3 Tips to Take Email Further

Patti RennerAccording to a presentation at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 last week, about 144.8 billion emails are sent every day. Email remains the anchor of a solid cross-channel marketing approach. That said, let’s look at three lessons learned to make email even better. May these ideas help infuse fresh energy into your campaign approach.
Serve, Don’t Sell – Nobody likes to be sold; however, people love to buy. Instead of promoting your products and services in emails that resemble magazine ads (all product), see what happens when you personalize your approach with what you know about the individual, promoting products based on their needs or interests. You may already be doing that – if so, tell them what you’re doing. “Hi Sylvia, Thanks for being part of our exclusive rewards program. In appreciation, we hand-picked this especially for you at terrific savings!” or simply, “Hello Sylvia! We thought you’d love this…”. Even your order confirmation emails can do more to provide customer care information as well as suggestions for additional items to buy. Consider what approach you’d appreciate most if you were the person receiving that email, then give them a reason to love your brand even more with the content you send.

White Coats and Email Marketing – The great thing about email is how beautifully it lends itself testing ideas and concepts before rolling ideas out to a mass audience. Perhaps you’re thinking about changing your messaging for your brand. Maybe you’re tinkering with the right “voice” or copy tone to best engage your audience. Email can be a laboratory for testing not just one version against another, but also for higher concepts that can benefit the entire organization. For instance, what product should go on the cover of your print catalog? Send an email test of those in the running to see what does best. Are you considering adding some personalized copy highlighting a single product, compared to an email with multiple big images that looks like a landing page? Send a test and see which one converts better. According to Flint McGlaughlin, marketers are constrained by the gap between what a marketer believes to be true and what is actually happening within the audience. Testing closes that gap.

Failure Can Be Good – The old expression, “If you’re going to fail, fail fast” certainly holds true for email. While some marketers are embarrassed or upset when a new approach doesn’t perform as well as they had hoped, that data – that failure – offers an opportunity to learn from its lack of response. Instead of asking “How could this happen,” the appropriate response should be “Why did this happen.” Explore deeper instead of abandoning it all together. Better to improve “good” to become “excellent” instead of getting by with mediocrity that goes unchallenged. Better to fail so you get even better.

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