4 Steps to Email Marketing Success – Looking Beyond the Usual Metrics
Click-through-rates, open rates, deliverability, unsubscribe rates, conversions, these are all well -known (and of course hugely valuable) metrics that form the basis of our email marketing campaign results. Once we have these, we then know what we need to focus on to optimize our next campaign and so it goes. More and more however, hard data simply isn’t enough for us to gauge our overall success on. Now, marketers are also assessed on their customer engagement, how relevant and valuable their messages are and how effectively their campaigns are segmented, to name but a few aspects. Over the past couple of years, the original email marketing guidelines and borders have blurred and what worked yesterday might not garner the same results today. While many marketers have successfully managed to harness these new aspects and use them to their advantage, others aren’t quite so sure what it means or takes to make it work for them. If you think you might fall into the latter group then fear not. This article is for you.
We’ve looked beyond the usual ROI metrics to show you what else you should be focusing on if you want to stay ahead of your game and keep track of the email marketing evolution, basically better email marketing success.
First and foremost, back to basics. Have you defined your goals? Of course you probably have, but take a moment to recap them. What are your goals dependent on? What else are you hoping to achieve from your campaigns, besides perhaps monetary fulfilment? What are you doing to make sure you reach these goals? Have your goals shifted since you first started out? A new focus will more than likely mean you have to change your strategy, have you done this yet? If you don’t have clearly defined goals that you aren’t monitoring on a regular basis, you could be missing out on new avenues of campaign success. Don’t be afraid to try a new angle, even if what you are doing is working well, you never know what might come of trying something different. With email marketing, thinking out of the box can get you noticed, for all the right reasons.
What are you doing to build up your relationships with your clients? “Engagement” really is on the tip of everyone’s tongues at the moment and everyone wants to know what you’re doing to ‘engage’. Basically, if you aren’t connecting with your subscribers in some way through a blog, forum, industry chat site, or social network platform of their choice then you aren’t truly engaging. Regular interaction, reading, listening and responding to customer’s queries, complaints, interests and praises is really the best way that you’re going to find out what they want, how they want it and how you’re going to deliver on it. In order to give them what they want, you need to start thinking like they do.
When was the last time you went through your subscriber list? Are you still clinging desperately to Joe Bloggs from Middle-of-Nowhere Mid America who hasn’t so much as clicked on one your emails since he signed up a year ago? You might be wasting your time. Although at the beginning of this post we said that hard metrics don’t count for absolutely everything, the fact remains that the more inactive subscribers you have on your email list, the lower your open rate, click-through-rate and conversion rate is going to be. What you want to do (for now at least) is focus on and engage with those customers who are at least making an effort to do the same. You know, the ones that generally open your emails, have bought from you in the past and have recommended you to their friends and family. They are the ones that are keeping you in business, so isn’t it time you paid them more attention? By focussing some of your energies on these customers and doing what you can to deliver an even higher standard of service, you’re creating a better overall experience for them, which means they’re going to continue waxing lyrical about you and your company to their friends and so the ball rolls. More engagement = better service = customers speaking highly of your company = more people interested and subscribing to what you’re offering. Presto!
Email marketing success is all about relevance. It’s harsh but true, if your campaigns aren’t relevant; people aren’t going to be interested in what you have to offer, which means you aren’t going to see the results you desire. Relevance goes hand in hand with effective audience segmentation and the one without the other is like holding an ice cold beer but having nothing to open it with. Well, you could use your teeth, but it’s going to hurt. See where I’m going with this? In order to segment your audience (and therefore be able to deliver exceptionally relevant emails) you need the right data. If you’re a new company this is obviously going to be hard to get. The good news is that you can start gathering and segmenting data from the word go. Segmenting can start off really simply and even if you only know what state your subscriber is from, it can help. The more information you find out about your subscribers over time, the more you’re going to be able to segment them accordingly. Ideally, effective segmentation will take into consideration location, buying behaviour, purchase history and demographics.
Takeaway – At the end of the day, it’s not about ignoring the hard data, it’s about being aware of what else you can do that can potentially take your campaigns from so-so to hero and it starts by taking it back to basics and getting more involved from the outset.