According to the Direct Marketing Association you can expect a ROI of $38 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. The effectiveness of email is also corroborated by data from Monetate, based on an analysis of 500 million shopping experiences, that found that email out-converts both search and social media traffic combined.
That said, it is also worth establishing that over 2.5 million emails are sent every single second. People are overwhelmed with email, and unless you smarten up and refine your techniques, you’ll only get limited results. Below are six email hacks guaranteed to boost results from your email efforts:
1. Use Segmented Emailing over “Batch and Blast” Emailing
For most businesses, their approach to email marketing involves having a single email list that they build very actively – they then send them same offers, the same blog posts and the same messages to this single list. Not only is this an old way to do email marketing, but it has been proven to be downright ineffective.
In a study analyzing the impact of segmented emailing, MarketingSherpa found that it is possible to boost sales by up to 208 percent simply by sending an email to a segmented portion of your list instead of sending “batch and blast” emails.
You can segment based on several factors; you can segment based on location, gender, interests, frequency of subscriber purchase, as well as a host of other factors.
2. Optimize the Timing of Your Emails: Research has shown that there’s a best day and time to send emails. According to data from Experian’s benchmark report, Monday is the best weekday to send emails if you want high transaction rates and the best revenue per email while Sunday is the best weekend day to send emails. In terms of opens and clicks, a study by GetResponse found that Tuesdays have the highest open and clickthrough rates. In terms of the best time to send an email, most studies suggest sending your email between 10 and 11 a.m.
That said, several factors influence email opens; for example, the location of your subscribers matter a great deal, 10 a.m in California is different from 10 a.m. in Florida or 10 a.m. in Germany, and you have to factor all these in when emailing. If you have an email service provider that let’s you automatically send emails at the local time of individual subscribers, be sure to make use of that feature. Email service providers like AWeber, Getresponse and MailChimp make it easy to optimize and send your emails based on timezone.
3. Retarget Prospects in Ads Based on Email Opens
Does familiarity breed contempt or content? I think the answer to this question can be found in an experiment conducted in 1968 by a professor at Oregon State University.
The professor, Charles Goetzinger, in an attempt to see whether familiarity breeds content or contempt, had a student come to his class in a large black bag – with only the student’s feet visible. The professor then monitored the reaction of the class. Initially, students treated the black bag with hostility. Over time, however – due to repeated exposure – they started to treat the bag with curiosity. Eventually, they developed friendship with the bag. This is explained by a psychology principle called the “mere-exposure effect” or the “familiarity principle.” Marketers dub the same principle “the rule of 7.” It says that more exposure to your offer will increase reception to it.
When someone opens your email, even if they do not click your links or take the action you want them to, they are already familiar with your name and your brand; when they’ve opened a few emails from you, retargeting them in ads with relevant offers is likely to yield results due to the familiarity principle. In fact, this is so effective that research shows it can boost conversions by up to 400 percent.
4. Follow Up Exactly After 48 Hours
When is the right time to follow up? Many of us are even afraid to follow up because we don’t want to be a bother, and when we do follow up we do it ineffectively. What if research has the answer to maximizing results from your follow ups? Well, it does. According to a USC Viterbi School of Engineering study, that analyzed 16 billion emails from 2 million users, 90 percent of people will either respond to an email within 48 hours or never. In essence, you should assume that most people won’t be responding to your email after 48 hours.
Based on this study, it is recommended to send your follow up exactly after 48 hours; this way, the initial email is still fresh in your prospect’s mind and there is a high chance that they will respond. If still no response, you can consider using the 3-7-7 formula developed based on this research.
If you’re sending marketing emails to a newsletter, you can further take advantage of this fact by segmenting unopens for every email you send; monitor your emails to see which people haven’t opened your email after 48 hours, segment them and email them again. In fact, I recently published a list of email software providers that will allow you to segment unopens. Here are some tips:
Wait at least 48 to 72 hours before sending your follow up.
Make it clear in your follow up that you’re following up based on a previous message you had sent.
Modify the title of your follow up email; that could have something to do with why it wasn’t opened in the first place.
5. Fine-Tune Your Emails for Mobile Devices: It’s a well-established fact that mobile-only visits have now surpassed desktop-only visits, and Google made waves a while back when they started penalizing sites not optimized for mobile users. Most businesses are optimized for mobile users, until it gets to their email marketing.
Not optimizing your emails for mobile devices is costing you a lot of sales; in fact, a particular study found that a whopping 75 percent of emails that can’t be read on Smartphones are deleted. Check to make sure that your email service provider has an option to optimize emails for mobile devices; most importantly, test every email on a mobile device before you send it.
6. Use Email Automation and Targeting: While most email service providers have an autoresponder feature, email marketing is much more sophisticated than that today. With most email service providers, it is possible to completely automate your message using an “if this then that” scenario.
This makes it easy for you to automatically send different emails to different subscribers depending on actions they take. For example, if someone hasn’t opened your emails in a while, you can use automation to send fewer emails. If someone is actively clicking your links and enjoying your content, you can use automation to gradually introduce your offers. If someone buys your products, you can use automation to up-sell a more expensive version.
It’s worth checking with your email service provider to see if this option is available, and then develop a full-fledged automation system that runs in your absence, delivering targeted emails to subscribers depending on how they respond to your emails.