E-mail: Improve Your E-mail Program in Three Easy Steps
You don’t have to invest money in any fancy online technologies or vigorous list scrubbing services to see a measurable improvement in your e-mail marketing efforts.
Anne Holland, publisher of Marketing Sherpa, a Warren, R.I.-based company that publishes research reports, case studies and e-newsletters on marketing, advertising and public relations, remarked that sometimes the best fixes are the easy ones right in front of your face. At List Vision 2005, held last week in New York City, Holland offered the following solutions to some of marketers’ top e-mail challenges:
Challenge: Companies report 20 percent to 40 percent non-delivery of e-mail.
Solution: In addition to delivery tracking, implement a “save” campaign. For HTML e-mail recipients, first try switching them to text-only e-mails. Watch the click rate for the next 30 to 60 days, depending on how often you e-mail. If results do not improve -- or if non-responders already were receiving text-only e-mails -- get your best offer to this group pronto. If none of these steps work, then take these e-mail recipients off your active promotion list, because they’ve mentally unsubscribed to your e-mail campaigns.
Challenge: E-mail address churn remains at 30 percent per year.
Challenge: People spend an average of only 15 to 20 seconds with opened e-mails that get clickthroughs.
Solution: Strip down your e-mails to the bare minimum. Employ fewer graphics, less text and a single call-to-action to help recipients focus and take action. Bring a critical eye to your e-mail campaigns, and look for anything extraneous to your campaign goal that can be removed to place more emphasis on your selling/branding message. If applicable, Holland suggests alternating graphic-heavy e-mail with some HTML e-mails designed to look like they’re text-only (you still can track open rates by embedding a small, almost invisible graphic in the HTML) to see if this helps improve response.