Email might not be as shiny as social media and other emerging marketing channels, but it's still arguably the most powerful marketing tool around.
A recent study found 77 percent of customers preferred emails over other communication channels for receiving permission-based promotional messages. No other channel even scored in the double digits; only 4 percent of respondents said Facebook, with Twitter and mobile apps both scoring a mere 1 percent.
So how do you maximize this old workhorse for new gains? Sometimes the best way to learn what to do right is to consider what not to do. Here are five common email marketing mistakes ... and some advice on how to avoid them.
1. Disabled images
Did you know that up to 80 percent of people have email images disabled? Some are disabled by the email provider. Others have made the choice to avoid downloading images. Take the time to insert alt text for your images. That way, even if parents can’t see the image in your email, they know what is present.
2. Poorly defined segments
The more targeted your customer segments are – the more relevant the message can be tailored appropriately for the audience. Keep your email lists chunked down into groups that share something in common. You may want to segment them by lead source first because that is relatively easy. Consider segmenting the list by location, education level attained, lifestyle or motivations.
3. Irrelevant content
Relevance is critical for your email marketing to be effective. For each identified segment, create marketing personas to allow your marketing team to be more strategic in catering to each audience. The persona is a fictitious human being that paints a picture of the ideal client within a category. A persona should be at the center of all communication to each segment to ensure the content is relevant.
4. Not tracking forwards
Insert a link so that your email message can be forwarded on to your readers’ friends. This way is more effective than inserting a line of text that suggests they forward the email. Done efficiently you can track it and send it through your server, allowing you to monitor who forwards your messages. It will calculate how often your emails are forwarded, and what actions are resulting from the forwarding link.
5. Not responsively designed
Ease of reading on mobile phones has become even more important as email recipients are moving to smaller screens. Studies show that email is checked on a mobile device around 34 times each day.
Email is a very low-cost way to distribute news locally, nationally and even internationally. Email news is great for schools that have captured their parents’ email addresses who actively use email, which nowadays is almost everyone. However, it is essential that you use an email publication tool that gives the receiver the opportunity to opt in and out. Anti-Spam legislation outlaws unsolicited emails, so, give people the option to join with the chance to opt out and you have a ‘permission based’ list.
Email marketing has become the foundation channel of any digital communication campaign and getting the optimum results is essential. Do you need some help to maximise your school’s campaign results? Contact us for a chat, we'd be glad to help.
This blog was written by Celina Farrell