caticonslite_bm_altEmail; the good, the bad and the ugly

With email becoming one of the most popular activities to engage in on your phone (Business2community) and spam email levels at 12-year low (BBC), why are some companies still having difficulties?
The majority of difficulties stem from confusion around what is a good email campaign and what is bad email campaign.
Let’s start with some facts:

The average person gets 121 emails per day, meaning that the online population receives 193.3 billion emails per day, with business emails accounting for 108.7 billion.  

What’s good and what’s bad?
Although each sector will have slightly different industry average statistics, there are other variables which affect your email metrics like company size, across platform engagement (like social / blogs offline popularity) day of the week, time of day and subject title.

You may be able to get over 50% on a single campaign, but then 10% open rate on the next one.  Frustrated?  So is everyone, don’t worry.

The average ‘good’ open rate is about 20%, with ‘good’ click-throughs from those opens at 5%.

According to research, average open rates currently sit at about 24%, click through rates at about 3% and sales at about 21% of email marketing revenue.
However, new research suggests that events get a mobile open rate of 66% according to a 2015 report.

mobile email

Why the love affair with email?
For people:

  • 91% of us check email at least once a day on their smartphones

For marketers: (not that we’re not people)

  • It converts three times better than social media, people spend up to 17% more when they do buy via email!

How do you mitigate low percentages and is there such thing as a 100% conversion rate?
The short answer is no, nobody gets 100% open rates, click-throughs and 5000% ROI.
Not even established fashion brands or travel deals get close to an average of 70% open rates, even with seasonal sales discounts!

mail box etiquette email campaigns

So what can you do about it?
Apart from A/B testing segmented groups (Marketers noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. Campaign Monitor) there are other ways via trial and error to find out what works to determine what your customers want and deliver according to that desire; from subject titles to design & layout to call to action colour, size & shape as well as personalised landing pages.  

Other ways to make sure that your information is consumed is to make sure it is ingestible.

  • Is it mobile responsive?

  • Does it load quickly?

  • Does it look nice?

  • Can it be read?

  • Does it read well? (Don’t hard sell)

  • Are the links actually clickable?

  • Do they take you to the right place? – Don’t lose consumer trust for more info, see our consumer Click to Trust article here.

Our increasingly ‘Mobile First’ digital behaviour has lead to increased popularity of mobile devices and an always-on nature to check our emails – we are lost without our phones.
By making sure that these barriers are overcome, you can hugely increase the probability of engagements and the likelihood of conversions.

Seven take away nuggets:

  1. Email during the week, and not at the weekend: open rates are a lot higher while people are dipping in and out of email during the work day
    (Some email services even optimise sending time per day, per list with an advanced algorithm!)

  2. Make sure you’re not getting bounces from old email addresses by keeping lists updated

  3. Less is more, don’t inundate your customers with daily emails – nobody has time for that – give them opt-in options for preferred frequency

  4. Make it easy to unsubscribe

  5. Evade spam filters: Mailchimp recommend ‘avoid using spammy keywords and phrases, and avoid using ALL CAPS or too many exclamation marks!!!

  6. Have double opt-ins to reduce the probability of being reported as spam

  7. Capture quality leads, don’t buy data

Spamalot
There’s a lot of jargon and frustration around spam not only online but also on your screen every day.  Whether it’s viagra sales emails, promises of unrealised wealth or data phishing scams, make sure that your emails don’t fall under the same category and become filtered out.
Spam, made BBC headlines earlier in the year ‘Ever signed up for something online and then found it very difficult to unsubscribe? Then you’ve been to a roach motel – one of many web design tricks employed by some firms to drum up more trade.
Spam has even suffered from the ‘Trump Card’ in the news this week: MPs ‘bombarded’ by spam emails from Donald Trump.
By keeping email frequency and information convenient, you can reduce the chances of your information being tagged as spam.

Fun Mode: Mashable released this fun video of how to deal with email phishers.  Click if you missed it.

Manage your inbox:
End your email anxiety by clicking into your ‘annoying’ emails and reduce the frequency or unsubscribe from companies or social networks which consistently update you on everything by managing your profile settings.

inbox

Conclusion
Segmenting your updated lists by need and A/B testing subject headings, allows you to optimise open rates to a healthy percentage and reduce spam and bounce rates.
By correctly identifying audience (list) needs and providing direct links to valuable information with preferred design and copy, you can increase click-through metrics.
Once on the site, by providing optimised copy and strong calls to action and maybe an incentive, you can close that sale and track your ROI.
Realistic business expectations and lots of testing are key for mail-out personalisation, but with audience insight and attention to detail, you can exceed customer expectations for improved returns.

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