Most people know that the subject line is the first thing that people see, however it is not always the most important. There are several things that play a role in a successful email campaign. Keep these following things in mind when constructing your email marketing plan for 2013.
Ask yourself what is the added value to the customer that opens the email. Know what the aim of your email is. Are you trying to increase product/service awareness, improve customer service, generate leads or sales? Know your focus so you know what to include in your email. You don’t want to overload your readers with too much information, keep it short and sweet.
Of course you want people to open your email, but what do you want after that? You want to give them somewhere to go for more content, a specific landing page. If you generate several clicks and visits to your website, but lose potential leads then you know in what stage you lost the potential lead.
You always need to think about who you are sending the email to. Be specific and have a goal in mind. Segmenting your email list is a good place to start so you are able to better target your readers. People will want what is relevant to them, once you segment your list and figure that out, your open rate will go up.
Working on the format of your email will have a surprising effect on open rates. This includes the length, images, plain text and mobile friendly. Think about how important images are to the content of your email because everyone of your readers may not download or enable to display all of your images. Also think about the length of your email, you may want to link out to a different page if you want to go into further details because people read emails rather quickly.
Timing & Frequency
Timing is everything, but the timing depends on who you send it to. Pay attention to the open rates of your different segments to determine what the most successful days and times are. The typical time that works for the industry may not always work best for your list. If you get this down to a science you can start scheduling the emails in advance and then schedule follow up emails.
Tracking & Analytics
Creating and sending an email is only the first part of your email campaign, you also need to know what is working and what isn’t. You should be paying attention to delivery rates, open rates, and click-through rates. Each of these will be able to tell you how you are doing in a specific category, and where you need improvement. If your delivery rate is high and your open rate is high but your click-through rates are low then you know you need to improve on content. If your delivery rate is high and your open rate is low then you need to work on subject line and the opening lines of your email that display before you open it.