December 20, 2018
Email marketing practices 2019
In 2019, email marketing is set to be the powerhouse it’s always been. Smart marketers are leaning on email as a primary component for customer acquisition and retention — and for good reason — for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32 (DMA, 2018).
Obviously, it pays to keep your finger on the pulse of email marketing. Email is a central part of onboarding, nurturing, and staying top of mind with your customers — but what really makes them click?
We’ve mapped out three useful tips for keeping your customers engaged with your email marketing efforts.
You’ve likely heard the term “personalization” a million times over. It may be becoming mind-numbing at this point, but personalization is not just a buzzword. It works. Marketers who use personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates when compared to the average of 20.81% (Yes Lifecycle Marketing 2017).
Personalizing your email can be as simple as adding your customer’s first name into the subject line. But it can also be as granular as you like, with personalization variables like from name, reply-to email, custom field date, and more.
An email personalization example
Imagine you’re running an e-commerce store with an analytics integration like Heap. If one of your logged-in users comes to your website looking for items in your “Christmas Gifts” section and then exits the page, you can design a personalized email to recapture them.
Using data from this user’s browsing behavior or past purchases, you can follow-up with a “Christmas Gift Ideas” email, highlighting items that your customer has viewed or expressed an interest in. Just be sure to add a natural time delay so you’re not emailing customers the moment they exit your store.
In Autopilot, the journey would like something like this:
By 2022, it’s expected that 333 billion emails will be sent and received every day (Statista, 2018).
As marketers, this shows us two things. One, email marketing isn’t going anywhere. And two, more than ever, marketers are going to have to compete for their customer’s attention.
So make sure you’re creating an email marketing strategy that’s relevant and contextual. The traditional approach to this is to run seasonal campaigns that are based on the time of year, public holidays (like Christmas and Halloween), and events specific to your industry. And with automated email marketing software, you can go even further.
A classic way to use segmentation in emails
Segment your customers into lists, and send them emails based on who they are and what they’re interested in. For instance, if you’re running a winter campaign for your clothing store, you can use Autopilot’s Smart Segments to automatically split your email list into male and female customers, so each gender receives tailored and relevant content offers.
These Smart Segments are smart so they also go beyond simple demographic data. Use them to trigger journeys that are based on your customer’s current status, online behaviors, and other real-time triggers — all of which enable the delivery of relevant messaging.
You can see smart segments in action in the onboarding journey below. Good onboarding journeys are particularly important in email marketing where the average open rate for welcome emails is 82% (GetResponse, 2017).
Urgency is critical: use time-sensitivity to your advantage
Sending time-sensitive promotions is a technique that is still popular going into 2019, simply because it works. Having a limited window on your offers helps nudge conversions from customers who are already at the middle or bottom of the funnel (since they’re already thinking about buying).
Adding a timed reminder to your email journeys is a great way to countdown towards the end of a special offer or sale. It capitalizes on the concepts of urgency and scarcity, which trigger strong feelings of loss aversion in your audience.
Use a journey like the one below to give buyers a three-day window to capitalize on a special offer:
Making it all work in unison
Email marketing is a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s very easy to get your product or service in front of your customer. On the other, it’s much easier for customers to “walk” away by clicking delete or marking your email as spam.
In 2019, it will be more important than ever to cut through the noise. Ensure that you’re using the best email practices to reach the right people with the right messages at exactly the right times. Used together, personalization, relevance, and urgency will get your email marketing strategy working in harmony.