It’s no secret that our in-boxes are fuller than ever.
Between the company-wide memos, the party invites and occasional spam message, we’re opening (or deleting) hundreds of emails a day. That shouldn’t stop you from using email to market your business, however.
Many campaigns are designed to generate more email or newsletter subscriptions. Once you convert that subscriber, you’ve got a better chance of generating business from him or her. Your chances are even better, however, if you create emails that offer more than just another sales pitch. Here are three companies that did it right.
You might expect to see more emails around the holidays, especially Christmas. Weight Watchers took this familiar strategy and chose a less observed holiday – Earth Day – to make a pitch and deliver interesting content. In addition to easy-to-spot calls to action, the email also features interactive menus and coupons for retail products.
The Lesson: Don’t just send emails for the hell of it – link them to something timely. Focus on dates or events that dovetail with your products. Your email about patio furniture won’t make a dent in the dead of winter, but it’ll generate a few clicks if you send it in late May or early June.
It makes sense that Amazon.com, the pioneer of e-commerce, would get online marketing right, including emails. In particular, they figured out that the best way to retain customers is to not let them stay away for long.
One of their standard approaches is a post-purchase email. After a sale, the customer receives an email from Amazon asking for feedback on the newly purchased products. This requires them to return to the site, and the buying cycle may start again.
The Lesson: include a mechanism for bringing customers back. Amazon uses feedback, but other incentives may be just as powerful. If your customers connected farm web software to their operations, they may run into technical problems. A friendly email reminder about your friendly, knowledgeable staff will bring some of them back to your site.
Thanks to new analytics tools, you can test and measure an endless array of variables, including the most profitable time of day. Online retailer eBags used the tools in its arsenal to make an ordinary email message a real revenue driver.
The company looked at when in the day subscribers had joined their list and set up their email system to send the message at that same time of day. The strategy paid off, because the email campaign generated 20% more clicks, 65% more conversions, and 45% more revenue per order.
The Lesson: Test, measure and optimize. Implement a program of testing different elements of each email, from subject line and call to action to graphics and layout. For even better results, test one small element at a time. After a few weeks, your campaigns will see higher click-through rates, conversions, and revenue.
Like other marketing content, your email messages have to be relevant, compelling, and easy to interact with. Follow the lead of successful email marketers and add more punch to your marketing mix.