Getting an email isn’t quite as thrilling as it used to be, with the world sending 374 billion of them every single day. For your email campaign to stand out, it must be tailored, relevant and timely to get the engagement and conversion rates that you want. By making email campaigns smart, localised, and personalised, businesses can upgrade their marketing efforts to meet the high expectations of their consumers.
What Is Smart Email Marketing?
Smart email marketing is a way of using technology and data to increase the relevance of email campaigns. By delivering highly relevant email content to your mailing list, you can enhance user engagement and improve that all-important ROI.
Smart email marketing can be as simple as personalising a subject line, to targeting contacts with specific email campaigns depending on their lifecycle stage. Most email marketing services will have this functionality built in that you can integrate into your existing CRM.
Smart email marketing also lets you use behavioural data to send messages that resonate with the consumer’s current interests and needs, e.g. sending an email out to a customer on their birthday, or within so many weeks or months of their last purchase, depending on when they are likely to buy again.
The Role Of Data Analytics In Email Marketing
Data analytics should form the foundation of your email marketing strategy. Looking at data will let you understand the audience better and get a clear idea of the performance of your email campaigns. Here are some key analytics that you should be looking at:
You can craft the best email in the world, but it won’t be effective if it can’t be delivered. Issues like an incorrect email address, content filters, and blocked IPs can all contribute to unsuccessful deliveries. Sometimes this is unavoidable due to human error, but if you seem to have a high failed delivery rate (more than 20% is considered high), it is worth looking into why this is and taking action to fix it.
Email open rate
This refers to the amount of emails that actually get opened and is also referred to as the engagement rate. Obviously, the higher the open rate, the better. If you find that your open rate is low, i.e. less than 15%, then you should look at some ways to increase it. This could be by writing subject lines that drive interest, avoiding any potential spam triggers in your copy, personalising your emails to each recipient, and even sending at different times of the day.
Also known as CTR, this metric shows the percentage of recipients who clicked on the links in your email. The average for CTR might be quite low at 0.5% – 1.5% depending on your industry, but not everyone is going to click through. You can send more targeted emails to those who don’t, or segment the mailing list and try a different approach.
To increase your CTR, consider refining the calls-to-action in your emails, using A/B testing to see which variables perform best, or adding more personalisation to your emails. Timing is a huge factor in CTR – for example, if you sell pizzas and someone has just ordered a pizza, they probably don’t want another one within 1-2 days. Waiting a week or two before sending that customer an email increases the likelihood that they will be in the mood for pizza again.
Return on investment is the big one. Many people might think that CTR is the golden metric for analysing the success of email campaigns, but ROI is what puts money in the bank. Take a holistic approach to ROI – many customers might not take direct action by clicking links in an email, but it puts your brand in the forefront of their mind, making it more likely they will come back and browse your website, or make a purchase soon.
If you want to increase your ROI on your email marketing, try segmenting your email list and sending out tailored emails according to each segment. Remember to optimise your emails for mobile – 41% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Always remember the fundamentals of email marketing, i.e. a relevant and enticing subject line and clear calls to action.
Personalised Email Campaigns
Personalised email campaigns are tailored to the recipient, from using their name and location to customising the email content depending on their past behaviour and preferences. Personalising your emails can help consumers feel like you are engaging in a one-on-one conversation with them rather than just sending out generic broadcasts to everyone.
Personalising your email campaigns can increase open rates and conversions, so it’s definitely worth the effort. You can personalise the subject line, ‘from’ address, body copy, and CTAs within the email to make the person receiving it feel valued, leading to greater conversion rates. Using tags on your email subscribers can make it easier to group them together based on interests, behaviours or other factors.
AI can be used to personalise emails to a level never seen before, as well as do the legwork for highly granular levels of segmentation. Imagine your email campaigns tailored so closely to each individual customer depending on their behaviour, past purchases and customer persona – AI could make that happen.
Localised Email Marketing
Localised email marketing can help you to address the needs of your subscribers based on their geographic location. This can help cultivate a sense of relevance with your recipients and shows that you are aware of their specific needs. For example, if you are promoting a furniture delivery company who is going to be delivering in an area on a certain date, then you can target subscribers in that area with localised email marketing.
Segmenting your mailing list by the subscriber’s geographical location also allows you to drive more engagement by looking at local events, holidays or specific cultural nuances.
Automated Email Marketing
Automated email marketing streamlines the process of sending emails, saving you valuable time. Automating emails to be sent at specific times helps to ensure consistency and efficiency, and allows for sophisticated campaigns that are triggered by users taking a particular action, or milestones in their lifecycle as customers.
Many brands have great success by sending out emails to customers who have added a product to their shopping cart and not completed the purchase – these are known as ‘abandoned cart’ emails and are very easy to set up. This is the right time to include an extra incentive to buy, like free shipping or a discount to sweeten the deal.
Targeted Email Campaigns
Targeted email campaigns are personalised based on the demographics, purchase history, or behaviours of the subscriber. They are delivered to a specific segment of your audience to ensure higher relevance and increased engagement and conversion. A study by Accenture found that 43% of US consumers were more likely to make purchases with a brand that offers a personalised experience.
You can segment your mailing list based on data like customer interests, age, gender, location, and more. Start by gathering the right data about your customers by tracking user behaviours, send out surveys and polls to find out more about your subscribers, create targeted email lists and segments, personalise your emails, and don’t forget about A/B testing, even within targeted email campaigns to ensure that your efforts are being directed in the right place.
Tools and Technology
Using the right tools can make refining your email marketing strategy a breeze. Many tools can provide a lot of the things we have discussed above like segmentation, personalisation, automation and more. The right software can make all the difference to your marketing efforts and give you the insights and capabilities required for smart email campaigns.
Here are some email marketing software providers you may find useful:
Always adhere to best practices with your email marketing, as this will not only enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns but also ensure compliance with data protection laws.
Always obtain permission before adding someone’s details to your mailing list and provide clear-opt-out or unsubscribe options. Make sure that all subscriber data is handled appropriately to avoid breaching data protection regulations.
Only collect the data that you need. Excessive data collection or keeping data for longer than it is required is against GDPR regulations in the UK and EU, and can increase the risk of potential data breaches.
Here are some case studies that show how effective smart email marketing can be.
DigitalMarketer increased their email open rates threefold by testing multiple subject lines to see which ones were most effective. They found the ones that performed best were benefit-driven ones, e.g. “How to Write Blog Posts that Convert”, those that emphasise scarcity, e.g. “85% Off Sale ends at midnight” or ones that add credibility, e.g. “23,247 leads in less than 30 days”. Curiosity-based subject lines were also effective, as they leave the reader wanting to know more, e.g. “Less________= More Sales”.
Content Marketing Institute’s David Huffman increased email open rates by 15 – 20% by A/B testing with email content featuring either non-gated (no form) content or gated content with a heavy call to action, e.g. “Download this eBook”. He found that those with extra content in the body of the email resulted in more click-throughs and conversions. He also discovered that direct headlines and customer success stories were more successful.
Our team of experts can help you to turbocharge your email marketing strategy using proven techniques – why not get in touch with us today?