Email is one of the top-performing marketing tactics retail businesses, and many other industries, can use to increase website traffic and revenue.
However, in the pursuit of garnering more engagement, higher click-through rates and increased conversion, it’s easy to feel lost and confused.
To provide more clarity around the term and to break down how this marketing method works, we’ve addressed ten of the most common email marketing questions:
Q: What is email marketing?
A: Email marketing is the act of sending out advertising campaigns or newsletters via email. The messages reach customers and prospective customers instantly, informing them of the latest sales and promotions, a new blog posted to your website, or company news and updates. And while the concept seems simple, email marketing requires constant monitoring, an understanding of industry trends, attention to detail, creativity and a fair bit of copywriting skill.
Q: How often should emails be sent?
A: There is no right or wrong answer to this question. To find what is effective for your company, vary the quantity of emails sent out month to month, and take note of what number or distribution pattern sees the highest open rate and conversion.
Q: When is the best day/time to distribute eblasts and newsletters?
A: This answer can also vary. Monitoring open and click-through rates is the easiest way to find the timing that’s most effective for your company.
In most cases, you’ll want to avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, but depending on your audience and campaign goals, those times could possibly garner the most clicks! Retailers often see the best results at the beginning of the month (after payday).
Q: How can I prevent my emails from being labeled as SPAM?
A: Review your emails’ content as well as a best practices list to ensure your strategy and messaging are in compliance with all rules and regulations set by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Also, encourage recipients to add you to their safe sender list. This is the most effective way to prevent emails from being labeled incorrectly.
Q: How can I make sure my email is readable on a mobile device?
A: Almost every report on email open rates concludes that mobile is responsible for at least 50% of all opens. That means half of your subscribers will likely be reading your content on a screen that’s about three inches wide. How do you ensure your content is readable? Build your emails using responsive design.
Responsive email design automatically adjusts to the size of a recipient’s device. Most email marketing tools, like Constant Contact, offer templates that are mobile responsive, but if you’re designing the campaign yourself, aim to keep your content within a single column.
Q: How do I personalize an email?
A: Merge tags make it easy to address a subscriber by his or her name. To use merge tags, first, make sure subscribers are providing their first name when signing up for your email marketing list. Then, to incorporate their name into an email, just copy and paste *|FNAME|* in the subject line or any text box. For example, you could start a message with something similar to:
Good morning, *|FNAME|*! TGIF!
Q: What is the difference between a hard and soft bounce?
A: In email marketing, a “bounce” means your message couldn’t be delivered to a subscriber’s email address. A hard bounce means an email address is invalid or doesn’t exist. A soft bounce occurs when an email is valid but a mailbox is full, the server is down, or the message is too big for the recipient’s inbox.
Q: What is an acceptable unsubscribe rate?
A: An effective campaign’s unsubscribe rate should be no more than one percent.
Q: How long does it take to see results?
A: Businesses often see 90 percent of their total response within the first three business days after a campaign is sent.
Q: I’m in over my head and don’t know where to start. What do I do?
A: If you have additional questions or would like help developing an email marketing strategy, contact Baer performance Marketing today!