Faith’s a funny old thing.

A lot of marketers, fearing the death of SEO after last year’s Google algorithm updates, turned to email marketing trumpeting it as one of the best ways to generate leads and engage with users.

An irony because these were mostly the same people hammering the nails in the email marketing coffin when SEO was at its peak!

The truth is that email marketing never died, and neither will SEO for a good long time.

Those that have stuck with email marketing and perfected their trade will have reaped the benefits over the years.

But a set of statistics released at the start of February shows just how hard it can be to get it right.

 

The truth is that email marketing never died, and neither will SEO for a good long time.

Taking it personal

Experian has recently released its 2013 email marketing study analysing best practice throughout the year.

The results are astounding. The title of the release itself shouts that personalised emails generate six times higher transaction rates.

Astonishingly, it also claims that 70 per cent of brands fail to personalise their correspondence.

What surprised me more, though, is that the latter stat didn’t surprise me much. Even though we’re in 2014 a lot of brands are still failing to find their voice and marry it with their wider marketing strategy.

Just last week in fact I received two emails that perfectly illustrate the point. I am signed up to receive digest emails from two of the north-west’s finest business publications, Prolific North and Huddled.

Both are excellent sources for businesses in the region and send out regular content updates via email.

Notice a key difference between the two, though. Prolific North’s offering:

 

Prolific North's email titles

 

Against Huddled’s:

 

Huddled's email titles

 

While both emails have excellent content Prolific North’s always give me more incentive to open, read, and click through thanks to its descriptive titles.

How do you entice users to click on your emails, and which campaign has given you the most success? Let me know in the comments section below.

You talking to me?

But how do you define personalisation? I still get emails for instance along the lines of ‘Hi Lee personal SEO person for your needs’ (the perfect type of email for a marketer to receive).

The Prolific North/Huddled example above isn’t personalised, you may have noticed. Not towards me, anyway – Prolific North has taken a blurb approach and summarised the email’s contents in the title, while Huddled have just dated theirs.

Experian says that multichannel retailers see a 37 percent increase in unique open rates for emails with personalised subjects against emails sent during the same period with non-personalised subjects.

So how do you get in on the action? Outsourcing and software can help – and is part of the reason why a successful marketer can be justifiably pricey – but the key piece of advice to offer is to be as inclusive and descriptive as possible with your message.

Which email marketing software do you use and how does the tactic sit in with your wider marketing plan? Let me know below!

Creating personalised campaigns

As I often say it depends on the nature of the business and just how much you wish to marry email into your overall marketing strategy that matters.

Gmail for instance has unveiled a new Unsubscribe button for users fed up receiving marketing emails. Instead of readers having to navigate through the email to find a tiny unsubscribe link, they can now discard emails with consummate ease.

As a brand, you shouldn’t be looking to beat that button or find a way around the system. You should instead be looking to add value to your emails from the very first stage: when interested parties sign up to receive your emails.

Tips on personalising your emails

The most successful lead generation strategies nurture the lead from start to finish to make sure the customer is as happy as possible.

Of course you should always try to keep your customers as happy as possible! But the same nurturing process should be relevant when email marketing. For example:

#1 Can they choose types of email?

Are you optimising your emails for mobile devices?Imagine a large online fashion retailer that specialises in clothes for all sexes, of all shapes, ages, and sizes.

That’s a lot of stock. But if someone signs up to receive emails, do they have the option to choose emails regarding the types of stock they may be interested in?

A girl aged between 16-24, for instance, would get bored very quickly of emails about men’s dungarees and probably have a knock-on effect. She may be reluctant to click future emails.

Can your users choose the types of email they can receive, and if so, is it tied into their account so they can log in and change preferences should they so wish?

#2 Can they share offers with social accounts?

The Experian study shows that this is something marketers are getting right, with 96 per cent promoting their social accounts in email headers and footers.

But it’s also possible to put other social calls-to-action within emails. Have images of new stock? Put a Pin It button there to encourage people to share. Facebook’s Like and Twitter’s Tweet buttons can also be used amongst others.

Not only can this help grow your own social standing but users can feel a connection with their emails if they see something they like, share it with their friends, and start a discussion.

#3 Can emails be accessed on users’ mobiles?

With mobile devices outselling desktop PCs and the introduction of Hummingbird mobile optimisation has never been more important.

But are you optimising your emails for mobile devices? Are they clear, easy to read, and can users effectively click through to your site and share tantalising deals?

Not only is it important to optimise design for mobile devices but the potential is also there to integrate with a personalised SMS/MMS campaign to generate interest and engage with customers.

 

If you’d like to know more about how email marketing can help you get the results you crave for your business contact the Webpresence team today to find out more.