Like life, email marketing is full of missed opportunities. It happens because email can deliver a substantial ROI with seemingly little effort on your part. But your email could move up from "good" ROI to "amazing" ROI with just a few basic tweaks, updates and alterations:
Give your email subscription form the prominence it deserves. Yes, your homepage is prime real estate, and everybody in your organisation wants a piece of it. But considering how valuable a healthy, growing subscriber database is to your company, your subscription invitation rates a location where visitors will see it immediately.
Test different locations on your website to find the best one. Generally, it's in the upper right corner, but your mileage might vary.
While you're at it, place your registration CTA in a similar position on every page of your website, including the landing pages you set up for your search campaigns. Remember that the money you spend on search-engine marketing and optimisation drives traffic to many destinations on your site. Some of your visitors might never see the homepage!
Clarify the value exchange. When designing your subscription form, consider the value exchange: what your subscriber will receive for sharing an email address. Sell the benefits of subscribing to help subscribers see it's a fair exchange for giving up some data.
Also, don't ask for too much data at registration. It can scare off wary subscribers. Test different kinds of requests (email address alone; name and email; name, email, location; etc.) to see which combination nets the most subscriptions with the greatest amount of useful data. You can always ask for more data later, after subscribers learn they can trust you.
Add value to welcome messages and thank-you pages. Reward your new subscribers with a welcome program that reminds them why they subscribed and what they can expect.
Many marketers simply send a basic "thank you" email. It's better than no message at all, but this bare-bones approach won't engage these new and enthusiastic subscribers.
An automated message series not only gets subscribers used to seeing your emails in their inboxes — but also can drive them back to the website to purchase, check out interesting information about your products and services, or simply browse around before you move them into your regular email program.
Another missed opportunity is the "thank you" page on your website. This is an excellent staging area to let subscribers know what will happen next — or to pro-actively suggest places they can visit on your site — especially if they must click a confirmation link in a follow-up email to complete the subscription.
Customise transactional messages to support other marketing goals. Transactional messages — emails that relate to customer activities such as purchases, registrations or downloads — are among the most valuable emails you send. But many read as if the IT staff wrote them.
This default approach doesn't capitalize on this key touch point to drive follow-up action, such as another purchase, information request or more opportunities to collect user data.
Your marketing department should own all of the customer-facing messages that go out from every messaging service at your company: email, ecommerce, customer support, etc. They understand how proper branding, email design and content can lead to more conversions.
Of course, there are many more missed opportunities in email marketing. What have you been able to capitalise on? Let me know in the comments box and stay tuned for more next time.