Would Smoke Signals Work Better than E-mail – E-Mail Thursday

TOPICSEmail Marketing


So many of my clients come to me seeking advice on how to improve their email marketing campaigns. In many cases, they have been running a program at some level for a while but they are not seeing the return that all of the marketing bylines and industry reports say they should be seeing. And to add to that, they know that they could be doing better but have no idea how. They find us not necessarily because they are looking for us, but because they are looking for answers and a solution to a very common problem.

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For many of my new clients, their email approach doesn’t extend beyond the “spray and pray” method. For those not familiar, spray and pray is a term that means you send the same thing to everyone in your database and hope that you get a return. It’s kind of like sending a snail mail postcard or other method of direct marketing… there’s no specificity when it comes to measuring the results. You spray the list and pray for a positive ROI.

Now, a more sophisticated email approach can not only yield positive results, but often times comes with a highly calculable ROI. Here are some of the key factors in achieving a positive ROI from your email program:

  1. If you can, segment your users by their level of interaction. This is the information such as how often a user opens or clicks and what emails they receive and act upon.
  2. Ensure good Deliverability. Many ESPs claim a 99% deliverability rating, but does that mean 99% of emails sent are reaching the user, or reaching the INBOX? It’s not very useful to pay money to reach the junk folder.
  3. Test, Test, Test. Almost all ESPs offer the ability to do even the most basic split tests such as a subject line or even a different piece of creative. Test to see what your audience responds to the best.
  4. Maintain your List: It’s all about hygiene. Maybe it’s time for a spring cleaning of your list. If you have the ability to look at how users have interacted with your emails in the past, then you can identify the lurkers on the list, those individuals who always receive your emails but never do anything with them. They’re costing you money since you’re sending to them and they’re lowering you overall open and click rates. If they don’t want to engage, then they can be removed from the list.