Email fender benders (aka marketing challenges) and how to resolve them
These include the questions of timing and personalization and above all, making sure you test, test and test! By Rob Martin.
You’d think that setting up your very first email campaign would be the most challenging part of email marketing. Email crash testing takes most of the heat in this phase as we strive to see what works and what doesn’t. Expect a few inbox ‘fender benders’ as we iron out the kinks! But if anything, because it’s the first step, it’s the easier part. What comes after are the real challenges. We’ve listed some of the most common challenges with email marketing and given you the solutions for managing them.
Growing and retaining subscribers
Getting new subscribers to your list can be slow work. The best thing here is to set yourself goals for how many new subscribers you want to attract each week or month. Once you’ve set your goals, develop a strategy for achieving this. Make the most of social media to advertise your sign-up form. Consider offering your followers a sneak preview of your next campaign, or offer them a promotion in exchange for their email address. Place a temporary pop-up sign-up form on your website.
Increase engagement rates
When you’ve overcome the challenge of getting new subscribers, keeping them engaged, and encouraging them to click on your content is the next hurdle. Your open rate relies heavily on your subject line so offer teasers of what’s inside to encourage your followers to open. The click rate relies heavily on the content. Again, teasers here are important but be careful not to turn your content into click bait. Use split test campaigns to test your subject lines, content, and the time of day, and day of the week you hit send.
Think of hundreds of newsletters you’ve signed up for yourself. Which are the ones that you ignore and which are the ones that you always go back to? We’re betting it’s the ones that address you by your name. Next time you write your campaign, write as if you’re writing to one person and not an audience of 1,000 subscribers. Making the first name and last name fields mandatory on sign-up forms isn’t just useful for deterring spam addresses. By inviting people to enter the names when signing up you can then use merge tags to make your campaigns unique to everyone.
Make sure you regularly update your mailing list and monitor the results of each campaign to clean your list of any hard bounces. Have you got subscribers who just never open your emails? Remove them from your list. Give people the option of updating their information. People change their emails from time to time so rather than making them sign up again, make sure the steps are there for them to update their current information. If you haven’t already, start segmenting your lists by location, interests or any data field within your group so you can target specific contacts.
We’re not just talking about the best time to schedule your emails. Finding the time to write campaigns during your busiest periods can be compromising when you have several deadlines with some much-valued clients. Automation is a handy tool for your time constraints as it can reach thousands of your subscribers quickly and effectively saving you and your team time and money.
The key takeaway here for overcoming any challenge in email marketing is to test test test. From the best method for growing subscribers, the strongest time of day for scheduling, the subject line, and the content inside, find out what works, stick with that and continuously look at ways for growing and improving your campaigns. Don’t worry about those initial minor dents as we hit the road with smooth-running campaigns.