Are your email campaigns not delivering the return you want?
There’s nothing worse than investing in campaigns that convert only a tiny fraction of subscribers.
Still, many businesses see conversion rates that are far from the email ROI of 59 percent of the best market performers. And it’s not getting any easier this year, as businesses are sending more and more emails to customers.
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The result? You have to find ways to stand out in an inbox full of emails from competitors. It’s going to be pretty hard. But not impossible if you know the best email marketing tips.
The good news? You’ll find them here in this post. Below, find six techniques that industry leaders use to gain an advantage over the competition.
1. Segment your email list
Email list segmentation is a process of dividing subscribers into groups based on common features, behaviors, or characteristics. The point is to understand what content each group should find relevant and useful.
Sound like a great strategy?
Yet, the majority of marketers still don’t segment their subscribers.This is a huge mistake because those who do segmentation see their performance indicators go up. A lot.
Need some specifics? As seen in this SuperOffice chart, segmentation can make a huge difference.
Results from email segmentation, as described by marketers. (SuperOffice)
How do you make that happen for your business, too? You need effective eCommerce customer segmentation to find out how to communicate with your customers.
Try to segment your target audience by:
- Buying history
- Product browsing history
- Interests (based on purchases)
- Order frequency
- Returning customers
- Amount of purchase
- Cart abandonment history.
And the big question – how can you create all these segments?
The answer is: with an email marketing tool that supports email list segmentation.
Moosend and Tidio Mailing are examples of affordable ones, but you can also go for industry leaders like HubSpot. These tools provide all stats – open rates, click-through rates, and much more – so you’ll find out which segmentation works best for your business.
2. Learn which emails your customers want
Do you know why people subscribe to your newsletter?
If you’re not sure what the answer is, then you can’t get in the mindset of your customers. That’s important because that’s how you know which emails they prefer.
Asking your customers directly is the best way to know. You can do it with:
- Email customer surveys
- Feedback chatbots
Ask for feedback with email surveys
First, email surveys and social listening.
Let’s take a look at HubSpot’s experience with this. They asked 400 of their consumers why they subscribed to their newsletter.
The results were pretty interesting.
Most customers wanted to get the best deals on their products and services. Many others were looking for quality content about online business. Some were interested in knowing what’s going on at HubSpot. Here are the full results.
Reasons why customers subscribe to marketing emails. (HubSpot)
HubSpot did a marvelous job of revealing what their subscribers want. No wonder the company has one of the best marketing email newsletters.
So, based on the survey results, most customers want:
- Discounts, coupons
- Quality, useful branded content
- Brand-related news and announcements.
All of this gives an excellent start for creating campaigns, agree? Combined with segmentation and using A/B testing tools for site landing pages, it could be a game-changer for email marketing.
But remember – every customer group will have unique preferences when it comes to newsletter subscription. To find out what your subscribers want, you’re going to have to do the HubSpot-style survey.
So what’s your takeaway with this? Send a quick email survey asking subscribers this very question and base your campaigns on the results.
To make it easier to respond to your survey, write some answer options (feel free to get inspired by HubSpot’s results).
Ask about newsletter preferences with chatbots
Chatbots are versatile feedback collection helpers for online businesses. They’re perfect for the task because you can configure them to ask your customers anything you need.
Here’s how businesses are taking advantage of chatbots to create more relevant email newsletters.
This WordPress chatbot, for example, asks blog visitors if they want to get similar content. Note that the message offers a subscription for content related to email marketing. This means that the visitor was reading an article about that topic.
If the visitor agrees, they click on “Subscribe me” and give their email address. From that point, the visitor is subscribed to newsletters focused on email marketing-related content.
Choose the second option and the chatbot gives other newsletter content recommendations. So, the visitor can subscribe to get content they want, in seconds.
By using a chatbot this way, you define newsletter preferences of specific subscribers right away. This is a must for proper segmentation based on interests and content preferences. Plus, most chatbot platforms have free plans, so no need to spend big bucks.
3. Find the best email frequency for higher engagement
How often should you contact subscribers?
Is there an email frequency that gets higher click-through rates (CTRs)?
The frequency can make or break your campaign. “Too many emails” is the number one reason for unsubscribing from email newsletters, as found by the above-mentioned HubSpot survey of 400 subscribers.
But how many is too many? There’s no universal formula for the best frequency, folks. So, we’ll need to do some experimenting.
