We talk a lot about email marketing these days—crafting content, designing templates, choosing recipients, and, finally, sending out campaigns. Emails are sent by marketers to individuals who have the hopes of receiving content that interests them. Technology has a huge influence on email marketing, and that’s why marketers now need to be creative, critical, and action-oriented at the same time. With the entry of each tech disruption like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, and Predictive Reporting, email marketing sees new light, becoming more humanized and contextual.

Recently, we chatted with some email geeks and industry experts on Twitter about how smart email marketing is getting. Here are excerpts from our #ZCampaignsChat in our second Expert Diaries episode:

email marketing expert diaries

 

Q1. They say A/B testing also stands for “Always Be testing.” How do you think this method is evolving? #ZCampaignsChat


A/B testing is the most-sought-after tool for any email marketer. Subject lines, sender addresses, or content—experiments can be run for any attribute. But “smart” testing is when you not only know what you’re testing, but why and how to perform that test. Look what some of our experts say:

 

Takeaway: A test without a plan is a lost route. First understand what attributes you’re testing and then reflect on why you to test them, which ultimately gives you answers for what metrics can optimize your emails. Some recent trends in Machine Learning are changing the way testing and experimentation is carried out, so leverage the power of these mechanisms as well. Don’t forget to test when you see what it yields!

 

Q2. Email cadence has been receiving a lot of press lately. What’s your ideal email-sending pattern for starters? #ZCampaignsChat

Every brand wants to send out emails, but do their recipients really look forward to receiving them? The answer is…it depends! While you think you craft the best email campaigns, somewhere at the other end of the globe, your recipient might see you as a potential spammer and try unsubscribing from your brand. So how do you avoid sending too many emails while also not underperforming? Watch out what our experts discuss:

 

Takeaway: There is no one rule for brands. Every brand needs to find its own email cadence, which might sometimes call for common sense and relevance over rules. Marketers can use the data they collect to determine what works for them, but, again, too much data can bog them down too, making them indecisive. This is where a balance between intuition and data comes in, so get realistic and aware about your engagement pattern with recipients—what conversations they like, how much content they can process, and how they reacted to your previous emails.

 

Q3.What are some challenges you’ve faced in getting emails delivered, and how have you overcome them? #ZCampaignsChat

Getting your emails delivered to recipients’ inboxes can be the biggest challenge of all, considering the spam filters and umpteen domain reputation protocols. Beyond all this, brands still successfully manage to engage their contacts by sending emails that directly reach recipients’ mailboxes. Let’s hear from our experts as to how they handled unforeseen challenges while delivering their email campaigns:

(Some serious discussions can’t be restrained in 280 characters, you see! ;))

Takeaway: Don’t be embarrassed if your sender reputation is getting bad. Well, it does serve as an alert signal, but this is when you need to spend the time and analyze your domain reports and performance.

Don’t run away from problems; rather, take some simple yet effective measures like cleaning your mailing lists, adopting some list monitoring techniques, obtaining consent from people before sending emails, and studying your previous campaign metrics.

Q4. How are machine learning and AI shaping today’s email marketing strategy? #ZCampaignsChat

As stated earlier, machine learning and AI are transforming the way emails are created and delivered. While there are numerous advantages to these tools, the real question is whether marketers are really adept at handling them. Let’s look at what the experts think:

Takeaway: It’s undeniably true that machine learning and AI are changing the way email marketing is done, but one shouldn’t forget that as long as we don’t know what to achieve with them, they’re merely magic tools with no use. The future of marketing is highly shaped by the accurate decisions, strategies, and metrics that machine learning and AI put forward, so it’s time for email marketers to understand how best to leverage the power of these technological advancements.

 

Q5. Automated emails with humanized content is the new norm in email marketing. Your thoughts? #ZCampaignsChat

Automation is always welcomed by email marketers, and, true to its nature, it does save a lot of time. But sending emails in bulk needn’t mean the message should also be written for the “mass” audience. Automation certainly ensures the emails are delivered on point to the right people, however, designing tailored emails is still in a marketer’s hands. Here’s what our experts say about designing personalized emails:

Takeaway: Emails need to be contextual and conversational. You can automate and mechanize the process of email creation, but in the end, they’re delivered to humans who would prefer to read content that relates to them. If you fail to bring in a human-to-human feel, the whole idea of delivering emails would fail. It’s time to send humanized emails, dear marketers!

 

Q6. Unsubscribes aren’t always harmful to your brand. What do you think? #ZCampaignsChat

Marketers are frequently frustrated with the opt-outs that increase with every email they send. But rarely do marketers take the time to understand what made people quit receiving the email in the first place. And only a chunk of them feel positive about the whole “unsubscribe” show. Want to know why?

Takeaway: Unsubscribes aren’t always harmful. Sometimes it gives you a way to clean your mailing lists and keep only the contacts relevant to your brand. Unsubscribes also help you reflect on your campaigns’ performances and take actions that will improve engagement.

 

Q7. Which performance metric best determines an email’s success for you? #ZCampaignsChat

Creating and sending email campaigns has got a step beyond—reviewing. An email’s success is determined by many different criteria that differ across brands and their intent to engage. That said, here’s our experts’ outlook on which performance metric could be looked at:

Takeaway: Plan well before you send out your campaigns—this will help you decide which metrics are essential for your brand so that you can effectively track them. Moreover, studying performance metrics is important to revising your email marketing strategy, so looking at a campaign’s opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints helps you get a complete picture.

 

We hope this episode of #ZCampaignsChat helps you understand the importance and power of email marketing in the digital age. Got some interesting perspectives to share? Drop in your comments and let’s discuss email marketing!

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