As the Summer’s now in full swing, some of us may have experienced a slowdown in our email marketing with people taking time off for their family, holidays or computer games (you know who you are). Instead of watching cat videos or daydreaming of the pub garden, here are a few things you could be doing to use your quiet time effectively.
Simple Admin to Tidy Up
This includes the dreaded task of tidying up those email lists. My advice would be to delete any lists that are not currently in use. You can always perform data exports on campaigns previously sent if you ever need to refer to a particular email list again.
Sort out your email items and folders. How many of us have ‘Test1, Test2, Test3’ in the form of emails, lists and segments floating around? Remove anything you don’t need and set up a logical folder structure. This will improve navigation and may help when it comes to running reports on your email campaigns.
Cleanse Your Email Data
By this I don’t mean delete all serial non-openers from the last year – that would be too easy. Think about creating win-back email campaigns to re-engage with your inactive subscribers. Get these campaigns ready now, as they’ll need a lot of careful planning if they’re to work in your favour, and send them out towards the end of the Summer when things start picking up again.
Do you have a preference centre? Find out what your email subscribers actually want to receive from you along with some basic, but essential, profile data. Hyper-personalised emails are a must in 2016, so don’t let messy data ruin your chances of increasing the ROI of your emails or hitting your KPIs – remember those?
Discover Unused Tools
Explore the tools in your email marketing platform that you’re currently not using. In Maxemail, this could include tools for split testing, basket tracking, datatables, insight reports, multivariate testing, forms…. the list goes on. Exciting new ideas could be on the horizon once you discover that almost anything is possible.
Analyse Past Campaigns (No Excuses Now)
Now is the time to generate and analyse those reports you’ve been avoiding because you’ve been too busy. With a well structured folder system, this is made simple in a platform like Maxemail.
Take time to evaluate what has and hasn’t been working in your email marketing campaigns, and more importantly, start planning and implementing changes for when the busy season starts again. Set new targets for opens rates, click throughs, conversions and unsubscribes – could you improve on how you’re currently measuring these?
Email marketing is constantly evolving so don’t let yourself fall behind.
Check Your Automated Emails
If you have recurring or triggered emails that fire daily, stop to see if the content is still relevant to your audience. I often come across automated emails that contain out of date information, which can be pretty confusing for your customers and ultimately devalue your brand.
Also, check that they are mobile responsive (this is crucial) and while you’re at it, consider revamping your designs to keep all emails looking fresh. I’ve recently seen emails with ‘Copyright 2013’ in the footer – not a good look for your company.
Test Emails with a Preview Tool
With email clients constantly being updated, you’ll probably need to re-run email preview tests to check that your templates and automated emails are still looking good to your subscribers.
If you have automated data feeds in your system it’s worth testing these in case something has mysteriously changed in the background. No one wants to see “Dear [blank]” as an intro to their email, or worse yet “We hope you enjoyed your time in [firstname]” – I really have seen this before!
It’s Quiet… But Not That Quiet
I know I’ve mentioned that email marketing tends to slow down during the Summer, but be aware that mobile open rates have increased dramatically and email marketing has become more agile than ever. Wifi is available in almost every hotel these days, so use that to your advantage.
The important thing to remember is to make sure your emails are contextual and relevant by using the data and details you have on your customers.
If we are due a heatwave, then make sure your images, content and emails reflect this. If it’s only hot in the South but raining up North, could you separate your recipients to show them tailored content? What about the Olympics – fancy riding that wave for the Summer?
Make sure your subject lines are clever enough to encourage subscribers to open your email in the short time they’ll spend flicking through their crowded inbox.
There’s lots of opportunity to be a creative, so make some exciting plans today!