Tips and Tricks for Successful Email Marketing
At its base level,
Email marketing is:
1. Delivering professional communications. Making sure that we are getting great looking branded emails. Containing no grammatical and spelling errors into the inbox.
2. To an interested audience – This is very important. Someone can easily report our emails as SPAM. Or they can delete them. We need to make sure that the individuals we are adding to our email lists expect to receive a communication from us. Setting this expectation is vital.
3. Containing information the recipient finds valuable – Just because you have permission to communicate to someone doesn’t mean you will be successful with email marketing. You also need to be sending the right information to the right people on our email lists. Knowing what your audience needs or wants can be tough. Ask yourself, is it promotional in nature? Is it informational? Is it a combination? If you are unsure, you may want to ask your customers. Send them a survey them. Ask them on social media. Or when you or your staff have interactions with them in person. Many times this will lead you to understand the need to segment your list. Sending different messages to different audiences, more about that later in the presentation.
4. That looks great in any inbox – So much email is being read on mobile devices. Including: Cell phones and tablets. You need to create an email that will look good on a laptop, desktop, and a mobile device.
Email is amazingly cost effective, and can help drive revenue directly from your communication if you choose to promote, push someone into the trusting stage with your expertise, or solicit a donation!
If you do a good job building your list (much more on this later today) you will have quite a few prospects on your list who need to be nurtured until they trust you enough to spend money. Email is an amazing way to continue to touch those prospects over the course of time until they are ready to buy. One of the reasons your list is so valuable is that you can’t predict when someone will be ready to take that step with you, and if you deliver valuable information over the course of time, more prospects will trust you, and email is the most cost effective way to communicate with your potential buyers over time.
Email is a great way to bring people back to you that have already purchased your product, service, or donated to your cause. Remember, you have invested money to acquire these customers and they have already had a positive experience with you (Hopefully;)). It is much easier to ask for revenue again with this audience, than bringing brand new prospects along.
You need to harness the power of the inbox.
Are you ready?
- Why email marketing?
- Harnessing the power of the inbox
- Growing a healthy list
- Creating great content
- Designing a beautiful, mobile-friendly template that matches your brand
- Getting your email opened
- Tracking your results
- Putting it all together
What’s the #1 app on smartphones?
Email! More people own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush, which means huge opportunities for success through email.
Email marketing is hard to beat.
91% of people check their email daily
88% regularly check email on their smartphones (more than social media or videos)
Do you check your email first thing when you wake, or last thing before you go to bed? Many of us can relate to this on a daily basis, and so can your audience. Email works because it brings you to where your customers are.
Email is reliable.
It’s where everyone is these days for everything from updates from you bank or service providers, to messages from mom or the kids and of course promotional messages from businesses you subscribe to and frequent.
It’s clear that email is everywhere. But what does this mean for your business?
Because it works everywhere!
Email marketing has 3x the conversion rate as social media, so the time you spend to create and send an email will reap higher rewards. For every $1 spent on email marketing, there is a $44.25 average ROI, which means the money you spend on your email marketing budget will come back to you multiple times over.
First impressions matter.
When someone opens your email, they’ll give it a 2 second glance, then either read on or delete. What they see is going to determine what they do next. Maybe you want them to visit your website, register for an event, donate to your nonprofit, or try a new product. This is where a professional-looking email designed to drive action is crucial.
Let’s compare a couple emails based on first impressions.
Notice the difference between a regular email from your own Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo account (on the left), and one sent through an email service provider like Constant Contact (on the right). Which one do you think is better?
The email on the right clearly looks more professional, which will ultimately get you closer to achieving and surpassing your goals.
Let’s talk about why the email on the left is NOT doing your marketing any justice, and why the email on the right is worth its return on investment.
Why regular email doesn’t work.
- Limited sending
- No formatting control
- Susceptible to filters
- No cohesive branding
- Potential SPAM complaints
- No tracking or reporting
By using an email service provider, like Constant Contact, your bases will be covered. Many best practices are already built into your emails.
Here’s a list of things you won’t have to worry about because Constant Contact already does it for you.
- Provide beautiful templates
Customizable, mobile-responsive, easy-to-use
- Reinforce brand identity
Features built to match your logo and colors, plus integrate your social media profiles and drive website traffic
- Manage subscriptions
adding new subscribers, removing unsubscribes
- Ensure email delivery
- Track results
- Obey the law
- Unsubscribe option
Creating A Healthy List
Growing your list is all about how and where you ask.
