When I first I moved from selling and leveraging sponsorship, merchandise and TV rights to applying the principles of CRM and BI to the sports industry, I met lots of experts who told me email marketing was dead – usually they were social media mavericks who would claim ‘all hail to Facebook and Twitter”. Of course social media is a key component of a marketer’s toolkit, but email has continued to hold its positions as a key communication channel for two key reasons:
a) it’s now universally acknowledged that while social media is great for reach and excitement, you don’t actually own your likes, followers or subscribers, you’re only borrowing them from the respective channel. And while your fans are engaging on a platform you don’t own, their attention is being distracted by advertisements and content from brands that aren’t yours or your sponsors.
b) engagement is about finding the right channel to suit your customers; it’s about multi-channel campaigning so there’s a role for email NEXT to social media…..and to that point we’ve now amended our definition of CRM to “right message, right person, right time, AND right platform(s)”.
So while there are still the nay-sayers who continue to say email marketing is dead, there’s also a significant amount of research and papers that say the opposite (although don’t forget that 86% of statistics are made up on the spot!)
With this in mind, we developed an email marketing training course – not for the techies, there’s no HTML coding in our workshops; the focus is on helping the business leads (marketers, sales folk, comms personnel, etc.) understand how to use this valuable communication tool as part of a CRM strategy. Our focus is on delivering in line with strategy, and analysing results (both to inform future campaigns but also for BI purposes.)
One unique point about our training – we deliver it on a company-specific basis where we teach both the principles and then the practical on our client’s own platforms. We realised when we started this that there’s no point in recommending certain tactics if you don’t have the functionality to employ them.
So here are our 6 top tips for email marketers – they’re not rocket science (they’re not even data science) but they can often be missed in the rush to “get an email out the door”:
1) Ensure every email you send is aligned with at least one of your business objectives or department goals. Without this, you’re just sending an email to “tick a box”. Your email plan should also be added to your other communications schedules to ensure you’re aligned across all your channels.
2) Make the content interesting – if you’re objective is to sell tickets, use content to support this instead of a “BUY NOW” message.
3) Send your campaigns in segments to represent the different customer groups you’ll have in your database. Even if you’re not yet at the stage where you have customer profiles, you’ll probably know who buys your tickets and who doesn’t, who attends your events or volunteers at them, who’s previously opened a campaign and who hasn’t.
4) Consider the quantity of words you use in your emails – your objective is to get your customers to click on your links so tell them too much and they’ll have no need to do so, don’t tell them enough and they won’t know what the link will take them to. And don’t expect them to be have enough natural curiosity to click anyway – it doesn’t work that way. You have to pique their interest.
5) Use A/B or multi-variate testing – it helps improve your metrics when you know what subject lines, content placement or CTA designs/colours grab the most attention.
6) Analyse your campaign metrics – specifically your open, click-through and click-to-open rates. And if your platform doesn’t provide them, then switch platforms!
So that was a whistle-stop tour of some basic email tactics – if you’d like to learn more about our approach to using email within your CRM strategy, please get in touch or read more about our services.