Marketing through emails and newsletters is a major tour de force in the arena of digital marketing. Despite its significance and potential, email marketing is often touted as the go-to zone for spammers and black-hat marketers. Unwanted and unsolicited emails are sent to people who have never signed up for it or even have anything to do with the brand! This post is, however, not about addressing those issues because they are written about and discussed all the time. Here we will talk about those bona fide email marketers.
Now testing is a must for email marketing. Before you continue to send out the same kind of emails to your database, you need to figure out if it is paying you optimum dividends. If not, you need to tweak your strategies a little. When you mention email marketing straight off the bat, the first thing that comes to mind is the subject line of the emails that you send out. The subject line decides whether the receiver opens the email or simply trashes it. Put in other words, you have to keep testing for the best subject line you can draft for your emails.
But that is not all! Having a great subject line is only half the job done. By tracking the open rate on your emails, you know how many of the receivers have checked on your emails. Does that serve your purpose? You need these receivers to click on the body of the email or newsletter and visit your web pages. You need to give yourself the best shot at converting these receivers into customers. In order to make that happen, you need to measure the click through rate or the CTR. This will give you an idea about the content that you are dishing out to receivers. If you have a decent CTR, you are doing well on the content and designing. Otherwise, you need to get creative and do some brainstorming.
Going back to the question about the subject line, we know that various email service providers offer varying lengths on this. For example, Microsoft Outlook allows about 52 while Gmail is more flexible at 63. These numbers depend on the settings of the receiver as well. For the sake of uniformity, we can say that the least number of characters are 38 and the upper limit is 94. Studies show that the optimum number of characters in a subject line is right bang in the middle: 51! You may ask here: why bother with measuring subject line characters when it is more important to write a quality one? You’re right there! But it is also a point that too few in the subject line makes it look spammy or incomplete and too much will cut off the line in some email settings, maybe exactly where you don’t want the axe to come down!
Make use of statistical tools to make more sense of test results. There are a lot of factors riding on the results thrown up. The action rates, the size of the sample database used and the gap between the action rates are some of the factors that you need to consider. Feed them into your statistical algorithm and find out what they mean to you. There are cases when these differences are just random background static noise that distorts results. Many email marketers may not have the statistical tools necessary for measuring it. There are a number of them available online, like visualwebsiteoptimizer.com.
Tangible values always have an appeal for receivers. They need to know why they should bother opening your email at all! You have to give them what they want to hear about, like an area of concern, a mobile app maybe or even a question of value, be it good or bad. These have an instant connect with the viewers and with testing, you have to find out what works for your emails. Check the open rates against subject lines with each of these themes and you will find out the one that gives you the best results.
Email marketing is yet to reach its potential in terms of revenue generation, mainly because very few are actually able to do it right. It’s a different kettle of fish that we’re talking about here and we are constantly questioning, innovating and exploring for ways. Do you have some other suggestions about email marketing that you want to share with us here? We’d like to hear and discuss!