And yes, you have to.
Permission is a critical part of the email marketing process, and there is legislation in place in the US and Canada that governs how we can email customers and prospects.
- Get express consent
Ask for permission in all touch points of your sales process this could be a checkbox when someone is buying from your website, or you simply asking a question in a face to face interaction.
- Be straightforward
When you ask for permission take advantage of the opportunity to set a couple of expectations. You can tell them how often you will be in their inbox, and also the type of content they should expect. If you do this well and follow through, you will have more success.
- Offer opt-out
Make sure you have an option to let your contacts unsubscribe in every email that you send. When you use a service like Constant Contact, not only will we include that option for you, but we’ll also automatically manage those who opt out so you don’t have to!
- Respect privacy
- Follow compliance guidelines (CAN-SPAM, CASL etc.)
Clear & obvious permission on your sign up form
Clearly identify the person, business or organization – brand recognition is crucial. Constant Contact offers free sign up tools that are fully customizable to add your name, logo and even your colors.
Inform them that they can unsubscribe any time
Have a process to record express consent
It’s clear WHY you need to collect email addresses in a responsible way, but HOW do you find them?
One of the best ways to get someone to subscribe is a dedicated area or page on your website explaining why someone would want to subscribe to your list. Tell them why they’d get in their inbox and how it will benefit them.
There are lots of ways to gather contacts.
- Collect email addresses at events – Events are a great way to gather email addresses. Before the event when people register, make sure you provide a checkbox for them to select if they’d like to receive email communications from you. At the event, exchanging business cards is a great idea. If you have a booth, Constant Contact offers free printable sign up forms to allow visitors to subscribe. You can also give away business cards and swag in exchange for email addresses.
- Add a QR scannable sign-up code to printed materials – if you are a restaurant or café, a salon, a doctor, a financial advisor, or if you just have a waiting room at your business, this is a great place to gather contacts. People are sitting there looking over the menu or reading coffee table flyers. Constant Contact provides a way to subscribe right from their mobile device. Print the code on your business card, your brochures, shipping boxes and receipts, ads in the paper or in local magazines, on posters. Anyone who scans your code will be automatically added to your list. So easy!
- Use your sidewalk sign to offer an easy incentive to subscribe inside – If your business has a sidewalk sign, incentivize someone to come in for a special something in exchange for an email address. You’ll be surprised how many people want to get a special something and how many, after seeing your business will want more goodies like that from you in their inbox. If you’re in the US, add your Text to Join keyword and unique phone number to printed materials too.
- Place to sign up on the bill, office form, or application – When someone receives their receipt, include a section where they can write their name and email address, and check a box to receive your emails. Make sure you staff knows to check for this and to record that information at the end of the day.
- Use a fishbowl on the counter to collect business cards – tried a true, this technique still works! Offer a monthly drawing for a free meal, haircut, or Gift Card. Put this where people can see it, and make sure it looks as full as possible – this helps to encourage people to ‘go with the crowd’ and add their business card to the bowl. With this, make sure you are organized and uploading those contacts regularly.
But really, with all the free tools Constant Contact provides, there’s no excuse not to ask.
Now if you’re in the US and using Constant Contact, definitely set up a text to join option and put it wherever people are likely to see posters or print materials from your business. Memorize it also – it’s one of the easiest ways – hands down – to get someone to subscribe to your list and takes the least amount of energy to do so.
Set up a unique email list called Text-to-Join to collect these contacts and assign an automation Welcome series to this list so that when people take the time to subscribe to your mailing list this way, they can become familiar with your business right away or receive their incentive to join that you offered immediately and use it at your business.
QR codes are another free and effective way of growing your list. By signing up for Constant Contact, everyone in this room automatically gets their own unique QR code. When you print or advertise this code, anyone who scans it with their smartphone, will be able to instantly subscribe to your emails.
These new subscribers will receive an automatic email welcoming them to your list. You can customize that message to share valuable content and set expectations about the kinds of emails they will receive, and how often. Best of all, if you make any changes to your sign up form, it will automatically update so you don’t have to reprint any of your materials.
Give them a reason to join
- Ongoing education related to your product
- VIP preference
- Insider news or exclusive access
- E-book, whitepaper, guide
- Updates on your mission
- Friends & Family discounts
These are few examples of the types of incentives that you could offer to get someone to subscribe to your mailing list. Make sure that they are feasible for your organization to offer and manage and track and that you have the bandwidth to honor these incentives.
