Email marketing on a massive scale is a tried and true marketing strategy that has been around for almost as long as the internet. As time has progressed, new strategies and technologies have emerged that have almost completely transformed the capabilities and uses of email marketing.
Business owners must seek to personally improve and refine their personal email marketing performance in the same manner that email marketing on a massive scale is constantly iterating and improving.
Building out an email list is the first step to being able to reach an audience at any given time, but, if not nurtured correctly, it will dwindle into an inactive bundle in a spam folder.
So, how do you take a mediocre email marketing strategy and harvest the maximum potential of the power of email? Here is a handful of ways to set you on the right track.
In order to improve something, we must first know what to measure. Email marketing provides business owners with lots of information and metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, invalid destinations, and spam markings. The best way to understand where your email marketing performance stands is to benchmark it to your industry and your direct competitors.
Each of these metrics would require a specific strategy to improve, but all can be addressed by focusing on elevating your email marketing game across the board. Only by having a clear vision of where you want to go will you be able to be able to focus on what components of your email marketing need to be improved.
Verify Your Email List
Without verifying the validity of your email list, you won’t know what type of resources you are working with. When someone gives you their email, one single typo results in your emails going to no one or to someone who didn’t subscribe. Additionally, some visitors may provide fake emails or may have eventually moved to a different email address altogether.
Verify your email list regularly to ensure that these dead ends are scrubbed appropriately so your email marketing results aren’t unnaturally tanking. If your email delivery performance is poor, you could even get labeled as a spammer.
Segment Your List
Every email list is loaded with different subscribers interested in different types of offers and content. List segmentation allows you to send targeted messages to specific groups within your list. The more specific the group, the more focused and relevant your message can be. Ultimately, this strategy helps to increase click-through rates and open rates.
For example, let’s say you have a bunch of inventory you want to get rid of but don’t want to set the tone of discounting to your entire list since it could potentially hurt your brand. List segmentation allows you to target a specific subsection of your list that responds extremely well to discounted products and deals. This allows you to clean house without making massive discounts a primary focus of your entire list.
Provide Opt-Out Emails
Having an email list of 250,000 with a 0% open rate is inherently worthless. Under this logic, purging your email list of dead weight by providing opt-out emails is a good way to keep your email list clean and improve your email delivery performance. An opt-out email should be sent to emails that have been subscribed for a while but which haven’t opened any in a long period of time.
This email should provide a kind ultimatum, of sorts, that says something like “Hey (name), we haven’t heard from you in a while, and we only want to deliver emails to people that want to receive them. Nobody likes a cluttered inbox, so if you’d like to unsubscribe, you can do so here (unsubscribe link). We’d love to hear from you anyway. Shoot us a message back and let us know what we could do to improve!”
You spend a lot of time crafting your emails. Provide a friendly ultimatum such as this to add credibility to your efforts. Be sure to keep the conversation open for feedback. Purging your list of inactive emails will boost your email marketing performance stats and allow you to focus on creating the type of content your active email list enjoys, rather than experimenting with strategies to get opens from people who never will.
A huge component of improving your email marketing performance is maintenance. Email acquisition is incredibly important (without new emails there is nothing to maintain), but, in order to improve your performance, you must constantly purge your list so you can focus on creating more of what works instead of experimenting with what doesn’t.
To try out new strategies, attempt A/B testing with small subsections of your active email list to get a better understanding of how to improve marketing performance in your specific niche.