Email campaigns are one of the best ways to connect with your audience. As an integral part of a business’s inbound marketings strategies, they notify your subscribers about updates, promotions, and blog posts, keeping customers informed and increasing sales in the process.
Sending out a well-designed campaign requires a lot of careful planning and testing, and as such, it’s possible that your first campaign could lack a few essential components if not created carefully. For those of you who are new players and haven’t had enough experience, here’s a quick questionnaire.
✓ Did you clean your mailing list?
✓ Have you ever tested your email campaign?
✓ Did you perform mailing list segmentation?
✓ Did you send your email campaign in groups?
✓ Was your campaign content brief, relevant, and informative?
If your responses to the above questions were mostly “No” and “Not sure,” then this post is for you. Here are the five essential lessons on successful email campaigns that most first-timers and regular campaigners miss.
1. Maintain a hygienic mailing list.
Periodically checking on the health of your mailing list is as important as adding new subscribers to it. Your list hygiene largely depends on how quickly you deal with unresponsive subscribers. Keeping a stagnant list for too long can cause more bounces to occur when you send out new campaigns, so it’s important for you to check your mailing list for email addresses that are no longer in use and remove them.
For example, let’s say you’re planning to send out your first campaign to a list of members who have signed up for a free trial, in order to remind them to renew their subscription plans. Before you hit “Send,” be sure to remove invalid subscriber details so that your messages don’t bounce and you don’t have a poor, inaccurate campaign reach report.
2. Make testing your priority.
Delivering the right content may look easy—but getting your recipients to read it is another story entirely. Your email campaigns will be welcoming only when your subject line and campaign content resonate with your audience. You can optimize your campaign efforts by using A/B testing as a strategy.
Let’s say you want to send out a campaign to invite your subscribers for a grand sale. Not sure which subject line would be catchy? That’s where A/B testing comes into play. Send two versions of the same campaign to a small percentage of your mailing list. Based on the reach of both versions, see which one performed best, and use that version for the rest of the subscribers.
By taking time to test your email campaigns before sending them, you’ll get a clear overview of what strikes a chord with your recipients, which helps you create better campaigns in the future.
3. Segment before you send.
Send targeted and relevant emails by segmenting your list of subscribers. For a typical mailing list, geography is the most common criteria for segmentation. With different location segments, you can send campaigns containing links, images, and quotes that are specifically tailored to each of your subscribers’ regions across the globe.
Additionally, with segmentation, you can conveniently send out emails based on your recipients’ time zones, which will get you more unique opens and clicks and improve your overall campaign stats. Although the process of spending focused attention on your subscribers can consume a bit more of your time, the end result is well worth it.
Also, pay close attention to email open patterns based on days—for example, sending campaigns on Tuesdays might work best for certain locations, but Wednesdays may be a better day for others.
4. Send out in batches.
Notice that your mailing list is getting too long? Start batching your email campaigns before you send them. For example, if you have a list with 6,000 subscribers, instead of sending them all an email campaign, you could segregate the list into three batches with 2,000 subscribers each. Once you’ve sent your campaign to the first batch, analyze the number of opens and clicks received. Also, take a note of the feedback you get from your customers, as well as the existing flaws in your campaign (such as having insufficient information on a landing page, etc.). By doing this, you’ll be able to revise and refine your campaign for the other batches.
If you have included any links in the campaign, make sure you track each one to see how many subscribers have actually clicked and visited the page.
5. Get direct with your content.
Your campaign content should not only be engaging, but also crisp and straight to the point. Don’t bore your subscribers with long emails that drag on. A succinct, visually appealing email is sure to win you more opens and clicks than an email that’s too wordy. Keep your ideas simple, and pinpoint all the pivotal deliverables. Encourage your recipients to take actions, such as downloading an e-book, signing up for a trial, etc. in each of your campaigns, and keep them hooked.
Once you master these tips, you’ll create your best-performing campaign in the least amount of time. We’d love to hear about your successful campaign experience, so make sure to share it with us.