What is the most complicated part of email marketing or marketing in general? It isn’t static. However, this is also the best part of it - you can never get bored. Anxious, nervous, on the verge of snapping from brainstorming, building an email list, browsing email marketing guides, and lack of sleep, but definitely not bored.
As the seasons change and you get closer to wrapping up the current year, you must keep in mind that your customers are doing the same thing right now. They're getting ready to make the most out of Q4 and planning their moves for the year 2022. Do you want to show them that great minds think alike, and they definitely should know you better as a vendor and a brand? Then you should make it clear with your email marketing. This is where we got your back by compiling the most important email marketing practices that you can and should use.
1. Do more A/B testing
A good sender is never satisfied with just one set of email templates. People's needs and concerns change with time, so you will encounter the necessity to adjust your message and make it more appropriate for the current time. It's not an easy task, so you should create several versions of the same message and see which one delivers the highest response rate. However, you must do your A\B testing correctly to receive the most accurate data.
- Don’t test all elements in one email. As a rule, most senders alter their subject line, body text, and call to action in the same campaign. Here's why it's wrong: When you see any tangible results (increased open rate or click-through rate), you can't tell which component works as intended. Is it the subject line? The body text? The CTA? Who knows! True research requires you to be scrupulous and attentive to details, so make sure to test every component in a separate campaign.
- Experiment with jargon. This piece of advice never gets old. Recipients love it when you display some knowledge of the terminology used in their industry. It shows that you have experience and know your way around. When they are busy planning their future, they want reliable people on board, so using their slang and niche-specific expressions will show that you are the right person for the job.
- Inject interactivity. As the final quarter draws closer, you might try and get into your prospects' heads by interviewing them about their plans. To many people, it's a helpful exercise: Sometimes, you need some perspective to figure out what you want or what you need. Helpful polls that connect relevant questions and some aspects of your product would be a welcome distraction while providing you with interesting information.
Remember: Your recipients are more willing to explore new directions because they want to outline their roadmap for the next year. Grab this opportunity and do your thing!
2. Use your metrics right with the right email marketing program
There are many deliverability metrics to keep an eye on. To make things easier, you must prioritize your metrics following your Q4 email marketing goals. For example, if there are any important updates or news that your recipients must know about, you should track Open Rate and focus on polishing your subject line. If you want to accelerate your sales for Q4, you should watch your engagement rate together with visits to your website and interactions with its features.
At this point, you must be confident that your tools are up to the task. In addition to watching your key metrics, you should also have a clear view of your Sender Score and your relationship with spam filters. After all, spammers become incredibly active during the last quarter of the year, prompting internet service providers to tighten their security and investigate every new sender. Therefore, you need a good look at what's going on with both your recipients and your mailboxes.
Luckily, you don't need to add several services at once. Folderly can give you information about your open rate, your deliverability, and your status as a sender without forcing you to switch tabs or fight your way through the complex interface. The overview of all deliverability tools is available here, so feel free to dive in and see which one fits you.
3. Map out a “before you send” policy
When you're in a hurry to close Q4, it's so easy to get carried away with executing your email marketing strategies. When your response rate is high and interactions flow, you can start making mistakes. It's okay if you slip up a couple of times, but when you make it your routine, you should do something about it. The best way to avoid any conundrums and angering spam-filters (or the recipients on your email list) is to write down a list of things you should do before you send an email.
- Am I using a customized or default "From" name? Your “From” field is another way to make your message more informative and get your prospects’ interest before they read the body text. Don’t ignore it, and it won’t let your recipients ignore you.
- Did I add an opt-out option? All your new campaigns must come complete with a tiny instruction on how your prospects can stop receiving emails from you. It’s a common (and legally obligating) courtesy to respect your recipients’ wishes.
- Did I thank my recipients for investing their time in reading my message? It may seem like an insignificant thing, but it's a part of etiquette. Even if you send to subscribed recipients only, you should still thank them for their participation and their choice to interact with your email.
