Alert Solutions Blog

Make Your Email Marketing Campaigns More Effective This Year - 10 Tips

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

Email remains to be a powerful marketing channel used by organizations of all sizes to communicate with their customers and prospects.  But because email marketing is so prevalent, yours can always use improvement to stand out from the inbox crowd.

We’ve laid-out 10 tips you can use to make your email marketing campaigns more effective in the New Year:

Tip #1Don’t forget to optimize for mobile phones. Many emails are read exclusively from mobile devices so templates and forms should be mobile-friendly for conversion.

Tip #2 Personalize email marketing campaigns to be relevant to each recipient.  Emails that don’t resonate with a person’s interests or pain points can be discarded easily.emailtips.png

Tip #3 Check settings and make email marketing campaigns appear as being sent from an actual person.  64% of email recipients check the sender’s name before opening, according to CIO.

Tip #4Be thoughtful and send emails at the right time.  B2C email marketers find that evenings are best on weekdays, with consideration given to the recipient’s time zone.  B2B emails are different.

Tip #5 Make sure you email marketing campaign has a noticeable and actionable call-to-action (CTA). You want to direct the recipient to “do something”, even if it’s enticing them to learn more on your website.

Tip #6 A/B test different subject lines to sample sets of subscribers to see which is received best.  Alternatively, you can resend email marketing campaigns to those that don’t open with a different subject line.

Tip #7 Preview in different email clients and abbreviate subject lines as needed.  Content that is clipped may be looked-over by your subscribers.

Tip #8 Try plain text emails or emails with very little images and hyperlinks.  These can appear more personalized like a one-off email message.

Tip #9 Reduce unsubscribe requests and allow subscribers to manage their own preferences. This can be segmented into email marketing campaign categories or time frames so recipients can still be connected at their leisure.

Tip #10 Take a close look at all reports and statistics.  The insight into who is opening, who is clicking links and who is bouncing back can enhance the quality of your marketing lists and future email marketing campaign results.

Learn how Alert Solutions can help you create, launch and manage effective email marketing campaigns in 2017.  Download our Email Platform Overview today!

Email Marketing Worksheet Download Now

Topics: marketing relevance, email marketing, email marketing best practices, call-to-action

Now’s the Time! Plan Your Holiday Email Marketing Strategy

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

With less than one month until Black Friday, email marketers aren’t wasting any time preparing their holiday email marketing strategies. 

But wasn’t it just summer?!  We know how you feel…

Nevertheless, an early jumpstart on holiday email marketing campaigns will have them in good shape and ready to send off by winter. To help, we’ve put together 3 questions to evaluate in the planning stages:

1. What Offer(s) Will You Promote in Your Email Marketing Campaigns?
Email marketing recipients will be interested to see your best holiday offers and discounts. Exclusive sales could keep you top-of-mind, build loyalty and turn holiday customers into repeat buyers all year round.

2. When Will You Send Your Email Marketing?holidayemailmarketing.png
Inbox competition will be tough – especially around the holiday season.  Your emails will be in-line with many others, making send time is an important consideration.  HubSpot says that emails sent on weekends enjoy high open and click rates.  The same is true for email marketing campaigns sent during week night evenings.

3. Who Will Receive Your Email Marketing Campaigns? 
List segmentation and marketing relevance is just as important for your holiday email marketing campaigns as any other time of year.  You want to present recipients with offers that make them think you understand their wants and preferences.  Take extra time now to thoughtfully segment your list.

BONUS TIP: Don’t procrastinate!  Start putting together your holiday email marketing campaigns now so you’re ready to relax when the holidays come.

Alert Solutions’ Holiday Email Marketing Best Practice Kit has many other tips and tricks you can read early-on.

Download the Best Practice  Guide Today!

Topics: holiday, email marketing, email marketing best practices

5 Do’s and Don’ts for Your Email Marketing Campaign Call-to-Action

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 12:08 PM

A strong call-to-action (CTA) is essential for a highly-effective email marketing campaign.  Whether an image, text link, or landing page button, your call-to-action helps direct your recipients to some sort of desired action.