Creating Great Content!
- Focus on being relevant—Make sure that you know what your audience values, I have seen business owners assume that they know what their audience wants, and be completely off base. Do the research by asking or surveying your customers and prospects what type of information they would like to receive in their inbox.
- Figure out how much is enough—How much content is enough? Keep in mind that a majority of people will be
- One of the easiest ways to create content is to listen to your customers’ and prospects’ questions that they frequently ask. Many times they are similar, and it’s important to remember that YOU are the expert in your business or industry, and your customers typically are not. These questions can be amazing sources of content. Try doing a “FAQ mailbag” section to your newsletter when you need content.
- Don’t forget that images can be content too…pictures of events/product/staff work very well. Make sure that you optimize for mobile, and that images don’t dominate your content.
Ultimately, when you think about each of these guidelines, consider how your reader would answer. The message YOU want to convey might not be the message your READERS are most willing to respond to.
It’s essential to write content for your audience, not for yourself.
- 38 percent of email recipients will unsubscribe if they think the content in your email is boring or irrelevant – and when a person unsubscribes, you won’t be able to communicate with them again.
- 32 percent will send irrelevant content to their spam folder, which could impact how email providers, like Gmail or Yahoo, sort your future messages.
When writing for your audience, make your messages relevant, short and focused. You can make it relevant to your audience by thinking about the conversations you’ve had with your clients, customers and members. After an interaction, jot some ideas down for your next email, and pick 1 or 2 ideas to highlight in each email.
Your email shouldn’t be telling recipients every single thing that you do, and it shouldn’t include extraneous information.
But what’s “too much” information?
Think about it, How often do you look forward to reading a long, detailed email from a business? Not very often, right? You’re looking for something concise and easy to read – what’s the news, what are the details of the deal or sale, is there any action I want or need to take? – and that’s what you should think about when you create your own emails.
When it comes to email content, less is more. Always.
There is no rule that says your newsletter needs to have three articles, three pictures and three links. One thing is plenty. There is actually a Constant Contact customer whose newsletter is called One Thing – he did it to make it easy on himself and it works really well – people can absorb it and he’s not under the gun to come up with a bunch of content to fill it.
We did a study of our customers and found that the best practice is to limit yourself to 20 lines of text and (click) three or fewer images. Just like you, your audience is busy. You don’t need to worry about sending a ton of information every time.
Source: Constant Contact study: http://news.constantcontact.com/research/constant-contact-data-reveals-direct-correlation-between-email-campaign-effectiveness-and-n
Remember, more than ½ of emails are read on a mobile device.
Our research also shows that 1 link gets the best click-through rate. You want your audience to take an action, so use a link to make that clear. Two links are OK, but once you get to three links, the click-through rate starts to decline. Any higher than 5 links means that people are LESS likely to click ANYWHERE in your email. So try to stick with only one or two clicks, and keep them high in your message so people do not have to scroll down to take an action.
And for your mobile readers – make sure that you’re keeping your messages short, and your calls to action above the fold (meaning, readers don’t have to scroll down to get to your most important content).
Source: Constant Contact study: http://news.constantcontact.com/research/constant-contact-data-reveals-direct-correlation-between-email-campaign-effectiveness-and-n
Let’s talk about turning your interactions with your customers, clients, members, supporters and volunteers into content for your email.
Think for a second about the last interaction you had with someone at your organization. What questions did a customer or client have? What information are people requesting about your nonprofit? Can you turn an answer to their questions into an email?
Here are some great examples.
One easy way to practice this in real life is to create two columns – in a spreadsheet or document, or just on a piece of paper, with the questions you regularly get on the left. In the right column, write down a way you can turn the answers to those questions into an email full of fresh, relevant content.
As a matter of fact – and this might be a relief for those suffering from writer’s block – great content doesn’t have to be written at all!
Visual content, like photos, videos, graphics and word-images, makes a huge impact in an email inbox. Did you know that 90% of information processed by the brain is visual content and more than half of consumers believe that images are very important factor when buying? Visuals are important to your business because they influence customers’ purchasing decisions. 67% of consumers believe that images are a very important factor when selecting and purchasing a product.
You can use photos to show off your products or shots from a recent event, and you can link to videos to show your organization in action or a product demonstration. Word images – a brief phrase, statistic, or quote over a background image – are a great way to share information in an eye-catching way.
