3 Myths Of Email Marketing That Entrepreneurs Should Know
Contributed By Dalton Kane, Shipstation.
Myth #1: That you should Google the best time to send an email and do that forever.
Using stats to help hone your marketing efforts is absolutely crucial. Data-driven decision making is how we build our gut instinct into something useful. It’s a muscle that needs exercise. Like physical exercise, you can’t arbitrarily pick a weight, number of reps, and number of days per year to work out and expect to succeed. It takes consistent, measurable actions. Same goes for email testing.
The first thing you need to do is pick a place to start. Google search “the best time to send an email” and find an article you feel like you trust. Many reports say Tuesdays are the best for email sends. I’ve also read reports that says Tuesday is actually one of the worst days to send (you can see where this becomes an issue). Regardless, you have to start somewhere. Pick something and give that time and day a shot. Measure that result.
Once you have enough data on that send time and day, try another logical time for your email. See if the results improve or get worse. Everyone’s audience is different and will have its nuances. Learn your audience’s quirks and play to them.
Another statement you’ll probably hear is that it is best to send early in the morning. This is often true for many people, but for every email truism there are cases where it falls short. For instance, you may have an optimized experience for desktop users. Thus, you might want to minimize your mobile email audience. This means you should send a little later. What’s one of the first things you do in the morning? For me, it’s checking my email on my smartphone. Turns out a lot of other people do this too. Consider your goals, audience eccentricities, and audience flow when picking a send time.
Myth #2: Every non-automated email you make should only be sent once.
When was the last time you had a 100% open rate (no, you can’t count the one-off test email you sent to yourself)? You spend a lot of time on crafting quality emails. You might have built graphics, gifs, landing pages, incredible copy, a super strong CTA, a nice layout. You want this hard work to get seen. So why send it once? The best email marketers make their work go as far as it can. Waste not, want not – or less at least.
After you send your email, check the metrics and plan a second send. Don’t hammer people with the same email if they’ve seen it. Suppress members of your audience that opened the email the first time. Change the subject line. Optimize anything that needs it from what you might have learned from the first send. Then send it to the people that didn’t open it last time. Every once in awhile, a new subject line will increase open rate beyond even the first send. But usually, you’ll at least get to tack on engagement for a larger total percentage of your audience. It takes a tiny bit of effort compared to creating a completely new email. And it’s an easy way to increase ROI for your email marketing.
Myth #3: You should personalize every email you send.
This is actually true – except a lot of people aren’t doing it right. A “long” time ago the personalization felt creepy, but this is 2017. People appreciate relevant ads and are coming to expect the precision of contextual marketing.
The myth element comes into play in the contact data that you have. Personalization can help your conversion rates tremendously. However, I see contact databases with missing fields all the time. Or with the wrong information. How many times have you filled out an online form for something with a generic name or initials?
Would you feel special and believe the sender knew you if you received an email that started with: “Hey [Initial]/XYZ/Test/John Smithh/alskdjf, how are you?” Yeah, I wouldn’t either. Make sure your data is as clean as possible. On smaller lists, consider going in and updating all lower-case names or obvious misspellings. This helps prevent personalization from backfiring and goes a long way in helping your conversion metrics.
So what’s the overall takeaway?
Don’t wait for perfect data to start your email marketing. But once you begin never stop using data to hone it. Every audience is a little different, turn those differences into gain.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your emails by helping them reach the widest audience. Even one email design can be an iterative process.
Keep your contact information as clean and accurate as possible. This will help prevent your personalization from feeling impersonal.
Don’t forget to always be clear, valuable, and full of wit (the soul of which, I will remind you, is brevity).
Contributed By Dalton Kane, Shipstation.