Ten Tips for “Outside of the Inbox” Email Marketing
Forget the “batch and blast” technique and consider your email campaigns as part of a conversation. Begin to think of each email campaign you send out as part of an ongoing dialogue with each prospect. The way to keep the conversation going is to listen (how are recipients responding to the campaign), be relevant (what are their projects and interests), and engage them in meaningful ways (if they visit your product page, your next communication should focus on products, not your blog).
Move beyond open and click-through rates – what else are your prospects and customers doing? The standard email success metrics are great, but explore all the valuable information available to you. After each email campaign, see where prospects went on your Web site, how often they visit, and whether there are new ways to think about how to segment your prospects based on the behaviours they exhibit.
While we’re on the topic of segmentation… Combine the “standard” segmentation approaches (lead source, industry, etc.) with behavioural data (e.g. who opened up an email, downloaded or, spent more than 30 minutes on your site and visited more than 3 pages) to create more complex segmentation strategies.
An email message is called a “message” for a reason. A great way to test what messages about your product or service resonate with your audience is through email. Use campaigns to tailor your messages according to your prospects interests and actions and see what really strikes a chord with certain segments.
Automate what you can and leave more time for creativity and strategy. Use a marketing automation solution as the extra marketing resource you never had. Set up automated campaigns based on event and behavioural triggers and rest assured that you’re building up relationships with prospects every time.
Mix up your campaign styles and methods. Experiment with a variety of email campaigntypes, some from marketing (HTML), some from sales (Outlook), and even some from you! You’d be surprised how receptive people can be when they know the message is coming from a real person—even a “marketer.”
Take deliverability seriously. Your creative strategies are no good if your emails can’t even get through to your prospect’s inbox. Use a tool such as Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua to proof how your campaign will look in di¬fferent email readers and identify if the HTML or content will cause trouble with spam filters before you hit “send.”
If you’re not testing, you’re guessing. Email testing shouldn’t be difficult to execute or understand the results. Testing subject lines should be a standard process to optimize open rates, but try to incorporate A/B testing into your campaigns whenever you can. All you need is two versions of an image, a piece of copy, or a promotion, and you’ll be on your way.
Dive deeper into your email reports without touching Excel. Use reports and dashboards that are built with the marketing user in mind, letting you publish detailed reports without needing to jump into Excel or creating the much dreaded pivot table. Use all of the details given in the reports to understand each prospect interaction and use this to inform your next campaign and prove marketing ROI!
Use “check in” emails to continuously build your relationship with each and every prospect over time and gain useful feedback. Prospects and customers will appreciate a “check-in” email from you or a sales rep every once in a while. These are great opportunities for you to ask how you’re doing as a marketer and ensure that your email communications are useful and informative. Ask what they found most useful about your spefic programs and what they’d like to see in the future.
Taken from http://www.marketo.com/library/marketo-email-marketing.pdf