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Can Your Emails Drive Traffic Every Day?

It’s time to start thinking about the health of your email list, while your budgets are still fresh and your 2017 strategy is still getting off the ground. Email was the third-highest traffic driver to retail web sites on Black Friday, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Holiday season is long gone, of course. So how can your emails drive traffic now and for the rest of the year?

Here are the key questions to ask yourself, to make sure you’re on track for email marketing greatness:

How much did your email address list grow last year? If your answer is “not enough,” then you definitely need to invest more in email address acquisition. Your lists need to be fresh and updated regularly. After all, it’s normal for lists to shrink over time as people drop off. Many businesses see up to 20%-30% loss over the course of a year. Even if you did okay, it may be a good idea to look at the options out there and test a new one that looks promising.

Have you maximized your triggered emails potential? If your answer is “I could probably do more,” then it’s time to start setting up new ones. When compared with traditional business-as-usual campaigns, triggered campaigns double open rates from 14.5% to 28.7% and click-to-open rates from 11.1% to 22.5% (read this article for more triggered email stats). Triggered emails are a fantastic revenue and traffic driver. The more triggered emails you have, the better your program is overall.

Have you found your sweet spot for cadence and frequency? If your answer is “I mail once per week” or “I mail when my boss tells me to,” then you have work to do. Sending too few emails allows your competitors to grab market share. Sending too many emails means your customers may be annoyed enough to choose your competitors over your brand. An investment in competitive intelligence to see how your cadence compares to the competition could really pay off here, as it will help you start to set guideline for testing different cadence options.

Just remember, cadence should vary by segment: Your most loyal customers will want more emails from your brand, and your least loyal customers won’t tolerate that many. It’s time to dust off the segmentation schemes and think about how to vary cadence based on loyalty, channel engagement, purchase history, or other factors.

Have you refreshed your creative lately? If your answer is “What’s a refresh?,” then it’s time to budget for a creative refresh. Creative can wear out, and it’s a good idea to refresh creative across triggered and promotional campaigns annually. This can drive a small boost in engagement.

Do you know your results? If your answer is something like “I haven’t seen conversion or attrition results in a while,” then you need some analytics help. Opens and clicks are just directional starting points — they do mean you are driving traffic, but is it the right kind? You need conversion data to make smart decisions. Investing in better and faster reporting can help you make better decisions that will reap benefits throughout the entire year.

Do you have a plan for testing in place? If your answer is “not really,” then it’s time to get moving. Easy-to-implement tests (such as subject-line testing) can help, but they are not often responsible for big performance improvements. If you want to drive big changes in results, you’re going to have to work for it. Putting together a test plan early in the year will help you get the important testing done before holiday season, and Black Friday, rolls around again.

This is just a starting point for an email marketing strategy review to drive traffic every day in 2017. Share your ideas in the comments below.

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