Last week we looked into email marketing data and what to do with it. We established that firms need to start making the most out of analytics that are on offer, and using them to optimize their marketing. Each Client Relationship Management (CRM) system will report differently, but most of them will gather the following information:
- Open rate
- Click through rate (CTR)
- Bounce rate
- soft and hard
Checking this information regularly is important, as it shows you the success of your campaigns –- crucial data that will inform your marketing going forward.
Once you’ve collected the data shown above, you must ask yourselves these four questions…
1. Do you know the average open and click-through rates for your industry?
Each industry has an average CTR. For example, the consulting industry has an average email open-rate around 19.54% and your click-through should be around 2.26% (source:MailChimp). These are targets that you should be setting your company to reach, or even exceed.
The question is, how can you make sure your email marketing reaches these levels? Here are a few of our top tips:
- Sign up to another consultant or consultancy firm’s newsletter or marketing emails who have a bigger following than you. Take inspiration from their subject lines and topic choices.
- It’s often not the message, it’s the messenger. Think about who you’re sending communications to and why they want to hear from you. If you’re sending an email to a CEO, they’re likely to open emails from people they either know or recognize, not a junior in a small firm.
- To increase the CTR on a link, be transparent. The reader needs to (a) know what they’re being redirected to and (b) how it will help/inform/interest them because…
2. Do you keep track of your successful emails?
Do some of your emails perform better than others? The likelihood is that they do. Use this to your advantage and take a look at what may have been the contributing factors to its success. Is it the time of day? Day of the week? Weather? According to a report from MailChimp, 10am to midday on a weekday is the most effective time to send out an email, regardless of industry.
Subject lines also have a huge impact on your open rates because it’s all the information your recipient has to decide whether or not to open your email. You need to make it count. In fact ‘33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone’ (source: Convince&Convert)
So, what makes a good subject line? There are some common themes across industry, for example, it’s been found that the word ‘tomorrow’ in a subject line entices people to open by an additional 10% (source: Sidekick).
Keep your subject lines personal. What does a typical email to a friend or colleague look like? That’s the tone and brevity you should be aiming for. You can also use your CRM’s (MailChimp, InfusionSoft etc.) coding options to add their name or firm name to subject lines for an extra layer of exclusivity.
3. Do you listen and react to your analytics?
Listening and reacting to your marketing data will help you understand the habits and preferences of your audience. If, for example, you get high CTRs on video links, but a low CTR on blog links, you know your audience responds better to visual than written content (which means you should be producing more visual content to engage with them).
The same can be said for email replies. If you’re sending out a thought leadership piece and you get 5 replies that offer thoughts and opinions, you know that it’s been successful and had the desired effect on your readership. Listen to what your audience is saying and tailor your future pieces in a similar or different style, depending on the feedback.
4. Are you aware of what’s happening in your industry?
Take note of what’s happening in your industry and in the news. Commenting on current affairs and industry topics is one more way you can attract the attention of your audience, and show the ‘human’ side to your organization.
People respond better to personal emails (which also drives down your spam complaints and unsubscribes).
By offering commentary on the day’s events, they’ll feel as though you’re engaging with them on a personal level, rather than an automated one.
Once you’ve answered all these questions you will be one step ahead of the competition and you’ll start to see increases in your open rates, CTRs and (ideally) number of new prospect enquiries.
If you want to avoid falling into the habit of undermining your own marketing by simply not making the most of what’s out there, get in touch. A senior member of the JTN team will be more than happy to talk through your email marketing strategy and ensure you’re using all the tools .