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Email Marketing; Still Effective

By Brian Bennett, Monday, 14th January 2013 | 0 comments
Filed under: SEO, General News.

Email Marketing: Still Effective.

In Ireland Email Marketing is still the one of the most effective forms of marketing, fact.

At a recent course we attended on email marketing the speaker told us that 1 in 3 people read newsletters or marketing emails. This might not sound like a lot but that is 33%, that is a lot of people. Now I know that an open rate of 33% is on a very good day, but a good campaign will get an open rate between 20% - 25%; Again not a bad number.

Why do I say these are not bad numbers? Simple, the who are opening your emails are people who want to read what you are sending them. They are your audience and they find value in what you are sending. You're speaking to a group of people who want to be spoken to, rather than shouting at a group of people who don't want to listen.

So why are more people not reading your emails?

  • They might not have time - We all have busy days and don't get round to reading all our emails, especially ones that are not important. Newsletters are generally not deemed important in these situations.

  • They didn't like a previous version of your newsletter - You can't appeal to everyone all the time, but try to have something for everyone. At the end of the day it's the person reading the mail that will determine how successful you campaign has been and will be in the future.
  • Not engaging - I don't just mean content, I mean there was nothing to click on so they could get more information. 
  • They are out of the office - Imagine coming back to a plethora of emails, the last one you are going to read is a newsletter. They will prioritise and you have to hope that your email lands in the important pile.
  • The subject line doesn't resonate - Think about what you are saying in the subject line. Would you open the mail? Make sure to have something that lets people know what your email is about, but also makes them want to open it!
  • They were added to a list without being asked. Make sure that you only contact people that have contacted you and given you their email address.

How to try and improve your open rate

  • Get the subject line correct - Use A/B testing to trial two different subject lines and go with the one that has a better open rate. Always think about "what will make someone open this email". 
  • Make sure that the subject line is informative and gives the reader a glimpse of what to expect inside the email - Don't try and fool them, you'll ruin your own reputation otherwise.
  • Don't be afraid to use content that you have used in the past in your newsletters - If only 1 in 3 people are reading a newsletter you can be sure they missed some of your previous content. - I'm not saying to put in the same thing over and over, but it's OK now and again to highlight something a 2nd time.
  • Write the content of your newsletter snippets, don't just copy in bits of the article - Make these pieces of text short, snappy and try and engross the reader so they want to read more.
  • Make sure it looks professional - There is nothing worse than a newsletter that is just one image that doesn't load, has no text, no images, no links or share buttons. If you need to get it professionally designed do so.
  • Write a heading, give you pictures name and always write some main text - Make sure you facilitate people who have their pictures turned off! Give each article a heading, name your pictures so the people with their images turned off will see what they are and also make sure your main text reflects the heading and picture.
  • Time of the day your mail is sent? - This can be a real finger in the air job. Over time you'll find that by testing times and days that you send the email it will affect your open. Some people say Tuesday at 12pm is the best time to send a mail, others say between 11.30pm and 1.15pm on a Friday. What is right for you may not be right for someone else.
  • Have an unsubscribe button - It's illegal not to and people need the choice to opt out if they want to.

Direct email campaigns.

We've found that when we target people individually with certain email campaigns it really pays off; this can be something as simple as a mail merge from Excel to Word. These type of emails really help us engage with our clients, we get direct feedback and responses and they are more likely to be read vs. a newsletter. But we feel that using both can be give you the best of both Worlds. With Email Marketing being a successful tool it is wise to spend time getting it right.

If you're looking for help with your newsletter or adding a newsletter function to your Webtrade website please just give us a call or an email. Or if you would like to discuss your whole website package please just drop us a line as we would love to talk to you about it.