We often hear of the frustrations businesses are having trying to generate successful email campaigns with adequate response rates. Many of them are employing the correct practices, but they are still garnering disappointing results. Even with a great call to action, engaging creative, and a targeted message, their promotions still run the risk of being ignored.
Here are just a few suggestions that will help you achieve better results:
When reaching out to a new audience (someone not familiar with your brand), as well as with your existing customer base, the use of direct mail and email together will improve your response rates from 3X to as much as 7X. Why? There are several reasons behind these results: (1) The printed piece gives your firm, and your brand, credibility with your audience that cannot be achieved with emails alone. (2) People trust advertising in print more than they trust email advertising; the ability to hold and see a piece you have developed creates a certain level of brand credibility in their minds. (3) With a printed piece, you are able to reach all of your audience, not just a portion of them. You need to ask yourself, “How much of my audience is missing my marketing message when I use email alone?” Most companies have less than 50% of the email addresses for their customer base, and of those, many are not seeing your messages as a result of having unsubscribed from your emails, been blocked by spam filters, or are undeliverable due to bad email addresses. (4) An email alone has a shelf life of mere minutes. The recipient opens it, looks at it, and moves on to other messages. The likelihood that they will go back to your message again is doubtful. By comparison, your direct mail piece has staying power and can sit on the coffee table for several days, allowing the recipient to review your offer multiple times. (5) Direct mail, with a compelling call to action, will connect with your audience and encourage them to engage so you can gather critical marketing data online, including email addresses, so you can continue to improve the conversion rates of future campaigns.
Always be certain to integrate the look and feel of your brand across all platforms to insure a cohesive marketing message. There are many template driven, user friendly email programs that lack the ability to conform to the creative you may require in order to keep your messaging looking consistent. Regardless of where your marketing message is viewed, it should always be readily recognized as your brand.
Study and understand human behavioral science and how it applies to direct marketing. Both social scientists and behavioral economists have documented that we have all developed certain short-cuts to decision making and that we have certain automatic, instinctive, reflexive actions to specific stimuli. It’s not that humans are inherently lazy; we’ve just developed these traits over millennia as a way to preserve mental energy. So it’s important to employ certain, proven human behavior triggers as a part of your marketing approach. These include the use of eye magnet words, loss aversion, positioning with scarcity, urgency, exclusivity or availability bias, and psychological pricing. These are only a few of the many human behavioral principles that should be incorporated into marketing strategies and creative executions in order to improve their effectiveness.
Track, track, track. Always track your responses and evaluate the data you’ve gathered. What messages are working with your audience and which ones aren’t? Where are you seeing your greatest successes with read rates, click through rates, and conversion rates? You may be seeing high engagement in certain areas, but a low conversion ratio to sales, if that’s the case, perhaps your message is either too confusing or misleading. Consider your ongoing strategy as a fluid process that can, and should be altered in real time to achieve maximum results.
While there are no easy short-cuts to developing winning email marketing campaigns, excellent results can be accomplished with study, practice, using the right tools, and conveying your messages in a manner that will connect with your audience. Contact us to learn more.
Rick Hall, Director of Business Development