Clueless emails and overflowing inboxes

Sloppy email marketing can be very irritating for customers and prospects, and industry benchmarks illustrate the dire quality of most material.

It is a numbers game, and despite the huge volumes of emails, the amount of clicks generated is very low.

When it comes to email marketing campaigns and newsletters,  the current Australian benchmark is a 4% conversion rate for a prospect clicking on any link within an email. Fewer than 22% of these emails are even opened.

Of course you should be aiming to achieve a better than average result for your marketing, and there are a lot of factors leading to these conversion rates.

Like the simple fact that 66% of emails sent in Australia were blocked as spam in 2012. Of course that still leaves a huge volume of messages, with many employees within large organisations receiving hundreds of work related emails every day.

Put simply, the odds are stacked against you if you shoot from the hip, and fail to take a strategic approach to email marketing.

Issues to consider for your email content include:

  • what is in it for the reader?
  • what level of relationship do they have with your business?
  • how often should you interrupt their lives?
  • are there natural groups (segments) within your audience/prospects?
  • is the particular material suitable for every reader, or should you tailor material?
  • do they remember that they gave you opt-in permission?

Segmenting your email list is one of the best tactics to improve performance. It can be used to deliver tailored messages to prospects with particular interests, or allow the performance of multiple content variations to be compared. This can be used to improve open and click through rates (CTR).

But no matter how you slice and dice your audience, the subject line and sender address are crucially important.

gmail-updateNot only does your email subject line need to convince the reader it is worth opening, you need to grab and focus their attention. Like befriending a rottweiler with a lamb chop.

While you are waving that chop around, it is also worth remembering that 90% of smartphone users access their email on their phone. Material needs to be easily readable on a small screen, and landing page actions need to be easy to complete using a mobile phone.

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