• Megan McIntyre

Email marketing tips

Updated: Jan 13

With a whopping 306.4 billion emails were sent each day in 2020, it’s no wonder your inbox can feel inundated at times.

A quick scan on the internet shows reams of email facts such as Tuesday and Thursday being the best days for emails, the average marketing email has 435 words and takes 3-4 minutes to read, and triggered emails are opened 8 times more than standard emails. But these need to be taken with a grain of salt: every industry shows their own variations on the standard email statistics and each company’s database and customers will react differently to email marketing.

As the global pandemic continues to alter work habits, the reliance on email shows no signs of fading. So how can a company cut through the noise to make your emails stand out?

Top Tips for effective email marketing

Know what success is for you

Are you using email to drive direct sales during a quiet time in your business? Do you want to encourage people to enter a competition or follow you on social? Think about what is important to your business objectives. Then think again about why it would be interesting to your database. Success in email marketing should not just be an open rate or you are in danger of becoming a company that sends emails for the sake of it, which will reduce long-term engagement and lead to people unsubscribing. Although email can be a low-cost marketing activity, if there’s no clear objective tied to your overall business ambition, you may as well be throwing your money down the toilet.

Segment your data

Segmentation allows you to maximise personalisation opportunities and tailor relevant messages to your group. For example, if you own a restaurant, delve into your customer data. Split your lists to reflect diner preferences – have they visited only once in their lifespan? Are they regulars dining every fortnight? Do they dine with a big group or solo? This intel lets you target messages with greater relevance: if you need to boost early evening covers, engaging with those who have dined early in the past is a good place to start. If you have a new private dining room, target those who have dined with groups.

Research and set benchmarks

Research your sector for benchmarks on key metrics such as open rate, click through rate and referrals. There’s no point looking at metrics from the travel sector if you’re a small wine producer: you need to compare like-for-like.

Think about emails that appeal to you: what made you open them? What drove you to click? If you’re a different demographic to your target audience, speak with people who reflect your audience. Look over your company’s previous email communications and assess the results: you can identify your highest open rate but can you identify why it was successful? Did you personalise the subject line? What day and time was it sent? Every person has different online habits, so the more you research people’s behaviour, the more realistic the benchmarks you set will be.

Test, assess and test again

Whether you’re using free email services like MailChimp or a customised internal platform, any decent email provider will give you the ability to A/B test your communications by subject line, send time, content and other key variables. Use these tools in isolation so you’re getting a clear understanding of how variables impact your results. And when you’ve used them once, test them again to ensure your first results weren’t influenced by other factors.

For example, if a B2B company sent an email to half their database at 2.30pm on Thursday and the other half at 2.30pm on Friday, with Thursday driving three times the opens, don’t assume this will always be the case. Consider outside factors such as was the Friday the start of a public holiday and office staff already switched off? Test your theories a number of times to find the best email style and timing for your database.

Continually evolve

Just as your database is not a stagnant entity, nor should your email strategy be tied into hard and fast rules. As your business changes and your contact list morphs, you will find people react differently to your emails. If you’ve been sticking to the same schedule and email design for 12 to 18 months, try to freshen it up and gauge the impact on your key metrics.

Email marketing can be a highly effective marketing tool. One of the lower cost options in the marketing mix, the return on investment potential is high.

For an impartial review of your email strategy, or help with your database management and email marketing, get in touch.