Testing the Waters of Email Marketing

With any advertising approach that involves a mailing strategy, campaign testing is a vital component in getting the best return results with the resources you have available. Direct mailing has been the foundation of companies’ marketing strategies for generations, and still remains a dependable and reliable source of getting your message sent straight to the mailboxes of your customers.  However with the expansion of the ever popular social media methods, DM is often the first thing to be eliminated.  Because of this, it is important to adapt and expand your methods and focus on email marketing and the right type of campaign testing to prove that the physical piece alongside online mailing is still bringing in returns.

Top 10 Things to Test to Boost Email Marketing Results

Email marketers often see their results slipping–fewer opens, a lower click-through rate and a dropping conversion rate–and panic. That’s understandable when the bottom line is at stake, but panicking won’t help you figure out what’s wrong with your email marketing strategy or how you can fix it. The only thing that can help is to test, test, test … and then test some more!

Remember that all 10 things to test below are meant to be tested over time. Don’t try to test too many things at once or too quickly, as you’re results likely won’t be accurate. Here are the main parts of your email marketing to focus on when you decide something needs to change:

Increase Retention, Engagement and Sales with a Special Edition

In my former role as an email marketing manager, I was in charge of publishing a daily email newsletter to more than 200,000 readers. When I started in the job, we were publishing about three times per week, but over the years increased that to mailing nearly every day. Most of our readers were happy to have more content from us, but some felt overwhelmed by the amount of and frequency of the information coming in our email newsletter.

After noticing a drop in retention rates, we decided to create a special weekend edition of the newsletter with a special format and its own opt-in. I authored the issue, writing a topical, timely column each week In addition to the section that I wrote, the newsletter included several special features that only occurred in that issue on the weekend. Over time, readers realized the value of the weekend edition and it eventually became the issue with the highest number of subscribers, highest open rate and highest conversion rate of any that we sent all week.

5 Ways to Keep Your Email Newsletter Content Fresh and Engaging

I recently wrote in this space about five simple steps to improve the look of your email newsletter and today, I want to follow up on that with a post about how to improve the content of your email newsletter in five more simple steps. Implementing these suggestions will keep your email newsletter content fresh and get readers’ attention so they’re more engaged for longer.

1)  Inject personality.
No matter how serious your business is, there’s always room to make things personal. People respond to people (which is why photos are so effective, as I discussed in my last post). So don’t be afraid to let people get to know you. Provide real-world  anecdotes that relate to your larger point, discuss a problem you had and the solution you came up with, even talk about your family if it’s relevant. You’ll be far more memorable and better able to connect with readers if they think there’s a real person on the other end of your email.

Improve the Look of Your Email Newsletter in 5 Simple Steps

It’s easy to let your email marketing newsletter get stale. You find a formula that works and send a variation of the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month. But then you start to notice open rates falling, unsubscribe rates rising and higher than normal volume of spam complaints.

If you experience any one of those issues, it’s time to take a look at what you’re doing and make a plan for how to get back on track. One of the best ways to stay fresh is to improve the look of your email marketing newsletter. Here are five easy ways to do just that!

1. Test a new format. Many companies with email newsletters are still sending them in a plain text format because they believe that’s what their subscribers are used to and that they won’t want anything new. This may have been true five years ago, but with the proliferation of HTML emails from companies of all sizes, people are much more used to seeing this format in their inbox. About two years ago, a former client of mine tested a new HTML template versus the plain text format it had been using and discovered that 95% of readers liked the HTML better. And those other 5% were still able to receive plain text because most email service providers allow you to set up both formats when you schedule mailings.

10 Tips for Split Testing Email Campaigns

Marketers know there is no magic formula for an ideal email marketing campaign. The secret to an effective email campaign, whether it’s to get more web traffic, grow sales, or increase donations, is through testing and optimizing emails. If used correctly, email marketing offers a great opportunity for brands to increase subscriber satisfaction and retention, and drive results.

An effective email campaign is targeted and tested. Targeted, to ensure the message is relevant for the recipient. Tested, to ensure the message is as effective as it can be within the constraints of the campaign. With so many different variables you can test, here are the top 10 tips for split testing email campaigns:

The New York Times Email Mistake: Can It Happen To You?

By now you probably know about the New York Times’ little email error on Wednesday, December 27. But if you don’t, here’s the nutshell: The Times sent a ‘Cancellation’ email to 8.6 million people, presumably every single one of their online email subscribers. The email was meant only for those who actually subscribe to the paper’s home delivery service.

First the Times claimed it was spam, then blamed their email service provider Epsilon, and finally fessed up; The Times did it themselves.

7 Email Marketing Trends You Cannot Ignore

7 Email Marketing Trends You Cannot IgnoreAre your campaigns reaching the intended audiences?

To maximize the power of email — as well as emerging channels such as social and mobile — you have to think about how these channels fit into your overall marketing strategy and objectives. What channels are best suited to build your brand, help deepen customer relationships, or reach your target market?

Email marketing is an essential part of any successful marketing mix. Large enterprises, as well as small-to-medium sized businesses, use email marketing to engage their target audience by providing compelling and relevant content. The latest email marketing technology allows you to deepen customer relationships, turn leads into sales opportunities, and move them forward in the buying process.

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