Email is the most used marketing channel, with 269 billion sent and received every single day. This demonstrates how competitive the channel is. But it’s still worth the effort, for every £1 you invest yields on average £28, representing a return on investment that no other channel can compete with. But to reach those lofty heights, we must ensure the content is relevant for the audience.
Your subject line is the proverbial first impression, are you the hot guy walking down the street with swagger or the guy eating his bogeys on the loser? This is how you set your stall out, make that first impression.
Creativity is the key to an engaging subject line, but you must keep within restrictions. For example, make sure you’re not over elaborating on what it is you’re offering, no one enjoys feeling like they’ve been tricked into opening. Here’s a short checklist to use as a guideline:
- Short and catchy
- Relevant to the content of the email
- Easily understandable
- In line with brand values
One factor that has been shown to drastically improve email open rates is personalisation within the subject line. After introducing personalisation here, marketers have seen a rise of 50% in open rates. Consumers want to feel like you’ve taken a personal interest in them, and feel valued.
The frequency of the emails you send is defined by the objective of the campaign or customer journey. As long as the content remains relevant and appropriate the audience engagement will increase through each interaction. This could happen with 2 emails in a week, or conversely, 10 emails in a day.
I myself receive hundreds of emails each day and don’t have time to open them all. I tend to prioritise the ones from brands I know and respect. So for a new company entering my mailbox, a welcome email after I’ve just signed up is imperative, along with regular communication, to retain the context and keep them top of mind.
Research supports this where it has been found that consumers want companies to speak to them on a weekly frequency. Keeping that regular flow of communication maintains and fosters the relationship. Device compatibility is pivotal, if your target segment view their emails on both mobile and desktop devices, ensuring the email uses responsive design and has support for varied email clients should be top of the list.
To improve the future, we must evaluate the past. Seeing what was successful and what wasn’t gives us the necessary insight to evolve our campaigns, and cherry-pick the elements we want to keep and discard the ones we don’t. This must be done both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Quantitively, open and click-through rates are our core metrics; this identifies the traffic and engagement of the messages and ultimately shows whether the campaign has achieved the desired objective. These percentages offer us a strong basis on which we can evaluate the core elements of the email but don’t give us the full picture. That is where qualitative evaluation comes into play. What thoughts and feelings an email provokes are important to understand, or whether it’s just too bland. But this isn’t as hard to conduct as you may think. A simple test of the campaign in-house, is more than adequate to find major holes or problems.
Email maintains its position as the most used marketing channel, and that’s for a good reason, it’s the most effective. But with the extremely high volumes and levels of competition comes the inherent difficulty of standing out. It always has been, and always will be, about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. But this just drives us to be better marketers, which is what we want right?