The advantages of using an e-mail campaign as part of your marketing strategy are that you can exactly measure your efforts and then fine tune your future campaigns based on your findings. To optimize your e-mail campaign to be the best it can be, take a look at your variables, test them and measure them in order to harness the best possible outcome.
Examples of variables to test in your e-mail campaign:
Sender: Measure opening rate by: using your company’s name, an individual’s name, a keyword etc. Find a successful sender name and then stick with it for branding and company recognition purposes.
Subject line: Measure opening rate by testing different variations, including personalization and keywords.
Content: Measure click rate and conversion rate by using different variations of your content in terms of personalization, wording, call to action, layout, numbers, placement and types of images, length, numbers expressed in words or numbers, language level.
Day of the week and time: Measure opening rate and click through rate by testing different days of the week and times of day, as well as measuring these in connection with frequency of e-mail sent.
Clients or interested parties: Individualize and test your e-mail based on sending them to clients who have already bought your products, or individuals who have signed up for your e-mails, but haven’t converted yet.
Landing pages: Measure conversion rates based on what landing page you’re sending your potential customers to. Getting a potential customer to click on the ‘buy’ button in your e-mail is only part of the total selling/conversion process.
The landing page on your website that let’s the customer complete the purchase or other call to action goes hand in hand with the e-mail campaign. In other words, if you get a great click through rate on your ‘buy’ button, but a dismal overall conversion rate on your landing page, it’s time to test and optimize your landing page as well!
To further optimize your e-mail campaign, you can also try A/B split runs. For example, e-mail campaigns can be sent as A/B split-run by sending out version A of the e-mail to one random half the e-mail list and version B to the other half. This is one of the simplest ways to test your campaign with many different variables. With this type of A/B testing you’ll be able to determine which version is more successful in directing potential customers to take a planned action like signing up for a service or buying a product.
It’s important to define exactly what type of conversion/action is to be measured, like clicking on a specific link, or completing a task like filling out a form. This type of testing can also be applied to specific groups (for example men and women) within your e-mail lists, to ensure an even more focused test result.
E-mail campaigns allow you to perform small pre-tests by sending out several different versions to small random segments of the whole e-mail list. Subsequently the most successful pre-test campaign can then be sent to the remainder of the e-mail list.
How do I know my e-mail campaign was successful?
Some may argue, that a successful campaign ends with achieving or surpassing a certain sales goal. While that is certainly the most important goal of a campaign, it should not be overlooked what kind of effect the campaign will have on future sales decisions of current customers. Will they feel comfortable enough to make another purchase? Do they feel satisfied with the product or service and how they’ve been treated throughout the sales process?
Successful e-mail marketing starts with collecting correct e-mail addresses (and potentially other info), finding the right overall tone for your e-mails and time to send it, optimizing landing pages for best conversion rates and ends with the customer feeling satisfied and confident enough to also make future purchases and recommend the product or service to others.