Improve your call-to-action and watch your email marketing ROI soar.  Check out these 5 Do’s and Don’ts before putting together your next email marketing campaign:CalltoAction.png

Do’s:

1. DO avoid having conflicting CTAs.
- Tests show singular CTAs perform better.
2. DO make your call-to-action flashy and noticeable.
3. DO provide a sense of urgency.
4. DO remember to use personalization for increased relevance.
5. DO test two or more separate CTAs (like A/B testing) to see which work best.

Don’ts:

1. DON’T consider your call-to-action to always be monetary or promotional.
- Offer informational content that’s of value, too.
2. DON’T use a call-to-action that isn’t compatible with mobile devices.
3. DON’T label landing page buttons with the word “submit”.
- Instead, try “Learn More”, “Buy Now”, or something similar.
4. DON’T publish a CTA that is not clear and concise.
5. DON’T set unrealistic expectations with fake offers.

Share your own call-to-action best practices; let us know on our blog.

Email Marketing Worksheet Download Now

Topics: lead generation, email marketing, email marketing best practices, call-to-action

4 Ways to Make Your Email Marketing Call-to-Action More Effective

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

Your email marketing campaign’s call-to-action (CTA) helps to elicit a response from your recipients.  This could be anything from a coupon code to a brochure download, or anything in between.

Unless your email marketing content is purely informational, there’s always a result you hope to have your target audience complete. It’s the purpose of sending the email marketing campaign in the first place.

Today, we review 4 ways you can help make your call-to-action (CTA) more effective:CalltoAction1-1.jpg

#1: Make Sure Your Call-to-Action Is Understandable
Your call-to-action should be short, sweet and very clear to the recipient.  If there’s confusion about what the reader needs to do, they likely won’t do it.  Use verbs to guide the reader, such as “learn more” or “shop now”.

#2: Avoid Having More than One Call-to-Action 
Tests have shown that email marketing campaigns with one singular call-to-action perform much better than those with two or more.  Conversion rates were 12 times greater!  If you do insist on more than one, be sure that they relate to each other.

#3: Provide a Sense of Urgency in Your Email Marketing Campaign
According to Practical eCommerce, the word ‘now’ is seen on more than one-third of Amazon’s product pages.  By adding a sense of urgency to your call-to-action (CTA), increase chances of a conversion exactly when and where your email is read by the recipient.

#4: When in Doubt, Test Your CTAs!
Similar to the way you might test multiple email subject lines, don’t hesitate to test two or more separate CTAs to a subset of your email marketing list.  This will help you determine which is most actionable for the bulk of your list.

Alert Solutions has many more email marketing tips and tricks you will find helpful.  Find them all here!

Email Marketing Worksheet Download Now

Topics: lead generation, email marketing, email marketing best practices, call-to-action

Want to Maximize Your Email Marketing ROI? Try List Segmentation

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 11:03 AM

Email marketing is already known to provide one of the best returns on investment (ROI) of any marketing communication channel.  But there’s always room for improvement!

One of the best ways to maximize your email marketing ROI even further is by list segmentation.  This process involves splitting your subscribers into different categories to send more targeted and relevant email marketing content.

Today, we’ll discuss a handful of list segmentation strategies that you can apply to your own email marketing list.  Give it a shot before your next email marketing campaign.

1. Past Email ActivityListseg.png
Try to gauge each subscriber’s level of engagement with past email marketing campaigns.  Who’s opening?  Who’s clicking links?  Who’s forwarding the email on to someone else?  Also important, who’s NOT doing those things? Dive deep into your email reporting metrics to figure out which subscribers interact the most with your messages and specially target the ones that don’t.

2. Demographics
Demographics are imperative for list segmentation.  Age group, gender, education level and household income are all demographic examples that you can use to better segment your list.  What’s an ideal way to collect demographics?  Request them during the subscription process!  You can also use email surveys to help collect demographic information from existing subscribers.  Store all this data in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

 3. Geographic Location
Segmenting your list by city or state can be a great audience targeting method.  This helps make your email marketing campaigns more relatable to the recipient, with a special offer for their area, or a local event they would like to know about.

4. Send-Time & Frequency
We’ve talked about it before on our blog: email send-time best practices.  It is important to keep in mind so that your email doesn’t get buried in the inbox.  Also, email frequency is a very helpful list segmentation method.  Ask your subscribers when and how often they prefer to hear from you.  Accommodating their preference is best for your campaign performance!

