E-mail Marketing: Best Practices for Effective E-mail Marketing
“Most [consumers] who are going to use e-mail have already started, the trick is to find them and keep them,” said Chris Baggott, co-founder and chief marketing officer of e-mail marketing firm ExactTarget at the session”How to Multiply Your E-mail Marketing Returns with Proven Practices and Methods” at the Annual Catalog Conference held last month in Orlando, Fla. Additionally, each person who uses e-mail opts-in to only about six e-mail newsletters, and within that, most don’t opt-in for more than one of the same type, noted Baggott.
So how do you get customers to sign up for and respond to your message instead of your competitors? Baggott offered the following best practices for catalogers looking to expand their e-mail marketing universes.
* Don’t ask for too much. People are often reluctant to hand over too much information about themselves too quickly. “All you really need is a name, an e-mail address and a ZIP code,” said Baggott. “You can find the rest through a data-appending service.”
* Personalize your e-mails. E-mails containing content relevant to the customer can increase dramatically response to your campaigns, noted Baggott. “According to a study by DoubleClick, seven personalized substitutions in an e-mail can double its effectiveness,” he said. To make things easier, he said, dynamically generate your e-mails based on everything you know about your customers: what they’ve purchased before, what they’ve viewed on your site, or even where they’re located geographically.
* E-mail as often as you can. “The most important thing to remember is that you can e-mail as often as you have something to say,” noted Baggott. If an e-mail can build the relationship with the customer, rather than just hammer on them to buy from you, then send it, he said.
* Use multichannel analytics. Combine your e-mail analytics with your Web analytics, said Baggott.”It’s great to know that a customer clicked through two different links in your e-mail, but if another customer clicked on only one link and then spent 20 minutes on your site, which customer is better?” he asked. You need information from both your e-mail campaign and your Web site to make an informed decision.
* Humanize the e-mail experience. If a customer talks to a specific representative when she calls your contact center, try to have all e-mail communication appear to come from that same representative. “People buy from people,” pointed out Baggott, “and you’ll see a 60 percent lift in response to e-mails when people receive communication from a name they recognize.”