Article

Suzanne Stock
Suzanne Stock 19 December 2013

The 12 Email Tips of Christmas

A dozen practical tips to maximise your campaigns' chances of success in 2014

As 2013 winds down and we all head home for Christmas, it’s evident that email marketing has continued to go from strength to strength over the past year.

 

 

According to the DMA’s National Client Email Report 2013:

 

For every £1 spent on email, an average of £21.48 was generated.

89% of those surveyed stated that email was ’important’ or ’very important’ to their business. 

 

But how can you boost your email marketing further in the New Year?

 

Here is list of 12 questions and answers to help take your email marketing strategy to the next level in 2014. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a very successful New Year

 

When is the best time to send out a marketing email?

 

NOT . . .

 

Around 9am, prospects will be up to their necks in work.

Lunch break – do you really want to read a B2B email over your sandwich?

After 4pm, prospects will be finishing up and travelling home (up to 8pm).

 

YES...

 

between 8am-9am when prospects will be checking their emails on the way in to work.

between 3pm and 4pm, when prospects are starting to wind-down for the day.

 

How often should I email my contacts?

 

There is no exact science because all prospects are different.

 

The most pragmatic approach is to break down your list into potential segments of people such as those who always open your emails when you send them, those who occasionally do and those who don’t.

 

People who open emails quickly or purchase from you are not likely to be irritated by an extra email update or receiving information about a new product. But monitor open rates to ensure that you’re not wearing them down.

 

Ultimately, use common sense. After all, would you want to receive multiple emails about the same offer in the same week? Probably not. So aim for two to three emails a month, or one a week.

 

How can I boost open rates?

 

Actions speak louder than words:

 

Use affirmative words such as ’Alert’ or ’Breaking’ in your subject line.

Use words that suggest urgency such as ‘Bulletin’. This suggests that the prospect will get information quickly as opposed to a ‘Newsletter’ or ‘Report’ where they may need to wade through paragraphs of marketing copy.

Ensure that you don’t promise the earth in your subject line, i.e. ‘Free Ferrari!’, only to let the prospect down on reading your actual offer which is for, say, a toy sports car...

 

What type of subject line is the most successful?

 

Research shows that subject lines with 50 characters or less have the highest open rates and that localisation (such as including a city name) is more effective than personalisation.

 

What should I avoid using in the subject line?

 

The humble exclamation mark is the biggest kiss of death to successful open rates!!!

 

But shouldn’t I try and seduce the prospect with fancy words?

 

If you mean dressing up an offer, don’t bother. Research shows that a clear, direct call to action is the best policy – as well as being able to demonstrate CTA’s benefits in the actual email itself.

 

What makes great content for an email?

 

Make it clear and concise….

Use a large font for your headline so the reader knows exactly what the email is about.

Make sure your message is clear.

If you have a lot of content, break it down into readable, clearly-labelled sections.

 

Should I be using my email marketing to purely sell, sell, sell?

 

Don’t assume that all your B2B prospects want you to simply sell them something . . .

Providing them with pragmatic, helpful guides to a particular aspect of your business can be a real brand builder.

 

How do I stop from being marked as spam?

 

Content is king – whether it’s the subject line or the email’s contents. But also have the basics in place:

  • Your email lists are legally compliant.
  • You are immediately recognisable to the recipient.
  • The unsubscribe button is clear.
  • The email address you are using can be replied to.

 

 

What should I do about customers who don’t respond to emails?

 

After three months, email asking if they still want to subscribe – this friendly nudge could motivate them to re-engage with you. If they want to unsubscribe, strike them off your list so no more time is wasted on them.

 

Should I worry about mobile devices?

 

YES

79% of smartphone users check their email on their mobile devices.

Ensure your marketing message is optimised for mobile reading – or risk your company looking out-of-touch and sloppy.

 

What’s the best way to create B2B email marketing lists?

 

A) Draw up your own – but this takes time and money that could be used more wisely.

B) Buy a B2B email marketing list from a respected data provider, who can help maximise your opening rates, and monitor and improve your campaign.

 

To learn more about creating successful email marketing campaigns, download our free eGuide: 7 habits of successful digital marketers in 2014

 

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