Making a positive impact on your email marketing program doesn't have to be time consuming, nor does it need to be a challenge. In just one afternoon, you can fix display errors, build out a new segment, run a split test, and even save a few bucks.
Purge Chronic Non-Openers
Why send emails to subscribers who don't read your messages? It's time to purge those chronic non-openers. Depending on your ESPs capabilities, you can pull out a segment of subscribers who do not open and read their emails over time. Segment out these folks and move them into an "aged subscribers" list. Treating this list like a re-engagement effort can bring disinterested readers back into the fold via "win-back" campaigns and the like.
Your ESP may offer dynamic segmentation so you can work with these segments on the fly, be sure to check out their help section or speak with your account rep.
Revisit Your Code
When was the last time you or your developer looked at your template code? Ensuring that your email renders properly in all relevant email clients should be a priority for every email marketer, so send, send, send to as many accounts as you can. Maybe you need to add a display:block inline style to your images since Gmail made some changes; you can't be certain if you don't see for yourself.
If you have a growing segment of users viewing on mobile devices, you'll want to check your email on your co-workers' various smart phones and tablets.
Add a New Segment
After examining results from a client's promotional emails, we discovered that their frequent buyers drove most of the email revenue. We also found that their frequent clickers and openers responded less to offers with free shipping. In-the-know customers were aware of free shipping availability already, so the offer was moot. The client adjusted their messaging to each of these segments — they attached free shipping promo codes to offers targeted to less-active customers, and sent discount codes to customers with higher engagement.
If you have a segment available, and it makes sense, use it. Try emailing your female subscribers a mother's day message, or send an extra coupon to frequent buyers to build additional orders.
The beauty of email marketing is that results from testing are nearly instantaneous and effortlessly accessible. Deploy a campaign, and see live results. Test a different style of subject line or alternate wording in a call to action. Make the buttons a different color. Many ESPs offer automated A/B testing, so take advantage and let the software do the legwork for you.
Just remember to test smart — make one change at a time and use the best associated metrics to select a winner.
Mike Anderson is Allora Media's Creative Director. With more than a decade of experience designing communications for business, education, television, film, and government agencies, Mike specializes in helping Allora's clients maintain their brand, as well as usability across email campaigns, landing pages, and full blown websites.