These list segmentation techniques all have the same purpose: increase relevance to your recipients and improve email conversions rates

What better way to improve your email marketing ROI?

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: list segmentation, list segmentation best practices, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Property Managers: Are You Taking Advantage of Email Marketing?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

Vacant units are never a good topic of discussion for property managers.  They cost money to recondition and they cost money in lost-rent each day they aren’t leased.

For property managers looking to fill vacant units, how do you do so?  Sure, you could advertise on rental websites, put up a sign or two, or even hire a real estate agent.  But have you tried a more direct approach?

Some property managers are filling vacant units with email marketing.  It’s a relatively inexpensive form of communication that can provide a huge return on investment (ROI).

Here are three easy steps to get started:

Step 1: Build an Email Marketing List

Start with creating an email marketing list.  You should include a form on your own website to help collect prospective tenant information.  If you are working with a realtor, check if you can market directly to anyone who may have showed interest in your properties in the past.

>> Check out this blog post for tips on building an email marketing list from scratch. <<

Step 2: Send Relevant Informationemailinbox.jpg
Make sure the email marketing content you send is relevant to your recipients. For example, you wouldn’t want to send information about a property in one state when your prospective tenant lives in another.  In case your recipients have already signed a new lease, be sure to provide an unsubscribe method to avoid spam complaints.

Step 3: Follow Up Appropriately
Your email marketing software will likely track who opens your message (and when), clicks a link to your website, and forwards the email to a friend or family member.  Use this information to your advantage to plan follow up efforts and step closer toward conversions.

Alert Solutions offers email marketing tools that can be used by property managers to communicate with prospective tenants.

To learn more, download our Email Marketing brochure!

Email Marketing Worksheet Download Now

 

Topics: property management, tenant communication, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Email Marketing to the Millennial: Tips and Tricks

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

Here’s some good news for email marketers to start off the New Year: email is the most-preferred channel by millennials when communicating with organizations. 

Often thought to prefer mobile and social, millennials born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s actually use email more consistently.

Consider the data shown on Marketing Land; 90% of millennials use the web to send and receive email.  Also, the vast majority of respondents preferred communicating customer service matters, order tracking or other inquiries by email than other means, according to a Principal Financial Group study.

If you want to re-focus your email marketing efforts towards millennials this year, the following tips could help you out:Emailmillenial.png

Tip 1: Incentivize with Special Offers and Promotions

According to Marketing Land, millennials respond particularly well to special offers and exclusive discounts in email marketing campaigns.

Tip 2: Make Sure Emails are Mobile-Friendly

Don’t confuse the two, email is definitely different than mobile marketing.  However, don’t forget that a high number of your email marketing campaigns will be read from mobile devices.  Ensure they are mobile friendly to all screen sizes.

Tip 3: Personalize to Increase Relevance

If your email content is personalized and relatable, it becomes more relevant to the recipient.  Millennials are accustomed to personalization; make sure it extends to your emails.

Tip 4: Integrate Emails with Other Channels

Increase the chances for a conversion by cross-channeling email with another method, such as mobile or social media.

Read more of Alert Solutions’ tips and tricks to email marketing: download our Best Practice Guide today!

Download Now!

Topics: audience targeting, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Take Full Advantage of Email Marketing This Holiday Season

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

Nearly 20% of online sales this holiday season can be directly attributed to email marketing; a huge reminder of the importance of email marketing campaigns this time of year.

The question is, are you planning to take advantage of email marketing before the holidays are history?

We’ve compiled a few of our most helpful tips to get you on the right track:

1. Understand the importance of mobile. The Washington Business Journal recently revealed that on this past “Black Friday”, 57% of shoppers used a smartphone or tablet to make their purchase.  Many of your email marketing messages will be opened on mobile devices this holiday season, too.  Ensure they appear properly for the best chance of conversion.holidayemailmarketing.png

2. Pay careful attention to your subject line. Not only will your subject line help your email marketing campaign stand out from the competition, it will get the message delivered to the inbox as well.  Avoid using certain keywords that could cause email to get caught in spam traps before the recipient can open it.

