Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2015-09-30
It is Albert Einstein who has been attributed with the notion that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In Part Five of my video series on “Thought Leader Life,” which I recently co-hosted with Mitchell Levy, we discussed how this same theory often holds true in email marketing.
During the conversation, we interviewed Kneko Burney, Founder & CEO at marketing consulting firm Change3 Enterprises. As Kneko often gets clients coming to her seeking to improve their email marketing initiatives, she had some great advice for driving a higher return on investment (ROI). Here are six email campaign remediation tips she relayed:
- Know your ideal customer: The first thing Kneko asks her clients is to define their ideal customer. What do they look like? Do they already have a favorable impression of you? What type of company are they with? Kneko often learns that her clients do not have an answer, or struggle with a consensus. Without knowing this, your messaging will no doubt be off target, and will likely be merely annoying to your audience.
- Match your contact list to your ideal customer: It wouldn’t make sense to offer women’s clothes to men, would it? Too often, companies’ email contact lists do not align with their ideal customer profile. As such, they need to either offer their contacts content that is relevant to them, (e.g. in this example, offering a discount for men to easily purchase gifts for their wives or girlfriends), or eliminate them from their database entirely. Although decreasing the size of your database might be counterintuitive, the idea is not to “shotgun” your content and hope it sticks, but be a sniper with targeted messages directed at the ideal customer.
- Shoot for the top of the bell curve: Knowing the industry standard benchmarks will help marketers understand where they stand relative to their peers, and whether they need to be making major changes. For example, the open rate for B2B email campaigns is generally between 20 and 35 percent. However, for a B2B audience that is familiar with your brand, defined as individuals who have at opened at least one email from you in the last 3 months, that open rate should increase to between 35 and 50%. As open rates look like the classic bell curve, if you send too many messages, your results will decrease. Marketers need to shoot for the top of the bell curve, and determine the ideal email frequency for their target audiences.
- Have your messages come from a person: The best, most successful communication these days is person-to-person; not brand-to-person. As such, your communications should be coming from a champion or thought leader from within your company, as opposed to a generic company email address. This person should be the face of your company brand, in email and in social media, blogging, events, etc. For larger companies, this might be several leaders who represent your brand in aggregate. Sending an email from a person can double or even triple open rates.
- Not all contacts are created equal: Some companies will dump all their contacts – from myriad business units or varying products or services – into a single database, and blast all equally. But these clients might be interested in one particular area and not another one, and sending more mismatched content will only lead to a negative result.
- Less is more: While narrowing and segmenting your contacts list should increase results, bombarding them with messages (more is more) will only work against you. If you haven’t received an action from a contact, you need to change the message. Kneko advised one client who wasn’t getting good open rates to create a simple message communicating that “we haven’t heard from you lately… would you like to unsubscribe?” This tactic, and possibly the threat of losing something, generated a great response – between a 15 and 20 percent open rate, which is outstanding for an unengaged audience. If an alternate campaign still doesn’t generate responses among these contacts, consider eliminating them entirely.
Email that is not relevant to the receiver will only be considered noise by them. So stop making noise and figure out how to create messages that resonate with your targeted audiences. Only when you have identified the right contacts and paired them up with the right messages at the right time will your emails pique interest and begin to deliver the kind of ROI you’re seeking.
For more pearls of wisdom from Kneko, you can watch the complete interview here.
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