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9 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy in 2018

9 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy in 2018

Depending on your industry, the average email open rate should be around 24% and your email click rate should be around 4%. Are you falling short of these average numbers? Email marketing has rapidly evolved, and in order to have an effective email marketing strategy in 2018, you may need to change things up drastically. Email marketing is only effective if you have a clear understanding of your target audience and what makes them tick.

Here are 9 tips on creating an effective email marketing strategy in 2018:

1. Focus on personalization

Personalization is a key component of an effective email marketing strategy. It allows your brand to cut through the clutter and actually create a connection with your audience.

Personalization happens through your email subject lines and within your email’s copy. Using the subject line you can pull through the first name or other details about the recipient to catch their attention right off the bat. Then, within your email content, you’ll address your customers with automated personalization tokens, starting with the obvious like name, and including more specific details like what they downloaded or purchased. Going further than that, you’ll also want to make sure your tone, the length of your content and your content’s design is appealing to the audience your targeting.

Here are some examples of a personalized email marketing strategy:

Personalized Email Marketing Strategy

Personalized Old Navy Email

Personalized email marketing strategy

Personalized IKEA Email

The final thing to keep in mind when setting up a personalized email marketing strategy is that timing is everything. To reach your audience at the perfect time, you’ll create custom triggers that send your emails when an action is taken. For example, after they’ve completed a purchase, or after they’ve had your product for 2 weeks.

Personalizing your emails based on actions, goals and timing will ensure you have an effective email marketing strategy in 2018.

2. Segment lists based on buyer personas

A key component to personalizing emails is to focus on segmenting your email lists. When segmenting your email lists you’ll want to ensure they’re first based on buyer personas. Separating your email lists based on the type of lead or customer they are will allow you to create email content thats catered to each group. From there, you’ll work on creating attributes or sub-lists based on additional details about your audience, like actions they took on your website, or content they interacted with. Finally, all of your list segments should be based on goals. By creating open rate, click rate and email interaction goals for your list segments you can continually improve your email messaging and timing to make sure you’re being as effective as possible.

3. Consistency is Key

Another component of a successful email marketing strategy is consistency. If your lists are expecting an email from you, they’re much more likely to open and interact with your emails. Sending out an email to your lists periodically isn’t going to be worthwhile because your emails risk being marked as spam and not getting opened at all. Create an email marketing schedule and stick to it to build rapport with your customers.

Creating consistency with your email marketing strategy doesn’t only include email frequency, it also includes content. Make sure your emails incorporate content that your audience is highly interested in so that they look forward to your emails when you send them. This includes design, your emails should be branded and have a cohesive design that meets your brand standards.

4. Don’t Just Guess – A/B Test Your Emails

The next area of focus for a successful email marketing strategy in 2018 is A/B testing. You can’t fully read the minds of your audience, so using data will help you refine your message. When running an A/B test on your emails, make sure you focus on testing one variable at a time.

For example, you may focus on:

  • Subject line
  • The offer included
  • Who the email is from
  • Your email list segments
  • Or minor design changes

All of these variables can have a huge impact on the overall success of the campaigns in your email marketing strategy, however testing them at the same time won’t give you any concrete answers as to what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing is a gradual component of perfecting your email marketing strategy that can help you continuously improve.

5. Follow Email Marketing Regulations

It’s important to remember email marketing regulations. As marketing evolves, it’s common to want to push the envelope with your email marketing strategy to beat out your competitors. However, there are a few rules and regulations that need to be followed so that you aren’t penalized.  The CAN-SPAM Act, for example, was created in 2003 to regulate commercial businesses, both B2B and B2C. It was put in place to ensure consumers have rights when it comes to how businesses interact with them through email. It’s main three purposes are to regulate messaging so that it’s not misleading, to regulate the information disclosed about the company whose sending the email and to give the recipient a way to opt-out or unsubscribe. Emails that are in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act could receive over $40,000 in penalties, so it’s not something to mess around with. Aside from laws, following common sense privacy rules, like only sending emails to those you have permission to contact, will ensure you are running a compliant email marketing strategy.

6. Use Compelling Subject Lines

Subject lines matter. Did you know, 47% of email recipients open an email based solely on a subject line? With the massive number of emails your leads or customers are already receiving, you need to make sure you make an impact with your subject line. Taking time to write a concise and impactful subject line will improve your open and click rates. It’s your first impression with your email content, so to cut through the clutter you’ll need to get creative and demand attention.

7. Keep Mobile in Mind

When opening emails, the modern email user is using a mobile device. In fact, 75% of Gmail users use mobile devices when opening or interacting with email. Keeping mobile in mind is a key component of a successful email marketing strategy because it ensures your emails are reaching the largest audience. Making sure your emails are compatible with mobile devices will become even more important over time. A recent study also showed that by the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion (Radicati). Making sure your emails are easy to read and interact with in mobile is a huge component of your emails performance.

8. Automate Emails Using Workflows

It’s no longer effective to send a one-off email to a list. Most likely your list will need automated follow up emails that prompt them to take a next step. Setting up workflow emails based on how your lead joined your list and steps that they take afterward will improve the purpose of your emails and make them more effective. For example, lets say you have an email set up to thank those who download a guide on your website. The conversation shouldn’t stop there. Once they’re thanked, you should set up an email series over the next two to three weeks that gives them additional steps to take including contacting your team if they have questions or taking another step that’s farther down the buyer’s journey like signing up for a free trial of your product or service. Creating multiple touch points will keep your audience engaged and is a key component to an effective email marketing strategy in 2018.

9. Continually Improve with Reporting

Finally, when setting up a successful email marketing strategy, reporting is key. The only way to improve your email marketing strategy is to know your stats and use them to your advantage. Look at stats that give you a bigger picture on engagement, like open and click rates, so that you know what grabs your audiences attention. And also focus on stats that give you a bigger picture, like conversions, so that you know your emails are reaching goals that you set. Using key reporting stats will help you perfect your email workflows in the future.

Email marketing is still highly effective in 2018 if you dedicate time to it. Creating a consistent email marketing strategy, that appeals to your buyer personas, can be a successful component of your marketing mix. What email marketing strategies have been successful for your business? Let us know in the comments!