And creating visual content is easier than ever these days – almost anyone with a smartphone has the ability to shoot high-quality photos and videos. You don’t need too much time or a huge marketing budget to create compelling images anymore – you’ve got the technology right there in your pocket.
90% stat: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/visual-social-media-marketing/488380?red=at
67% stat: http://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/its-all-about-the-images-infographic/
Photos are a frequent and necessary piece for visual content. Sometimes, you may find you need a photo that you do not have or cannot create on your own. There are a variety of online stock photo sites where you can search for just the right photo that fits your needs. They are a great resource and can work well for visual content that’s based around a theme, a tip, a fact or a quote.
When you download a photo, be sure it is the right size or slightly larger! You can always crop it or scale it down, but will lose image quality if you try to enlarge a small image too much.
It might be tempting, but it’s never a good idea to use just any image you may find through a search, including sample stock photos with a watermark on them.
There can be copyright issues associated with those images; they belong to someone else. When using stock photos, you purchase the rights to use the photo, or in some cases accept a free download and agree to certain credit/conditions. Fees can vary, so shop around for what feels right for you and fits your budget. Here are some services that you can use to get free stock photos!
Constant Contact customers have access to over 12 million images through BigStock. But even if you aren’t a customer, BigStock offers a free trial for new users.
Working with photos
- Choose the right size
- Avoid copyright issues
- Use your own photos
- Find stock images
You’ve heard that a picture is worth 1,000 words. In your email, you can communicate through images as well as text. Turn your images into clickable links, so that when your readers click on your images, they will be directed to the action you want them to take – just make sure you also include a text link to the same location, because about 67% percent of email readers will not see images by default.
Email tools like Constant Contact make it easy to assign a URL to your images, and also to add “alt text” so that a description of the image appears, even if the reader doesn’t see the picture.
Side note – try to avoid giving too many choices in your campaign. These are supposed to be quick decisions to act (clicking to shop in your online store or selecting an item and clicking to buy) Too many choices will reduce the number of decisions / actions a person can take. It’s a time limit thing. Think of your campaign as window shopping. You want to entice someone to come in right then and buy because of whatever got their attention.
Designing a beautiful, mobile-friendly template that matches your brand
Stats say 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device (source 1: Litmus “Email Analytics” March 2016), which means your emails not only have to be interesting and actionable, but they also have to look great on every device. Luckily, services like Constant Contact have hundreds of templates already designed to be optimized no matter where your audience reads your email. That’s one less thing for you to worry about when creating your email.
Remember, being recognizable is critical to success in email marketing. Make sure your emails look like your website/printed material from a logo and color perspective. Things like color can increase brand recognition up to 80%! (source 2: BOP Design blog Oct 2015) Within seconds, you can apply the exact colors of your website or logo to the color of your template.
Source 1: http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics
Source 2: https://www.bopdesign.com/bop-blog/2015/10/15-crazy-branding-stats/
In your email, make sure you’re consistently using your logo and the colors that you use in the rest of your marketing, so that you’re immediately recognizable. And make sure you use consistent language across all of your marketing so that people will not be confused.
For example, the nonprofit Strong Women Strong Girls does a great job of being consistent with their logo and images across their email, website and Facebook page. (see below)
Don’t be afraid to use the same content and images across your email, website and social media posts. The more your organization meets your audience where they are, the more likely your audience is to keep you in mind. Constant Contact templates are fully customization, allowing you to create this same consistency for YOUR organization.
When you sign up with Constant Contact, not only will you gain a level of customization as you just saw, you’ll also gain immediate access to beautiful professional-looking templates designed to address your specific goal(s) and save you time. Different templates are designed to achieve your different needs to help you be successful.
- Newsletters—Typically showcasing your expertise. Remember you are giving away good information for attention. Remember to use the teaser paragraph strategy…If you have a whole article of content, tease the first few sentences and create a “read more…” link to the rest of the content on a website. You can even link to a PDF article! This will help you keep the newsletter short and allows you to track your audience’s interests.
- Announcements—These are a great way to showcase special updates and opportunities. Could be your business winning an award, or a special event or sale. Or maybe you want to generate interest in your newest product or give your audience a chance to provide feedback. Clickable buttons are a perfect way to draw your readers eye to an important/actionable part of your email.
