First and foremost, it’s important to establish the fact that email is not irrelevant. It is still thriving as an effective mode of communication with your consumers. Although it may be difficult to believe that amid today’s overabundance of apps and social media channels, email continues to be a tried and true tool of successful marketing. That being said, it’s easy for marketers to get stuck in a comfortable routine when it comes to email marketing.
In order to truly make a significant impact on your email marketing, you need to be continually evolving and branching out to try different strategies. Yes, it’s true that change can be scary, but if you’re going to stay on the cutting edge and watch a steady increase in those opens, clicks, and conversions, you have to take that jump and switch up your email marketing strategy.
Misconception #1: Subject Lines Should Be Short and Sweet
Ask the majority of “expert” marketers out there and most will tell you that the ideal subject line should be 41-50 characters. When it comes to optimising for mobile, that number goes down to 35. However, according to a study by Return Path this isn’t the case. In fact, the study analysed 9,313,885 emails from more than 3,000 retail senders and found that longer subject lines of 61-70 characters proved to have the highest average read rate at 17% — the highest rate of all the character lengths.
Misconception #2: There Is a Perfect Day and Time to Send Your Emails
Do you schedule your emails to go out on the same day and time every week? Most likely you read a study that said Thursday mornings, for example, prove to be an optimal time to ensure a healthy open and click-through rate. However, if you look at varying resources, everyone has their own opinion of which day and time is best depending on their focus group.
For example, one site declares that Tuesday had the highest open rate, Friday had the highest click-through rate, and weekends had the lowest open rates overall. While the email marketing metrics report from another site showed that open rates peaked on Tuesday and Wednesday. And yet one more source believes that the best days for email open rates and click rates are Saturdays and Sundays.
The bottom line. There is no perfect day to send your emails to achieve your highest open and click-through rates. You must take the time to get to know your audience well, perform various A/B tests, and examine your overall email analytics and results in order to determine which day (and time) is best for your subscribers.
Misconception #3: Millennials Have an Aversion to Email
With well over $200 billion in annual buying power, Millennials have become every brand’s highlest targeted customer. An Adobe study found that nearly 98% of Millennials check their personal email at least every few hours at work, while almost 87% of Millennials check their work email outside of work. This is where you will notice a huge ROI by optimising your email for mobile. In addition, Millennials are a generation that thinks and communicates in images, so as a marketer it will also benefit you to optimise emails for images and allow for quick feedback. When it comes to your email marketing strategy remember this generation does absolutely nothing without their phones, including checking their email.
Misconception #4: Unsubscribes Are a Sign of Poor Email Marketing
Unsubscribes are not a bad thing. In fact, they can actually benefit your overall strategy as well as provide you with much cleaner data. When consumers who are not interested in your product or service choose to unsubscribe, the quality of your list improves and becomes cleaner allowing you to target the people who are interested in hearing from you. As a marketer, you can often find yourself trying to find a way to please everyone. Instead, focus on building a community of people who love what you do and want an on-going relationship with you.
Misconception #5: People Are Spending Less Time Reading Their Emails
The truth is consumers are spending 21% more time reading emails than they did three years ago, according to the State of Email Engagement, a study by Litmus. The study also revealed that the majority of these consumers are reading their emails on their mobile devices, proving the importance of optimising your emails for this popular format!
Misconception #6: Effective Subject Lines Are the Number One Reason a Subscriber Opens an Email
Marketers place so much importance on creating the perfect subject line. This isn’t a bad thing, however, it’s important to note that who the email is from is actually the number one motivator on whether or not a subscriber opens an email. Keep in mind that a subject line is much like the headline on a newspaper or an ad. However, email isn’t either of those. Your subscribers chose to open up a channel of communication with you. Email is your way of building a relationship with your consumers, and they treat it as such by checking out who the email is coming from BEFORE reading the subject line.
Misconception #7: You Can’t Send the Same Email Twice
It’s discouraging when you’ve put a lot of time and energy into creating a relevant and high-quality marketing email only to produce less than stellar open rates, let alone click through rates. However, all is not lost! Rather than spending valuable time writing and designing a brand new email to communicate the same message, you can just resend the original. BUT there are a few guidelines:
- Re-evaluate the data from the first send to determine if there is anything you might be able to adjust for next time.
- Craft a new subject line. Take some time putting yourself in your subscribers shoes. Why is this email important to them? How can you convey importance in the subject line enough to cause them to open the email?
- Wait at least 72 hours to resend.
- And most importantly, resend the email ONLY to subscribers who didn’t open it the first time.
This isn’t a strategy that you will want to implement with every single email campaign. Only resend emails for campaigns that promise the most potential.
Misconception #8: Sending Too Many Emails Feels “Spammy”
While it’s true that your subscribers receive a lot of emails throughout the day, it doesn’t mean you should cut way back on your email sends. Yes, there’s a healthy balance between too much and not enough, but the primary key to avoiding that spammy feel is ensuring that you are sending quality content that is valuable to your subscriber. If you send emails that add value, provide information, and are actually helpful to your audience, you’re a lot more likely to see strong open rates and a reduction in unsubscribes.
Misconception #9: Keep It Strictly Professional
By default, when you’re dealing with a business mindset, you might tend to transfer that professional tone into your emails. But remember this isn’t just about business, but creating a relationship with your subscribers that will convert to loyal consumers.
Now, tone is not the actual text of what you say in an email, but rather how you say it. By portraying a specific tone in your emails successfully, you can help evoke an emotional response in your readers. This is important because emotion is a key factor when a reader considers whether or not to engage or make a purchase.
For example, strictly professional tones can come across cold and nonrelational, failing to resonate with your audience. That is why you may want to consider adding your own brand’s personality and voice into your email copy. A key way to implement this is by making your text conversational in nature. Speak to people in an email the way you speak to them in real life.
The Bottom Line
Little tweaks and changes made to small sends or to your entire email list can result in significant strides toward achieving your marketing goals. The only way to make sure your email program is cutting-edge and getting the engagement you want is to regularly implement various tests and experiments and then evaluate what the data reveals. By continually optimising the aspects of your messaging and content that performs well, as well as those that fail, you can make sure your recipients are receiving high-quality content that is relevant to their needs and expectations.
tablet email concept -DepositPhotos