By Callie Walker
Email marketing is something all companies and organizations are tasked with. It’s the number one driver of acquisition, engagement, and retention.
But email marketing requires a little bit of trial and error — for everyone. What works well for one organization or industry may not work well for another. That’s just the nature of the game.
That said, while every company and organization’s strategy will differ, there are a few ways we can ALL supercharge our email marketing in 2020. Take a look:
1. Segment, segment, segment
Segmenting your email lists may require extra work, but it really is worth it. If it means a few more conference registrations, a few more membership renewals, or a few more membership referrals, it’s worth 30-or-so extra minutes to draft a second email and create a second, more segmented email list, isn’t it? (Especially if you’re using a system that allows you to quickly and easily create email lists based on a variety of member properties, such as a membership management system.)
You may already do a little segmenting now with your organization’s emails, but there’s always room to take it up a notch. Below are a few approaches you could take to email segmentation in 2020:
When promoting your annual conference, you could segment by…
- Attendance history
- Geographic location
- Special interests (think content tracks)
When promoting webinars, you could segment by…
- Career stage (For example, “As a young professional, you…”)
- Special interests
Again, the more you can segment, the better results (higher open rates and click-through rates) you’re likely to see.
2. Include the same link/call-to-action multiple times, but in different ways
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to be repetitive in emails. (I just asked them to register. Do I really need to do it again?)
The answer, though, is yes. And here’s why: They may not be “sold” on the idea at the beginning of the email when you asked. But with a few more bullet points or one more short paragraph, they’re now on board. Don’t make them go back to the top of the email. (They may not.) Instead, give them another opportunity to click and register (or complete whatever action you want them to take is).
This also allows you to rephrase your call-to-action (CTA). In a sense, it gives you a second chance to really “sell” whatever it is you’re selling (an event, your membership, etc.). So if in the first paragraph you said, “Registration is now open! Click here to reserve your spot,” at the end of the email, you may want to say, “What do you say? Level up your career at [Event Name]!”
3. Write copy with the end-reader in mind
When you’re drafting emails, you may think of it as emailing your membership. And you are. But for the purpose of effective communication, it’s better to think of it as if you were emailing one member directly.
If you were emailing one member and telling them about an upcoming webinar and the value they’ll receive from it, how would you phrase that email? Chances are, it might be a little different than how you’d phrase it knowing it’d be going out to 3,000+ people.
But that one-on-one “feel” is important when communicating via email. Hundreds or even thousands of people may have received that email, but the end-user wants to feel like it was written for them. Keep that in mind when drafting your copy.
4. Evaluate performance and use that data to drive decisions
What’s great about email marketing is, if you’re using the right system (one that includes reporting features), you can easily track the performance of your communication pieces. You can see how many people opened your emails, how many people clicked in your emails, what links received the most clicks, etc. That’s a lot of valuable information!
But it’s only valuable if you use it. That means taking the time to review those metrics. Was the click-through rate for one of your event promo emails particularly low? If so, ask yourself a few questions…
- Was the open rate high? (If so, that means the subject line and time sent were probably good, but the copy inside didn’t quite accomplish what you were hoping it would.)
- Did your call(s)-to-action stand out? If someone were just scanning that email, would they have likely seen/read those CTAs?
- What phrasing did you use in your CTAs? Were they clear and concise?
- At what point in your email did you include the call-to-action? Was it at the end in a rather long email?
You may not get a perfectly good answer as to why people didn’t click, but by gathering insights like that, you can then make changes moving forward to better figure out what works…and what doesn’t.