- Promotions—Make sure that you don’t give too many choices. Remember you want someone to see the benefit of your email and take a quick action. You’ll find pre-made coupons that you can customize for your promotion. You can even encourage your audience to spread the word for you by including your social media profiles.
The greatest benefit to all of these templates is the ability to see how well you achieved each of your goals.
Is your audience engaging in your newsletter articles? Did your audience want to read more about your newest service? How many people took advantage of your special coupon? Then you can adjust future emails to cater to what your audience likes. We’ll talk more about reporting features shortly.
This is based on Constant Contact’s analysis of over 2M Constant Contact customer emails –
THIS is the recipe for the most effective email campaign.
- Single column template
- Fewer than 3 images
- Fewer than 20 lines of text
- No more than 3-5 links
- Action above the scroll line
This is just one example of how Constant Contact supports you in being successful, by providing research and knowledge to help you make the most of your email marketing efforts.
(NOTE: EMAIL me to see if there are any current discount offers with Constant Contact)
Getting your email opened
So how do you win the battle of priorities and get more people to stop and open your email? Think about how you sort your email – or if you’re on facebook, think about the news-feed. Typically when you open up your email – think about it this morning – you start at the top of the list and you go down, sorting by who it’s from.
WHO the email came from turns out to be the most important part of winning the battle of priorities. You do it based on WHO, so it’s important for you to be recognizable.
You do need to exercise care and consider how you’re identifying yourself across the channels you’re using. If you send your emails as “Jane Doe,” but your Facebook page shows up in people’s news-feeds as “Famous Cookies,” people might not make the connection. Just be sure that you’re consistent with the name you use – and ensure that it’s the one that you’ll be recognized by, so that ultimately your readers and followers will stop and open your email, read your posts – because they know they’re going to get something of value and relevance from you.
If you are not sure that people will recognize you because they mostly know the company name, then use a combination of your name, then a comma, and then the company or brand name – so you can piggy back off of the recognition of that brand but knowing you’ll get more people to stop and pay attention to an email from a person.
Another way to look at it – when you get an email from a company, don’t you automatically assume that it is a marketing message so if you are busy or going through your own battle of priorities, that one usually goes into the later or never pile.
One other note, for nonprofits in the room, you are – and sorry to say this – often starting at later. And not because people do not care about your message. That’s not it at all. It is more about the timing of your messages (which we will cover in a little bit)
But if you think about it, if people are at work and their focus is supposed to be on their work, and then they get an email about your cause or program, even if they really care about it, they cannot always pull away from their primary responsibilities at the office.
As a small business, you don’t have time to do things that don’t work, so when it comes to your subject lines, you want to get into the habit of optimizing your subject lines to get the best results possible for your marketing efforts every time. We’re going to show you some easy ways to do that today.
Approximately one third of people decide to open an email based solely on the subject line so that subject line needs to be a “stand out” subject line whether they’re reading on a desktop computer or a smartphone or tablet. There is a lot of competition for our attention these days in our inboxes, but I’m about to teach you some tricks of the trade you can start to use in your next email.
35% of all recipients of email choose whether or not to open a message on the subject line alone. – inwise “The Magic Words: The Importance of the Subject and ‘From’ Lines for Email Marketing” (2012)
Readers will use your subject line as a way to determine whether or not your email is relevant to them. One way to entice readers to open is by clearly explaining what they’ll get/learn when they open. Ask yourself:
Does my subject line clearly explain why someone should open my email immediately?
Once you’re able to articulate why your audience should open your email (by identifying your purpose), then you can put your creative spin to attract your reader’s attention. Let’s talk about some basic best practices for subject lines.
55% of email is opened on mobile devices. For that reason, it’s important to tailor your subject line and pre-header text to be optimized for mobile reading, which means keeping it short.
- 30-40 characters max typically appear on most mobile devices
- 6-10 words is best; 4-7 has greatest response
- Control first 11-18 words of “pre-header” text to entice mobile readers
When thinking of subject lines, think small.
The Inbox will typically only show users the first 9-11 words of the pre-header text or any words above the logo. Take control of that fact and put a few power-packed words into a block above your company logo (which should always be placed at the top with a clickable link to your website.)
