Email marketing – don’t get binned

Email marketing – don’t get binned

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Spam filters, security blockades, virus sniffers and junk mail bins. There’s a lot to navigate when sending out an email.

Add to this the complication of when to send and what to put in your email, and it’s tempting to breathe a defeated sigh and reach for the stapler to end it all.

But before you give up all hope, here are a few simple things to consider which might help you to get a bit more out of your digital marketing.

Let’s look at the main criteria first. A good email marketing campaign considers:

  • Data
  • Content
  • Timing and delivery
  • Measurement.

Data is key to your success rate. If you’ve collected or bought relevant data it’s more likely that your intended recipients are interested in what you’ve got to say, giving you a canny advantage over the biggest hurdle — getting in front of the right audience. That said, it’s not always possible to know that you’ve got the right data or that the recipients are still interested. So that’s where content comes in.

With content, it’s vital to focus not on what you want to say but on what they want to know. With hundreds of emails dropping in our inboxes and demanding instant attention every minute, why should your email deserve someone’s attention? You’ve got to get to the point immediately. It’s the upfront contract; here’s what I’m selling and this is what’s in it for you. After that it needs to tell the reader what to do next.

Don’t blather on demonstrating how clever you are or how much you know about your industry; it doesn’t make you look like an expert, it bores people. Like the person at a party who won’t shut up about their kids, cat or work. Don’t be that person – you’re better than that.

So, you’ve got a great set of data, an email that’s as appealing as an Aston Martin in an Aldi bargain bin and now you just need to make sure everyone opens it. What day should you send it? What time? What subject line will make it irresistible to open?

There’s a lot of mixed information out there as helpful souls upload their take on what they have discovered; however you need to go back to putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Every market is different; each audience has different requirements and different behaviour patterns. Most people don’t work weekends so a business email won’t be right for a large percentage of your audience at 5:30pm on a Friday.

There are common patterns though. Experian and MailChimp have recently released their findings on email marketing in terms of days and times, clicks and deletes. Tuesdays and Thursdays were previously cited as the best days to send and, not coincidentally, they now come out as the busiest days for sending marketing emails. The challenge is to keep ahead of the rest.

The Beatles wrote a song called ‘A day in the life’ which brilliantly captures the sequence of events in a person’s morning. It’s that kind of thinking that can help you land at the perfect moment. By thinking about your audience and what they might be doing, you can aim for the perfect window of opportunity. It won’t get everyone, but it will get the majority.

If your email is about business, think about what happens in a workday. If it’s for consumers then consider when they would have their dinner, watch Corrie or bath the baby.

Lastly but not finally, the dreaded spam filter, junk mail bin or security blockade. If you use salesy language the filters will smell you coming from an ‘Indian call centre server’ away. Make it personable and avoid the obvious. For tips on what to avoid, look in your junk bin, or give us ring.

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