Sit down with your email marketing folks and ask them to experiment with a few different email frequencies. The plan is really simple:
- Campaign I: one email per week
- Campaign II: two emails per week
- Campaign III: three emails per week.
Send out campaigns and see which one boosts the open rate, CTR, etc.
You’ll probably find out that different subscriber segments engage better with emails at different frequencies. But it’s your job to figure out the details.
Eventually, stick to the best-performing frequency for each segment. This strategy will make your subscribers happy with email frequency and maximize CTR. At that point, you’ll be one step closer to a market leader-caliber eCommerce customer experience!
Next, let’s see how to make email content more relevant.
4. Experiment with cross-selling and upselling
Upselling is a tactic where you offer a more expensive product to make a larger sale. For example, if a customer considers a product for $10, you also offer them a bestseller for $19.
Here’s this upselling tactic in action.
Below, there’s an email notifying about price change on the products viewed by a customer. Besides these products, it has something else. It’s a section with similar products from the same categories (the customer is likely to find them interesting).
Note that these similar items are top picks (which are priced higher than those in the cart, by the way). By including top picks, the brand motivates the customer to consider checking them out, too.
By pairing the items that a customer viewed with best-sellers in the same category, you can get more sales opportunities.
Cross-selling is a tactic where you sell a related or additional item to increase order value. In emails, that means adding content with related items that customers often buy together.
Here’s an abandoned cart email from Timberland that uses cross-selling. Besides the product that the customer left, it has items that the customer might be interested in.
Your email marketing strategy can bring more revenue with cross-selling and upselling. By using these tactics here and there, you give customers more shopping options and get more sales opportunities. It’s a win-win!
5. Make your subject lines more enticing
The best trick to get emails opened?
Attention-grabbing subject lines!
They’re your best shot to make a customer spot your email in a crowded inbox. To upgrade your email marketing strategy, let’s use these two techniques:
- Generate curiosity
- Introduce scarcity and/or urgency.
Here’s how to create them.
The trick here is to tease the customer by giving a hint of what’s to come.
Here are some examples.
- This is crazy but it’ll work for you
- Have you seen this?
- A little something just for you….
- I’m totally lost…
- Your offer is inside…
- By invitation only…
Introduce urgency and/or scarcity
Scarcity and urgency are common techniques that eCommerce businesses use to get email recipients to act. Both aim for the same goal: appeal to the desire not to miss out on a good offer.
Urgency-driven subject line examples:
- 20% Off Flash Sale – Today Only
- Your 10% Off Coupon Expires Today
- 13-Hour Prices! Feeling Lucky?
- Ends Tonight! Sitewide Savings up to 60%
Subject lines that communicate scarcity:
- Only a Few Items Remain….
- Last Spots to Join the Course Until Next Year
- Say Goodbye to Your Limited-Edition Offer.
Urgency and scarcity work well on their own, but they can give you even better results if you combine them. Here’s this tactic in action:
- Save 20% Now. Only a Few Items Left…
- Ending soon… 10% Off Low-Stock Items
There are many subject line tips to try, but these should give your campaigns a boost.
6. Use email marketing tools
We’ve already mentioned HubSpot, Moosend, and Tidio Mailing in this article. In 2020, you wouldn’t be able to get the results you deserve without having email marketing tools like these. Here are the reasons why:
- Segment your subscribers more effectively (we’ve covered this point at the beginning of this article)
- Automate repetitive processes to speed up your work. These processes include sending, tracking, etc.
- Ensure compliance with relevant email laws. Email marketing tools provide tips and templates for you to follow email marketing laws and regulations.
- Avoid the trash folder. Email marketing providers are required to enforce anti-spam laws. So they have all the tools to achieve maximum email deliverability and avoid spam filters.
But there’s one more important benefit for you.
Email marketing tools are affordable – or have free plans – so they’re a good way to help small businesses compete with bigger players. If you’re a small business doing email campaigns, you should definitely consider using campaign tools for automation.
Email marketing is super competitive. If you are to become a niche leader and keep things that way, you need to upgrade your strategy this year.
The techniques and strategies you’ve just read about are a great starting point. They help with the main challenge of email marketing – creating appealing, informative, and customer-focused campaigns.
Here’s to your email marketing success!
Guest author: Pawel Lawrowski Head of Growth at Tidio. Pawel has 10+ years of experience in marketing and sales in the IT industry and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.