Last year, Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times predicted that messaging app Slack would capsize email (he wasn’t alone). Then, last month, Fast Company reported on a so-called “Slacklash,” asking, “Who ever thought in the first place that the solution to too much email was a flood of group chat?”
Slack is just the most recent in a long line of failed email assassins. Spam was supposed to alienate email users. Social media was supposed to steal them all away. Same with instant messaging. Yet here we all are, using email as much, and maybe even more, than ever.
All of this is to say that email is downright Terminator-esque. And if you’re a marketer, you need to operate under the assumption that it’s going to keep kicking for the long haul.
What makes email so powerful as a marketing tool? For one, it’s universal–everybody uses it. And, it’s personal. Email marketing software makes it easy to segment email campaigns by audience and tailor messages based on the recipient’s location, online behavior, and more. Most email software also makes it easy to A/B test and measure engagement, so you can constantly tweak and refine based on what the data is telling you.
Finally, email is inexpensive. No printing, postage, or ad rates apply. All you need is good email marketing software and you’re ready to go. Speaking of which: Here at Well Done, we’re big MailChimp fans. We’ve been using it to design, write, and implement email campaigns for our clients for quite a while now.
So we were plenty happy to help MailChimp when they asked us to write a series of case studies demonstrating the benefits of email marketing to agencies. You can sign up to receive them via email here. In the meantime, here are five key takeaways from our research that should help any email marketer elevate her game.
- Always send an automated welcome email. This is such an easy thing to do, and yet many marketers overlook it. One agency told us that their automated welcome emails get four times the engagement of normal emails.
- Fine-tune your calls-to-action. A/B testing can be a great way to do this. For example, a simple change from “Buy tickets” to “Add tickets” on an email purchase button earned one agency we spoke to a 5 percent click-rate increase.
- Put real effort into re-engagement. Past customers no longer clicking your emails? Create an email list of those unengaged customers, and create a re-engagement campaign with messaging and an offer tailored just for them.
- Enhance open rates with emojis. We learned that a well-placed emoji in an email subject heading can improve open rates by up to 20 percent. Emojis aren’t appropriate for every email, but it’s something to strongly consider when writing your subject heading.
- Have fun. Because fun, dear reader, is contagious. The marketers who use email most successfully are those who create campaigns that exude a lively and winning attitude. Even if you’re in the HVAC installation business, you can’t afford to be dull.
If you’re interested in learning more about email marketing, we’re always around to chat. Also, you can’t go wrong by visiting the MailChimp blog, which is a vast repository of information that will make you a smarter and more effective email marketer.