Rule of thumb – write your subject lines between 6-10 words and don’t forget about mobile users because (51%) of email is opened on a mobile device and you want not to exclude people who are reading on the go and who may be more apt sometimes to stop by your business or respond to your message. This really matters – keep in mind that iPhones, for instance, cut off a subject line at 32 characters – so you want to keep the important stuff at the beginning!
http://info.movableink.com/Device-Report-Q1-2015 are using mobile phones to read emails as well as CTCT research
Mobile phones will also typically show the first 15 characters of the first text in the message, so take control of that feature we’ve referred to as ‘preheader text’ and write a second headline that will hook your reader into reading the rest of your email right from the get go. Think of it like a compliment to our subject line or the ‘next step or hook.’ This text should appear just above your logo block and we’ll go into that in just a bit but it is important to keep it in mind as you’re crafting your subject line.
When designing your email, be sure to write pre-header text at the top. (Constant Contact has built-in blocks to help remind you). You can highlight relevance, usefulness, value or educational value at the opening of your message to catch their attention. Or, you and switch it up and do something unexpected or non-traditional or unusual.
This is seen on a mobile device right below the subject line, including some desktop viewers. (click) Use pre-header text or ‘the teaser text’ as a hook or a second chance to draw your subscribers into your email after they’ve considered the subject line. Because this space allows for slightly more words, this is where you want to take your subject line a bit further by explaining or elaborating on your subject line.
Customize the message to match the interests of your audience. [PRO TIP] *If you are segmenting (categorizing) your lists (a good marketing practice), use relevant personal interest information that you’ve collected over time and position your subject line to match those interests.
Also, match your message tone to reflect your brand – Is your brand informative? Sassy? Funny? Quirky? A thought leader? Incorporate that element of your brand’s personality into your subject lines in just a few words.
Make sure you’re not doing things we’ve found spammers to do in their emails. These are things that will likely get your emails sent to readers’ spam folders
Don’t use these typical “spammy” words. When you get the slides, the first bullet here contains a chart you can refer to which contains words that spam-filters are trained to block if they catch them in subject lines.
- Don’t use:
- The word free
- Act now
- Don’t use all caps (What does it feel like to read all caps? Yelling)
- Don’t use excessive punctuation or symbols like the pound or dollar sign or percentage symbol
Avoid the following:
- Spam-like terms
- Check your spam folder
- Use spam-check button
- ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
- Excessive punctuation and symbols !!!, ???, $$$
Need a reminder of what practices are in a spam email? Can always compare to what’s in your own junk mail folder. You can also check before you send. By using Constant Contact, you’ll have the ability to send yourself a test of your own email before sending to the masses. You can even send to colleagues, friends, and family to get help proofreading. Yet another way Constant Contact helps you do email marketing in a professional and impactful way.
Encourage your audience to share your promotions by using social media tools.
This is a really effective way you can grow your reach – emails that include those social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by more than 158 percent!
Add social media buttons that link to your business’ social media profiles. The buttons are a nice visual reminder for them to click and follow you online.
Your audience has a lot of influence via word of mouth, and you can get your promotions in front of more people – their friends and family – if they help spread the word for you
SOURCE: Visualistan, Latest Social Media Statistics Infographic http://www.visualistan.com/2015/04/latest-social-media-statistics-infographic.html
Tracking your results
Can you tell the number of people who read your last email? How about the number of people who have stopped opening your messages entirely? Do you think those questions are important when deciding how to proceed with your email marketing?
Instead of shooting in the dark with a new idea and hoping it works, Constant Contact can shed light on your marketing strategy through important email metrics. In a few minutes, you’ll understand:
- What metrics matter when analyzing whether or not you’re achieving your goals
- How to use data to make real marketing decisions
- The importance of focusing on the click throughs as one of the greatest metrics for success
Open Rate —If you’ve used regular email clients in the past, how many of you know the number of people who actually read the message? The biggest benefit here is the ability to see how many people are interested in your organization and what you have to say. Also by having this information, you can make smarter marketing decisions about timing, content and audience of future messages. Notice how Constant Contact provides the date and time your readers opened your email. This gives you very tangible information about when you’ll get the best results in the future.
The industry average for this metric can range anywhere from 8% all the way to 28%. Remember, these are only averages, and they are different for every industry. If your metrics are within this range, you’re on track. But there’s also a great likelihood that your metrics will be higher if you follow the practices we’ve talked about.
Click-throughs are the best measure of success because you can directly tie the goals of your email to someone clicking on the link. The more people who click on your link, the more you have achieved the goal of your message. Plus, it helps you as a marketer to understand what content people are interested in the most so you can send more of it. We’ll talk more about how you can maximize this metric in a few minutes.
