they are (and see our Bonus Tip on MVP Customers below).
Pro tip: Make sure that your pop-up will display well on mobile, and without burdening your page with long load times (or your search rank will get docked in the upcoming Google mobile search rank update). Also display the pop-up only once for each visitor (and stop displaying for existing subscribers).
3. Snappy Copy and Personalized Content
Your email success starts before open, so don’t forget to include concise summary text that appears in the inbox overview and spend some time on your subject lines. Actually, the pros swear by A/B testing several headlines before going full send on emails (see 5.).
When it comes to email content, use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find the hottest trends as the basis for winning topics your audience wants to read. Plus: Are you using emojis in your email headlines? Only 4% of brands do so right now, but emojis have been proven to boost open rates by 3%.
The other secret weapon in the email arsenal is personalization: Personalized emails deliver 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates. Most marketers use CRM field insertion for first-name greetings, but adding personalized animations or product images is next level. Also use smart tools like Selligent’s Live Content to personalize messages automatically based on real-time consumer data at the time of open.
Pro tip: TL/DR? Remember that we’re all marketing in a mobile-first world now, so consider text length carefully. You can always host the full story on your blog and use email to ‘tease’. And make smart use of short, image-driven email formats like restock alerts (see 4.).
4. Master the Right Frequency
Once you have built a comfortable list of subscribers (see 1.), you can settle into a recognizable rhythm for sending emails. The verdict in the industry for full-length newsletters? Sending every two weeks is the ‘sweet spot’. As for the best day of the week, research suggests Thursday, while emails sent at 8AM, 1PM, and 5PM deliver the best results.
Then again, you can always break the frequency for quick, one-time announcements like:
- Product restock alerts
- Special sales events
- Customer birthdays
- Raffles and giveaways
- Discount coupons for subscribers only
- Cart reminder mails (they generate over 8% conversion, so make sure they look great)
Pro tip: Don’t just leave your marketing cadence up to chance. Based on marketing-specific AI, Selligent’s Send Time Optimization feature crunches the latest consumer data to calculate the perfect sending time for each individual customer at the moment when they’re most engaged.
5. Test (and test again)
Don’t just send and forget. Constantly monitor vital email campaign stats such as open rates, click-throughs, and opt-outs. Double down on what’s winning and discard what’s not. With Selligent, you have access to extensive A/B testing for emails: For instance, you can test different subject lines by sending one version to 2% of your recipients, the other version to another 2% – then send the ‘winner’ to the remaining 96%. It’s what the pros do: Ecommerce companies that A/B test achieve higher revenue.
Again, no need to hit your entire list with the same message (see 1.). Use our AI-powered Smart Audiences tool to automatically select the optimal audience for a message or campaign, including fine-tuning at every step. And don’t just trust the data: Ask your customers about their experience by including polls or surveys throughout the journey as the basis for constant improvements.
Pro tip: Don’t discard the ‘losing’ versions of your A/B tests. It’s all relative! They may score lower than the winning choices you end up sending to your audience. But with a few tweaks, they could be the stars of your next campaign.
Bonus Tip: Spoil Your MVP Customers
In 2021, it’s all about bringing your most valuable customers (MVPs) even closer. After all, existing customers are 50% more likely to buy new products and spend 31% more per order. Spend some time to research who your MVPs are – it’s easier if you already run a loyalty program – and send some white-glove magic their way with:
- Loyalty point balance included in each email
- Personalized product offers and calls to action
- Unique coupon codes for specific customers
- Perks like free access to paid content and invites to live events
With that said, email marketing is far from an old hat, but a powerful channel that keeps evolving. Here at Selligent, we apply our data-driven mindset to emails by placing universal consumer profile data at the core of personalized, perfectly timed campaigns and initiatives.