Scientifically Proven Email Marketing Strategies

One of my many marketing trends focused newsletters had this article about 8 effective email strategies backed by research… which is always an area we strive to improve communications with clients… but what really caught my attention was their first rule – Not to personalize an email with the recipients name. The reasoning was solid enough:

In fact, research by Temple’s Fox School of Business suggests that this particular kind of personalization could be harmful.
Given the high level of cyber security concerns about phishing, identity theft, and credit card fraud, many consumers would be wary of emails, particularly those with personal greetings.

hand-over-keyboard-1377963-mHowever, I still feel strongly that personalization in an email message can enhance your customer relations. Consider segmenting your list further by how long they’ve been opt-in, long standing customers would expect you know their name and product preferences.

Second email rule to consider is subject length. Lengthy headlines (over 70 characters) are great for pulling your audience to click-through while short headlines (under 49 characters) tested best for open rate.

In fact, Adestra found that subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%.

Either way you go, just be sure to avoid the “Marketers dead zone of subject length. Yeah, for some reason 60-70 characters gets no increase in either clicks or open rate, so either go long or cut it short.

When do you send your brand messages and enewsletters to customers? Most would think that the standard 9-5 would be best but top email strategies send at night.

Inbox crowding and the deployment times of other marketers go hand-in-hand; if your email goes out when few others do, it stands a greater chance of getting noticed (so quick, start sending between 8:00 and midnight before everyone else catches on).

In reality, test, test, test your messages and see when works best for your audiences’ preferences.

The Fourth Tip is to give something away… consumers love a free lunch or sample! A study from Bluewire Media showed that that the highest rates for opens and clicks from its 6,300 customers was for content such as tools and templates.

With today’s smartphone society, we should also consider mobile email. How does your email look on an iphone or Droid? Mobile opens accounted for 47% of all email opens in June from email marketing firm Litmus.

Here are some quick mobile design tips:

  • Convert your email to a one column template for an easy mobile fix.
  • Bump up the font size for improved readability on smart phones.
  • Follow the iOS guideline of buttons at least 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall.
  • Make the call-to-action obvious and easy to tap. Above the fold is preferable.
  • Consider ergonomics. Many users tap and scroll with their thumb, so keep important tappable elements in the middle of the screen.

And while social media is great for engaging your customers and building awareness, research proves that email has a better conversion rate for new customers.

Of the 300,000 referrals who became new customers, 50.8 percent were reached by email, compared to 26.8 percent for Twitter and 22 percent for Facebook.

Another tip from the article is to send your email on weekend.
While not as overwhelming a winner as the 8:00 p.m. to midnight time of day, Saturday and Sunday did outperform their weekday counterparts in Experian’s study of day-of-week performance.

Finally, re-engage your inactive subscribers. These customers signed up for valuable content – give it to them. Try a different approach to getting their attention and consider them a test group for new message format or content.

Research has found that the average inactivity for a list is 63 percent, meaning that once someone joins they are less likely to ever follow-up with your follow-up emails.

Overall, this article gave me some new things to think about for my next eblast and to keep testing new content.

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

2 responses to “Scientifically Proven Email Marketing Strategies”

  1. Root Bizzle says :

    Thanks for the article. We especially believe in test, test, test. You can only improve what you measure, and email will never be perfect, so just set your metrics, test what drives them, and continue to iterate.

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