Those of you who use email to communicate with your customers know about the benefits it brings. If you’ve reached this blog, you also know that email marketing doesn’t magically work for everybody. In fact, your email list may not return any satisfaction right now.
If you feel like all the effort you’re investing in your email campaigns isn't paying off, this article is for you. We’re going to explain why being frustrated with your email list can be a good thing, and how you can turn things around to accomplish your goals.
How do I get the $44 promise?
According to a popular statistic, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, the return on investment is $44. It’s a proven fact, but the truth is, it takes time and the right strategy to reach that target (and exceed it). When we say “strategy,” we mean:
- optimized content
- great email hygiene
- a smart sending plan
These aspects work like the wheels of a system: if one of them doesn’t keep up with the others, it will slow you down. We know how hard it is to make sure everything is in top shape. Sometimes, your campaign reports can discourage you. Maybe your bounce rate is too high. Or your open rate is much lower than your industry’s average. Or your call-to-actions are not convincing enough, and people don’t convert. But many of the changes we make in our lives, and in business, happen because we feel discontented.
Let’s see how you can improve your strategy and hit all your email marketing targets!
Not all of us write easily and well. If a blank screen inhibits you, or if you feel stuck in the way you write your copy, take a step back and ask yourself how you would feel about your email, if you were on the end of the receiver.
Would you click on your subject line? If not, what would make you click?
Does the email grab you by the collar from the very first line?
Is it easy to read? Is it informative and entertaining?
Did you nail the length your readers prefer?
Does the call-to-action make you want to click and learn more?
Many times, taking the time to assess how good your emails are can take you ten steps closer to your target. The only way we can improve ourselves is by having the honesty to admit when we’re wrong. Read your emails with the eyes of your subscribers and you may have great revelations.
Consider hiring a copywriter
If this exercise doesn’t work, there are many talented copywriters out there who can help. We interviewed one just recently – Chanteuse Marie is specialized in email copy and does a great job writing emails that convert. Laura Belgray is another example. Read her blog, subscribe to her emails and follow her on social media. You’ll have a lot to learn from her and you’ll most likely want her to write all your copy.
GREAT EMAIL HYGIENE
Choosing a reputable Email Service Provider (ESP) is an essential part of your strategy. You want to go with a company that’s proven its savoir faire and, most of all, has a good sending reputation. But even the best ESP won’t be able to help you if your email list is messy.
Here are some of the email addresses that can end up in your list, ruin your deliverability and frustrate you big time:
Invalid email addresses: Many people misspell their email addresses when they’re trying to sign up for your newsletters. Use the double opt-in method to prevent that or, for better accuracy, use our email verification API to validate emails in real time, at the point of registration. Your bounce rate is going to improve, promise.
Spam traps: Sending emails to these addresses is like sending letters to a house where no one lives. Spam traps don’t belong to real people; they are abandoned addresses that Internet Service Providers turned into “traps” to lure in spammers and block them.
Abuse emails: These belong to people who frequently mark emails as Spam. They think your subject line is annoying? Spam! They forgot they subscribed to your mailing list? Spam! They get ticked off by emails easily and are not afraid to use that Spam button. The problem is, if you often get marked as Spam, Internet Service Providers are going to think you are, indeed, a spammer and will prevent your future emails from reaching your subscribers. Your campaigns are going to end up in the Spam folder or never get delivered.
There are other risky email addresses you may have in your email list. Catch-all, disposable, role-based or duplicate emails are wasting your money and affect your deliverability. The good news is that an email verifier will weed them all out.
Great email marketing starts with a healthy email list.
A SMART SENDING PLAN
Here’s what we mean by “smart”:
- Finding the right day, time and sending frequency
- Being consistent
For a few years now, email marketing studies have come to the same conclusion: the best day to send an email is Tuesday. The second best two days are Thursday and Wednesday. While this is good to be aware of, these days may not be your best days.
She sends her emails on Sundays
Maria Popova, who writes the famed BrainPickings blog, sends out her emails every Sunday. That completely ignores email marketing stats, but it seems to be working for Maria, since she’s been doing it for years. It’s true that her content isn’t really comercial; she “sells” culture, and because people’s schedules are so hectic during the week, Sundays are the best time for them to relax and read a great article.
We gave you this example to prove that there’s no perfect recipe for high open rates. Running a few tests will tell you what your subscribers’ favorite day is to receive your emails (of course, you can ask them, too). But once you determined the best time, stick with it.
Why this is important
Sending your emails on the same day every week/month matters because:
- people can easily forget about you. If you send them a couple of emails and then take a long break, it’s very likely that some of them will unsubscribe from your list. And maybe even mark your email as Spam before they do that.
- maintaining a steady sending rhythm keeps your IP warm. Warming up your IP is important before every email blast, especially if you have a large email list. Our email experts Liviu Tanase and Henry Timmes wrote more about this in our Email Deliverability Guide, which you can read for free on our website.