So, you mastered responsive email design, with a set of mobile-friendly email templates to show for it. Your email lists are growing steadily and you’re seeing great results from your campaigns. Now that you’ve put into practice many of your email marketing priorities from the last 12 months, how can you level up in 2015?
Successfully sending email marketing campaigns is a bit like going to the gym – you often get the best results when you do it regularly and make sure you “mix things up” from time to time. However, anyone who’s done a few sessions (or sent campaigns) knows that it’s easy to fall into the trap of only doing things that you feel comfortable with.
With email, the problem with sticking to a stale routine is that you’ll never discover the full potential of your email subscriber list – or learn more about your subscribers. So, lets shake off the holiday hangover and look at 3 things you can do this year to up your game as an email marketer.
Use integrations to keep your lists up to date
One thing I had a hard time dealing with last year (and vowed to improve) was managing multiple data sources. For example, when working on the Top 100 Email Campaigns, I found that I had an email subscriber list of designers I was contacting in Campaign Monitor, survey responses in Wufoo and email campaign details in Google Docs. The result was a lot of manual importing and exporting of CSV files, when a couple of integrations could have silently done all the heavy lifting from the get go.
Taking a moment to identify manual tasks – such as, exporting customer information from your CRM software – and integrations that can be used to eliminate them can save you hours of dreary work. Services like Zapier can be used to keep subscriber custom fields updated – and also manage unsubscribes between both subscriber lists and apps. For example, if you find yourself regularly deduping between lists, you’ll likely find a friend in Zapier. Keeping your data current via integrations also has the upside of allowing you to use segments with confidence – including, automation of your marketing with autoresponders. We have a growing list of apps that play nicely with Campaign Monitor subscriber lists on the Integrations section of our site.
While you’re looking at how to enrich your subscriber information, don’t forget to look into how you can tag subscribers and personalize messages based on source. For example, on our site, we send different welcome autoresponders if you signed up after viewing the Top 100 Email Campaigns, versus the Guide to Better Marketing Results with Beautiful Design. While all these new subscribes go into the same list, having them tagged based on what content they read provides the opportunity for more personalized follow-ups – and more interesting reporting down the line.
Think about how to send more relevant campaigns
Here’s a word that you’ll likely hear a lot in 2015 – “relevance”. Relevance in email marketing is rapidly becoming synonymous with engagement – the more your email content is crafted around an understanding of your subscribers’ interests and preferences, the more likely it is to be responded to. Using dynamic content based on custom field values is one way to craft your campaigns around things like signup source, interests, prior purchases and more – another way is using geolocation. Cool customers Litmus used this when promoting The Email Design Conference; instead of sending a blanket announcement email to their list, here’s what they did:
We have also seen major success by segmenting our own lists based on location. While promoting The Email Design Conference, we sent segmented emails to subscribers in three locations—San Francisco, London, and Boston. By looking at the regions where subscribers opened our previous communications, we were able to target emails specifically for each event.
These targeted emails saw a 68% open rate—while the general email saw about a 22% open rate—and directly resulted in 58 tickets being sold!
“Send Targeted Messages with Geolocation, Device, and Engagement Data“, Litmus
Other ways to create relevancy include using social proof. Before things get busy, you might want to start looking for good customer testimonials that your audience can relate to and see how you can work these into your campaigns.
Again, you’re going to be hearing a lot about relevance this year – and in particular, data-driven relevance. A lot.
Get to know your reports
Finally, if you’re not already looking at the impact of your campaigns beyond-the-click, make this a priority in 2015. You don’t have to use expensive tools to do this – with our free Google Analytics dashboard, you can see how your email campaigns are performing alongside other marketing channels.
Using this dashboard, you can find out what articles in a newsletter have been most relevant to your subscribers, or how engaged people on your list are in comparison to other visitors on your site. Plus, you can extend the dashboard by creating goals to track conversions and consequent revenue. If anything, this kind of measurement defines next-level email marketers from the rest.
Personally, these three things are what I’m going to be working on in the new year. How about you? Let us know what’s on your email marketing bucket list in the comments below.