When you consider all the legitimate email and annoying spam you ignore every single day, it’s understandable that you might have reservations about investing any marketing budget in email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is ancient compared to other marketing channels. I mean you might as well send out smoke signals to your customers, right?
Hopefully, that’s what your competitors think, and they’re ignoring email marketing. Let your competition fight the everchanging search engine algorithms. Let their social media posts be seen by only a small percentage of their followers. Even better, let them scratch their heads wondering why their email marketing open and click-through rates are so dismal.
You, on the other hand, have a powerful and effective marketing ace in your pocket. And, you’re not afraid to use it—an email marketing strategy that combines the best practices of email validation, data analysis and content for results that rock. Email is still the most effective way to reach your prospects and clients. You already have their contact information, permission to send them marketing information and a direct line to their inbox.
Now, you just need to know how to use it all wisely, and that means using email smarter than your competition. Here are three ways to do so:
- Email validation is a must. Using a data validation tool makes it easy.
Your sender reputation, email deliverability and the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaign hinge on performing email validation. Validating your email list eliminates any duplicate recipients, syntax errors and misspellings. Not validating your email list can flag you as a spammer and damage your reputation with ISPs, send emails to wrong addresses, end up on a blocked sender list and corrupt your list.
Do this even if your email list was created by people filling out a form. As you’ve probably done yourself, some will share a fake email address.
EAG performs email validation in 1-2 days, and it is cost-efficient for small and large databases. We use tools that provide us with a grade beside each email address to help us determine which emails to keep, purge or research before sending. After an email validation process, we see marketing results improve because business data decays at a rate of 30-40% a year and consumer data decays at a rate of 15-20% a year. This means, if you do not keep a clean database, within a year’s time, 30-40% of the business emails you send are sent to bad addresses wasting money, time, resources. Not to mention planning strategies on a poor foundation.
Our data validation process allows us to validate against all of these technical data points that can lead to better email performance:
- Syntax Verification: Checking email addresses thoroughly to make sure that each address appropriately uses the “@” sign and “dots” are in the right sequence.
- DNS Validation: Checking DNS records for all the email domains to make sure that all servers are valid.
- Email Correction: Spelling errors and typos in the email addresses.
- Spam Trap Identification: Identify spam traps, spam complainers, fake addresses and honeypots from the list.
- Personalize your emails to recipients for better interactivity.
Including the recipient’s name used qualifies for personalization but, that’s not enough anymore. Take personalization farther by customizing content and offers to the subscribers’ preferences. Each recipient on your email list should feel like the email was created just for them. Otherwise, why bother opening it? And, that’s exactly what your prospects and customers will think, “Why bother?”
- Test, track and analyze ‘till the cows come home.
Testing and tracking the campaign performance helps you create optimized versions of your campaigns. The data available goes far beyond just who opened your email. It’s a goldmine.
Data can guide your future email strategy. For example, if you have a high open rate for your emails, but recipients aren’t clicking through to your website, your strategy should involve a tweak or mechanism for boosting action. Don’t give up on openers. They opened your email. They will act when compelled to do so.
Perhaps your email offered a download or led to a page where a form could be filled out for more information. In that case, include those next sales follow-up steps in your email marketing strategy—a flow chart for possible reactions so to speak. What you don’t want to do is leave people hanging.
Analyze your data to help determine if you’re sending too many, too few or just the right number of emails. For example, you note an increase in unsubscribes, it’s an indication you’re reaching out too frequently. However, if you email customers and prospects once a year, you probably need to increase frequency. Chances are they unsubscribed because they don’t recognize your brand.
Occasionally, verify that your domain name hasn’t been blacklisted, meaning ISPs flagged your URL as a spammer, which is definitely a case of too frequent emails. Curious? You can do this at MXToolBox.
Finally, analyze the aspects of sales emails that performed well and use that formula for future emails. We’re not saying copy it verbatim each time, but take a look at the elements. Did it include a discount, a download, something free, product images, testimonials? Refresh what works. Apply features from successful campaigns to future ones.
Ready to rock your email marketing?
EAG Advertising & Marketing develops email marketing strategies, executes email campaigns and tracks and analyzes the results for better performance.