The industry average for this metric can range anywhere from 5% all the way to 18%. Remember, these are only averages, and they are different for every industry. If your metrics are within this range, you’re on track. But there’s also a great likelihood that your metrics will be higher if you follow the practices we’ve talked about.
Did not opens – When you have contacts that don’t open your emails, it’s a great idea to spend a little extra time and effort to win them back. Use this information to target these contacts in a creative way. Resending the same exact email to customers who weren’t interested the first time is a good way to get a spam complaint. So make sure that you take this opportunity to change things up. Try improving your subject line or adding some new content. Constant Contact makes this easier than ever by providing features to segment your least engaged contacts and send targeted messages just for them.
The industry average for this metric can range anywhere from 72% all the way to 92%. Remember, these are only averages, and they are different for every industry. If your metrics are within this range, you’re on track. But there’s also a great likelihood that your metrics will be higher if you follow the practices we’ve talked about.
Opt outs – allows readers to unsubscribe and gives them an opportunity to share their reason(s). By reviewing these comments, you can find areas for development in your strategy, like changing the frequency of messages, or setting clearer expectations when someone signs up to your list. Constant Contact makes this metric easy to manage by automatically removing these contacts from future emails so you don’t have to worry about sending unwanted messages.
The industry average for this metric is less than 1% across all industries. If your metrics are below 1%, you’re on track. This metric may fluctuate depending on your mailing strategy, and that’s normal. If you find this metric to be higher than 1% on a regular basis, we recommend reviewing this feedback and adapting your strategy. The most common complaint by opt-outs is too much email, so sending less frequently is a great start.
Bounces – are equally important for their own reasons. First, it identifies email addresses that are not effective. There are a variety of reasons an email address may bounce so it’s important that you review these email addresses and remove the ones that are not helping you achieve your email goals. Overall, this metric protects your sending reputation and keep your deliverability high!
- The industry average for this metric can range anywhere from 2% all the way to 14%. Remember, these are only averages, and they are different for every industry. If your metrics are within this range, you’re on track. But there’s also a great likelihood that your metrics will be higher if you follow the practices we’ve talked about.
What are some factors that might keep someone from opening your email? When you go through your inbox, how do you decide which emails to delete/ignore? (let audience interact, if appropriate)…… Maybe you don’t recognize the sender. Maybe the subject line isn’t relevant to you and it doesn’t look time sensitive, so you think “I’ll come back to it later” (and of course, you never do). Maybe you just received a similar email very recently.
Based on those answers, how can we improve our open rate? (let audience interact, if appropriate)…… (click) Brand recognition plays a large part in your open rate. The majority of people will not open an email from someone they don’t know. So make sure your from name is clearly recognizable and consistent with how your audience refers to your organization. You can also write your subject line in a way that creates urgency for your readers and entices them to see what’s inside. But keep it short; if it’s more than 5 to 8 words, it could get cut off by your recipients’ email services or smartphones. And finally, your timing and frequency could be off. We recommend starting with a monthly email and adapting from there. Too many emails, and your audience will ignore you or unsubscribe. Too few emails, and your audience might not remember signing up. Also consider, are you sending at the times and days that people would be most likely to read your email? Try a different day or time and compare your results.
You’re using these reports to get to know your audience better, so keep track of what’s getting the most attention in your emails. Segment your audience into different lists, and target them with relevant content based on what you know is working!
What are some factors that might keep someone from clicking on a link? When you read your email, what are some reasons you don’t click on anything? (let audience interact, if appropriate)…… Maybe your link was not obvious, or it was hidden between articles or at the bottom of your message. Maybe there were so many links, your audience got overwhelmed and didn’t know where to click. Maybe it simply wasn’t interesting to those particular people.
Based on those answers, how can we improve click through rates? What can we do to bring this number up?
- Review the calls to action in your email. Consider the wording– is it clear? Is it urgent? Is it telling people exactly what action to take and why it matters to them? Look at your email design and consider how much content is in your email. If your email is too long, many people will give up and delete it before taking an action. Our recommendation is to have no more than 3 articles in an email. And keep those articles short! Include a sentence or two and then a link to read more. When you give people too many choices, they’re not sure what they should click on, and might not click on anything.
Let’s start with the high open rate. It’s a great result, and there are things you can do to make it even better:
- The first is to find out what’s the best time and day to send your emails. When you look at your open rate report, you’ll see what date and time each of your readers opened your email. Start comparing that to the day and time you send your email – you should send your messages at the day and time your readers are opening them. They’ll be more likely to check their email then and see your message.