3. Be creative with seasonal HTML templates and graphics. What better time to roll out the colorful, festive banners and HTML templates you kept aside all year long?  Help your email subscribers get in the holiday spirit, but don’t go overboard:  an off-balance text-to-image ratio can detract from message content.

4. Send ‘smart’ email marketing messages. The temptation to over-send during the holiday season is nothing to be ashamed of, but you want to keep your email subscribers around for next year!  Reduce unsubscribes by keeping email frequency down and staying as relevant as possible.  Personalization also goes a long way in making your recipients feel special and valued by your organization.

There’s more!  Alert Solutions has put together some additional resources to help your email messages stand out in the inbox. 

Download our Holiday Email Marketing Best Practice Kit to get the most out of email marketing this holiday season!

Download the Best Practice  Guide Today!

Topics: holiday, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Avoid the Email Spam Trap: Don’t Include These Words in Your Subject Line

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 13:10 PM

Your email marketing campaign’s subject line, though maybe just a few words, is very important. So important, that it not only helps get your email marketing campaigns opened, but also helps get them delivered in the first place.

Email spam filters are what draw the bridge between subject lines and successful email deliverability. Just one word or phrase to trigger the spam filter, and your email marketing campaign may never reach its intended recipient.

HubSpot has helpfully shared their list of keywords that may trigger email spam filters. Here is just a small sampling of words and phrases to avoid:EmailSpamTrap

Financial: Cheap, Debt, Discount, Income, Insurance, Money, Price

General: Freedom, Hidden, Password, Sample

Marketing: Click, Form, Marketing, Performance, Sale(s), Subscribe

Email spam filters can also be triggered by multiple-word phrases. Some examples are, “month trial offer” and “get out of debt”.

QUESTION: Do email spam filters scan the content of the email body too?

ANSWER: YES! Filters scan both the subject line and body of the email for words or phrases that could deem the email as spam.

As a reminder, subject lines are just one part of your email marketing campaign’s successful deliverability. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are increasingly reliant on an email sender’s reputation, which is based on the following five factors:

1. Volume
2. “Hard Bounce” Rate
3. Spam Filter Hits
4. Complaint Rates
5. Authentication

To see the full list of spam filter triggers from HubSpot, click here. It’s a good resource to have next time you’re crafting a subject line!

To learn what else can be done to improve email marketing deliverability, download Alert Solutions’ Email Deliverability Guide.

Download Now!

Topics: email deliverability, email marketing, email marketing best practices

Creating Relevant Email Marketing Content – 4 Tips for Success

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 11:09 AM

According to MarketingSherpa, using relevant email marketing content is one of the most important, but underutilized, elements of a successfull email marketing campaign.

It becomes clear, then, why consumers cringe at email marketing campaigns that promote a product or service that’s of no interest to them.  As an email marketer, you may even share the same frustrations with your own personal email inbox.

A good step to improved email marketing performance is definitely more relevant email marketing content.

At this year’s annual MarketingSherpa Email Summit, experts shared their tips on increasing relevance in their email content.  Check it out:

Relevantcontent

Tip #1: Set realistic goals.
Tip #2: Take the time to develop good email marketing content.
Tip #3: Segment your recipients.
Tip #4: Use data to its fullest advantage.
 
Things to keep in mind:
 
At first, you may not be able to achieve 100% relevance for all of your subscribers.  Don’t give up!  This is why goal setting is so important.  Consider the effect you want increased email marketing relevance to have: better open rates, better click-through rates, more conversions, or all of the above?  Start with a goal that can be achieved and ramp-up from there.
 
Also, remember that email marketing relevance is nothing without list segmentation. Segmenting your subscribers by their demographics, interests or past behavior will yield much better email marketing campaign results.  How else can I go about list segmentation?  Good question.  Check out this blog post for some answers.
 
With email marketing being the most-preferred communication method by consumers (over 70% of respondents said so), it’s easy to see why relevant email marketing content is so crucial to organizations.
 
In addition to the great resources at MarketingSherpa, check out Alert Solutions’ Target Marketing Guide for even more email marketing relevance tips and tricks.

Personalization and Segmentation Download the Best Practice Kit!

Topics: personalization, list segmentation, audience targeting, marketing relevance, email marketing, email marketing best practices

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