- Do I know how to explain myself? Let's say that something doesn't go as planned. Your message rubbed your recipients the wrong way, you didn't remove a prospect from your email list, you reached out to a recipient with a bad case of email fatigue… Whatever the reason, sometimes your prospects get angry with you. You can't dodge it all the time, but you can patch things up as long as you address their anger, acknowledge their right to it, and explain that you didn't mean to be an inconvenience to your recipients.
You can't always stay a perfect sender. This truth, however, doesn't mean you can relax and get sloppy. Instead, keep that fact in mind to predict any possible pitfalls or challenges and develop a set of email marketing strategies for dealing with them.
4. Invest in landing pages
Landing pages are no longer a pain to create and use for fueling your email campaigns. Instead, they can become powerful helpers and let you smoothly guide your potential buyers through their journey.
- Introduce new products. If you have upcoming projects in mind or are in the process of developing additional products, you should build up the hype early. It will pay off once you launch full-scale promotion campaigns because a fraction of your target audience would be aware and inclined to explore your fresh offers.
- Spread awareness about your content. The same goes for your inbound marketing: Are you planning to mark the end of the year by releasing an e-book or a massive report? Simply informing your subscribers or adding a new block to the website won't do. Show more confidence! You worked hard to get your guide done, so don't be shy - spread the word. If you want to launch a webinar, this event is also worth creating a landing page and sending your subscribers an invitation with a link. When you roll out the red carpet for your potential visitors, they are quite likely to attend. Everybody loves VIP treatment.
- Continue building interactivity. We firmly believe that gamification is the future. People are no longer willing to tolerate boredom and lack of excitement at the workplace. Therefore, serving content and offers in a challenging and interactive way can spice things up and let your prospects have fun. Whether it's a small text-based quest, a colorful puzzle, or any other kind of entertainment a single landing page can provide, your prospects are going to appreciate the effort. So if your industry and target audience allows such experiments, go wild!
Whatever landing pages you decide to create and add, you must make them compatible with your corporate style and brand voice. Work together with your art director and web developer to see what you can do.
5. Never forget about the holidays
Holidays are your good friends…and also your enemies. Well, not the holidays exactly, but the spammers and scammers who become extremely active during high seasons, preying on unsuspecting users and abusing their trust. Elderly people get attacked by phone scammers who pretend to be bank employees, while users who rely on email outreach to solve their business matters have to deal with phishing and malware senders. During this period, your duty is not to get confused with those shady people (to be honest, this is one of the email marketing tips that you should remember regardless of the season).
- Don’t bother prospects on holidays. You have a week before the holiday to push your special offer or a holiday discount. After this, you’re not to bother people who are busy celebrating and enjoying their time with their friends and family. By the way, shouldn’t you be doing the same? Plan your campaigns in a way that will let both you and your recipients enjoy the festivities.
- Tailor your content thoroughly. Some people wait for holiday sales eagerly, some of them roll their eyes and brace themselves for the avalanche of useless ads and offers. Don't make a segment of your email list happy at another segment's expense. Talk to your subscribers. Send them a questionnaire asking them what kind of content they want to receive during holidays. Thanks to this, you'll be able to craft different templates and ensure that all your subscribers are happy with their content.
- Don’t change your sending frequency. Here is the thing most senders get burned by. When the holiday season begins, they start sending messages like crazy. All the caution and moderation are thrown to the wind - what can go wrong? As a result, everything goes wrong. Internet service providers are on high alert during hot seasons, and they will take notice of your frantic sending. So, stick to your warmup schedule and don't increase the number of emails - quality is more important than quantity.
Holidays can be both a pleasant and excruciating experience. However, it's in your power to change things for the better and let your prospects know that you want to celebrate with them, not use the occasion as an excuse to milk them for their money.
Best email marketing practices and you
Our message to everyone who made it to Q4: Congratulations! We hope your email marketing campaigns will deliver wonderful results and work seamlessly. These four months are the final push until the end of 2021, and we hope that these email marketing practices will let you pass this test with flying colors.
In case you want to fortify your email marketing or are planning to start with outbound in 2022, our Folderly guide can introduce you to the details and let you launch your first outbound campaign successfully! Check it out and let us know what you think.