- Next, take a look at your subject line – what keywords do you think were interesting to your audience? Think about the keywords you’ve used in your subject lines, in blog posts, on social media, and in your website that draw your audience’s attention. Keep using them in your subject lines.
- Segment “super fans”. The majority of email opens come from a very small group of readers. Usually, the same group of people will be opening your emails, with slight variations every time. This is an argument for smart segmentation – don’t simple send everything to everyone, but recognize that there is a core set of “superfans” who contribute the lion’s share of your opens. You should consider sending the most valuable emails to them first as an exclusive ‘sneak preview’ – make them feel special.
A high click rate is fantastic. Your audience wants to know more about the resources you’re linking to in your email. Here’s a few things you can do to make your click rate even better.
Format your links so they stand out when your readers open your email. Use buttons or put white space around them. Make sure the links are spaced out for mobile readers – if they’re too close, it’s really easy to click on the wrong link with your finger.
You’re using these reports to get to know your audience better, so keep track of what’s getting the most attention in your emails. Narrow down the links you offer to fit the topics, products and services that they want to read about.
The last thing you can do is take that knowledge of your audience and segment them. Just like you have “super fans” for opens, you have “super clickers”. These are readers who consistently engage with your messages. This is a huge opportunity to put a special offer in front of your “super clickers”, either by sending it to them ahead of the pack, or by selectively sending them something that is just for the most loyal consumers. By capitalizing on the reporting provided by Constant Contact, you have the ability via smart segmentation to do this for your consumers.
Let me know show you how easy it is to segment your super clickers using Constant Contact’s reporting.
Did you notice that with all the campaign reports we talked about earlier that they had one thing in common? That’s click-throughs. No matter what you’re using – email, events, surveys, offers or promotions, donations or social media – you can measure click-throughs.
This goes back to what we talked about earlier– the importance of measuring actions. Click-through rates measure exactly what actions your audience is taking. This metric tells you so much. It gives you an idea of what content people like, what products they’re interested in, what calls to action work, what keywords appeal to your readers, and what multimedia is interesting to them.
Constant Contact will keep track of each link individually so I can get very specific about what’s working for my audience. For example, if I have links to my facebook, twitter, and linked in profiles in my email, I’ll be able to see which social media profile had the highest traffic based on these numbers.
You can even drill deeper to view who clicked on a specific link, which tells you their interested in certain topics. Back to my social media example, if Facebook had the highest number of clicks (in this example, we’ll say 12), I can view who those 12 clickers were so I can better engage with them.
Let’s take it a final step further. If we were to use that contact information to our advantage, we could save “clickers” into their own list based on their interest. Now the next time I want to communicate with those people, I can target based on what I know they like.
So for my example where the majority of clicks went to my Facebook profile, I can now save those 12 clickers into a “Facebook” contact list. And next time I want to send an email, I could send exclusive content from my Facebook page to the people who I know use Facebook based on Constant Contact’s reporting. What impact do you think that will have on my open rates and my click rates in the future?
They’ll go through the roof! This is just one example of the power of Constant Contact for your email marketing success (and not to mention your ability to be more efficient on other platforms like social media. Spend time where your audience is.)
Putting it all together
We’ve made it easy for you. We took the best practices we talked about, as well as some pro tips and created a checklist.
Small business marketing is
Delivering on your promise
Getting measurable results
One of the best things I can tell you is that, as a small business or a nonprofit, you actually have an advantage over “big business” in this new era of marketing – it is specific to your use of email and social media marketing.
Constant Contact provides the tools, features, and support you need to be successful. Together, we can help you be successful!
Everything we talked about in today’s session is intended to help you grow your business. Strategies, tips and ideas that you can leave here and try. Constant Contact is an online marketing system with tools to help you manage mass communication and marketing campaigns easily and without spending a lot of time or money. You can send email newsletters or announcements of any kind, run your own special offers or deals, get feedback or run an online survey and you can promote and manage your own events.
It’s all together in one place and everything also works closely with social media channels like facebook, linked in and twitter and it’s also designed to help you look good on a mobile device. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, Constant Contact has the tools to help you get there.
Start your free trial or if you’re ready to jump in, contact me to see if there are any current offers or discounts. DannaCrawford@gmail.com
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