Email marketing has experienced its ups and downs in popularity in the marketing community as new digital trends have come into existence. It has lasted the distance for a reason – because it is a powerful way of being able to directly speak to your audience and turn B2B leads into sales. You have a much higher chance of being able to connect and engage through email marketing simply for the reason that your audience has chosen to let you speak with them. According to digital trends, an email is considered ‘read’ when it is opened for more than 10 seconds, and ‘skimmed’ when it is opened for 3 to 10 seconds. For this reason, it’s critical for inbound marketers to employ these best practice marketing tactics to get the most out of their email marketing during that short time in their customer’s lives:
1. Get personal
Studies showed that emails with personalization achieved 21% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates. While it is perhaps unrealistic for small to medium businesses to provide each subscriber with a fully custom personalized email, most companies are now employing the easy personalization functionality of their email automation software. Start with the basics – name and personalized subject line – and then begin to segment your audience based on interest and location. The sky’s the limit once you’ve done this.
2. Add value with your welcome email
You may already have an automated welcome email doing the rounds when new subscribers sign up to your database. Ask yourself if the content in this email is really adding value to your subscriber, or is it simply saying ‘Welcome’ and nothing else? If the latter is the case, explore ways to leverage the initial enthusiasm that comes with signing up for something new, and encourage engagement and participation. Can you inform them or give them a taste of the kind of content they’ll be getting from you? Can you let them know about the resources on your website? How about giving them an easy 101 to making the most of your site and adding value to their lives.
3. Be visual
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and images are processed 60,000X faster than plain text. Kick your email off with a visual, branded header and then look to include, not only images, but also graphs, icons and infographics, videos, gifs and more. Just as important as the number of visuals in your email is the amount of empty space. Remember that the eye needs to rest, and providing the right amount of formatted blank space can help subscribers to concentrate on the conversion tools that you’re employing.
4. Explore different days and times
We’ve all heard the different statistics, often landing on Tuesday as the best way to send marketing emails. Why such a generalised statistic for such a personal, niche marketing tactic has become so prevalent makes very little sense. As an inbound marketer, you know that your B2B audience is unique and carries its own set of lifestyle challenges. Employ some common sense to figure out what might be the best time for them to engage with your email, and keep testing until you hit a sweet spot. Also, remember we live in a mobile world where personal and work lives are blurring – so sending emails on weekend might have a better conversion rate.
It can be difficult to assess how well your email is doing and different industries will have different benchmarks depending on the appetite for content. As a general rule of thumb across the board, you should be looking for a 98.28% delivery rate, 34.04% open rate, and 18.03% click rate (Informz, 2014). Start employing the above tactics by testing out times, and creating personalized, visually impactful emails, and see your current rates begin to grow. It will take some experimentation; but you will get there.