The fall is synonymous with fun activities like pumpkin lattes and jumping into piles of fallen leaves, but here at SendinBlue, we engage in a whole different kind of autumn activity: rounding up the best pre-holiday email marketing articles that we can find!
So far this fall, we’re focused on sharing the best ways to create customer-focused email campaigns. Why? Because the #1 rule of successful communication is to know your audience. Use these resources on your journey to understanding your customers, serving their needs through email, and planning for a successful 2016:
Building Your 2016 Email Calendar: A Planning Process for Success
The President of Synchronicity Marketing, Karen Talavera, believes that proper planning is essential for email campaign success. In her article, she reasons that not having a scheduling calendar can lead to inconsistent sending and improper timing (and that can result in customer confusion or frustration). To build your year-long email calendar properly, she lays out 5 key sequential steps and a bonus tip:
1. Use a blank calendar and slot in times for your regular content (newsletters, digests, etc.)
2. Layer in promotional emails around important holidays and company events
3. Identify special campaigns that you plan on running and any fixed dates associated with them (contests, sweepstakes, etc.)
4. Add any interactive engager campaigns that you typically run (trigger emails, onboarding series, birthday emails, etc.)
5. Identify automated email campaigns (shopping cart abandonment reminders, etc.) and determine where caps should be set to avoid overwhelming contacts
6. Bonus Tip: Take a step back and look at where your calendar has gaps to identify opportunities for those areas and where it has a lot of overlap to prioritize your efforts
Karen Talavera is a member of the Email Experience Council (EEC) and serves on the Member Advisory Committee (MAC) executive leadership team. The EEC blog is chocked full of more articles to help you elevate your marketing strategy, so check back regularly for more advice.
Best Times to Send a Marketing Email: A Quick Guide
Charles Gaiennie’s recent article on email marketing timing advises how to recognize the best time to send your promotional emails. He illustrates,
“You may have the best offer, the coolest images, and the most compelling marketing text ever written, but there is little benefit if your message drops at a time when your audience is unlikely to read it. Timing is that magical component without which all of your other efforts are for naught… For example, you might find it convenient to send out a weekly promotion or special on Tuesday morning at 9:23 a.m., a time when many email marketing experts say is perfect for slipping a message into a recipient’s inbox. But if your contacts are asleep at 9:23 a.m. because they are nightshift nurses or dance club doormen, your disconnect with them may bring a sad end to the campaign, even though you did everything else right.”
To figure out when the best time to email your audience is, he stresses the importance of using data to understand your readers. He explains that you should segment your email list, conduct A/B testing, and then track your campaign results.
Charles is a 30 year industry veteran – writing, speaking, and coaching businesses of all sizes on the subjects of advertising, marketing, and PR. He’s also a regular writer for Web Marketing Today and you can follow Web Marketing Today on Twitter for more email marketing content.
4 Reasons Broadcast Emails May Be Quietly Breaking Your Email Program
In his trigger email-focused article, Chad White explains that relying solely on broadcast emails isn’t the best strategy. Instead, he discusses the benefits of using a trigger email strategy to achieve your marketing objectives. He states,
“Triggered and transactional emails are accounting for more and more of channel revenue… These messages are incredibly effective because they are triggered by subscriber behavior, and therefore, they reach a subscriber when he or she is engaged with the brand. They also contain content that’s tailored to the individual’s needs at that moment… For some brands, revenue from these emails — which include welcome, browse and cart abandonment, birthday, post-purchase and order confirmation emails — already account for the majority of their email marketing revenue.”
Chad White is the Research Director at Litmus, as well as a respected journalist and published author. Add the Litmus blog to your RSS feed to get more helpful articles like this one delivered to you. Or, follow Chad White on Twitter for regular business tips and resources.
Why Email Calls to Action are Different than Web Page CTAs
Kath Pay’s article reminds us that Calls-to-Action (CTAs) vary depending on whether a push or pull strategy is being used. She explains that email is typically a push channel, whereas a website is more of a pull channel. She goes on to say,
“With a push channel such as email, we as marketers are pushing our offers out to subscribers with a suggestion like, ‘Would you like to…?’ or ‘Why not consider…?’ With email, the buyer is more likely to be closer to the top of the purchase funnel, rather than closer to the bottom of the funnel as with search or the website. But why is this important to keep in mind when crafting a call to action for email? Simply because we need to ensure that we’re asking people to take the most appropriate action based on where they’re at within a buying journey. If the trigger doesn’t feel right to them, they’re less likely to convert.”
Kath is an expert author, speaker and trainer on the subject of email marketing. She’s a prolific writer whose work has been featured on some of the industry’s hottest sites. For more insightful resources from Kath, follow the Holistic Email marketing blog and her Twitter account.
How Birchbox Engages Customers with ‘Personalisation that Disappears’
After attending Canvas Conference earlier this fall Ben Davis writes about a talk he heard Liz Crawford, the CTO of Birchbox, give on the subject of personalization in ecommerce. His article summarizes the insights that she shared. He says:
“Five years ago, those that were personalising their ecommerce service were ahead of the curve and ‘data scientist’ sounded a bit like a made-up job title. Fast forward to today and everybody is doing it, creating deeper relationships to enhance customer lifetime value. Personalisation is now more than a recommendation algorithm… So, when emailing customers, do this in response to customer activity or change, rather than part of a pre-planned marketing calendar, however sophisticated your segmentation is. This includes tactics such as a ‘shop our recommendations for you’ email, including products chosen based on recent browsing history.”
Ben is a senior writer at Econsultancy with a ton of titles under his belt. Follow the Econsultancy blog to see more of his work and find some other great marketing resources from his colleagues.
Now that you know how to plan and schedule your email campaigns, as well as what to include in them to elicit the most engagement, get started today! Remember that a well-executed customer-centric approach can be incredibly effective, but all of your efforts should still be tested to achieve optimal performance. Don’t be afraid to modify your strategy as you go to respond to the data that you’re seeing. Use the metrics that your SendinBlue dashboard provides to tweak your efforts and continue to improve with each additional email sent.