Five Ways To Boost Email Engagement For Multi-Location Brands
Before you hit the send button, think about whether these five email marketing tips could improve your engagement levels.
There’s nothing more frustrating than being bombarded with marketing emails that just aren’t relevant to you, especially if you subscribed hoping for targeted, timely offers.
For bricks-and-mortar retailers, smart use of data and a bit of email testing can be a great boost to your engagement levels without draining your budget. From personalisation techniques to clever segmentation, here are five things your brand can do with data to help your email campaigns encourage more engagement.
1. Segment your data by location or outlet
For multi-unit brands or services with bricks-and-mortar outlets to promote, segmenting by location or outlet is crucial for two reasons.
Firstly, customers often establish a relationship with their local store or restaurant, for instance, and are more likely to engage with emails that ostensibly come from that outlet (or even better, the manager – people connect with people).
Secondly, as our own email testing has proved, customers are also more likely to act on announcements or offers local to them.
2. Personalise according to demographics
On behalf of many of our clients, we use customer insights gleaned from email preferences data and periodic surveys, to discern both a demographic and behavioural group for each recipient – which is information that we can put to good use.
For example, a value-focused parent looking for the best deal to eat out will have different priorities to an elderly couple who regularly eat at a particular venue already – so we can adjust the subject lines of emails accordingly. We can also use conditional text within the body of the email, using dynamic content that shows different versions according to the pre-determined data filters.
3. Split test your subject lines
Your subject line can make or break your email campaign, so before hitting send to your entire database it’s a good idea to split test your subject lines to see which one provokes the highest open rate.
Try sending the same email with two different subject lines to a small, random sample of your database. Wait about 24 hours, then check the stats and apply the winning subject line to remainder of the dispatch. As well as helping improve open rates for the campaign in question, regular split testing will help you hone your approach for future campaigns by giving you a clearer idea of the sorts of subject lines your subscribers react to.
Split testing is also a good way to test how the inclusion of special characters, emoji or specific keywords might affect your open rates.
4. Schedule your sends for when response rates are highest
If you want to find out which day and time generates the best response from your target audience, an email dispatch can be split into groups, each sent in a different slot. For instance, you could try a five-day dispatch, with the email being delivered to 20% splits of the database at the same time from Monday to Friday. Or you could test both day and time, splitting the dispatch into 10 slots with two time options.
After the analysis, we’d advise selecting the top two performing slots for a face-off test during the next campaign. Then you can see which one gets the highest open rate and use it to inform your future scheduling.
5. Adjust your email template to increase click-throughs
Is it better to send an email with a single message, or do your subscribers react better to a multi-message newsletter format with one main topic plus a few secondary themes?
It might well depend on the message you’re sending out, but you can find out by sending a different version of your template to 50% of your database. Examine users’ click-through activity (or lack thereof) to see which areas of a template are most appealing – whether it’s images, call-to-action buttons or contextual links – and how many people take notice of the smaller messages.
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