Let’s clear something up right off the bat: email marketing was never dead, nor was it useless and it certainly isn’t going through a sudden revival. But it does have a bit of a bad rep. It’s sometimes viewed by B2B marketers as unsophisticated, uninspiring, boring even. An afterthought, fit only for the end of the funnel. But these attitudes fly in the face of the facts somewhat.
The truth is, email remains one the best performing marketing channels in terms of ROI. But not everyone gets it right. And in my understanding it’s usually the strategy behind the email marketing objective that often causes it to falter. So with that in mind, here are three top tips on how to create a winning email campaign:
- Set a clear objective and measurement metrics
Setting out your key objective and how you will measure that objective should be the drive behind your strategy and you shouldn’t waver from that. Some key examples include measuring open rates if your goal was to increase awareness, Click-Through Rate (CTR) if your goal was to increase traffic, and actions on your site (maybe in the form of purchases or downloads) if you wanted to increase conversions. Don’t ignore other metrics on the dashboard, as they can be used to see how the campaign can be improved, but keep your eye on the most important one.
- Set your own benchmarks
Something that I see very often in the data world is clients asking for KPIs that often reflect ‘industry benchmarks’. Now while I love a bit of data research and looking at common indicators, there is no way in this universe that those internet-led benchmarks will be an accurate representation of how well your campaign performs. Most sites don’t give you an indication of where those benchmarks have come from – they could be from an audience sector that you aren’t targeting or who have no interest in the product you are selling. Those email campaigns could’ve had completely different objectives, and been sent to an audience in a different region or even just sent at a different time the day, or day of the week. The only way you to get accurate KPIs is from your own audience. Once you’ve sent a few emails you can start to gauge where your activity levels are and optimise based on those results.
If people are going to be marketed to, they’d rather it was as individuals, not as part of a herd. The majority of email service providers will have the capability to not only plug into your CRM to personalise outgoing messages, but to also create dynamic emails. These two approaches combined make for very effective comms. Don’t just show your audience your products, make them feel that they can’t live without you. They want ideas and influences based on who they are as a person and not just a persona created in a workshop.
Gone are the days of the batch-blast approach to email marketing. Aligning your metrics with your objective, setting campaign-specific KPIs, and using up-to-date customer segmentation and targeting will help you cut through the noise of the inbox.