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The 10 most effective email marketing strategies

In an email marketing age rife with marketers touting the latest and greatest developments as loudly and frequently as they can, it can be tough for any brand to know which email marketing strategies to focus its energy on.

Luckily for you, we here at Phrasee have heard the pitch for every email marketing strategy there is (many of them several times), and we’ve decided to share the ones that have performed most effectively and stood the test of time in this rapidly-evolving field.

So buckle up for your ride to better email marketing ROI, as we break down the email marketing industry’s 10 best strategies…

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

 

1)Personalisation

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Email marketing personalization involves the sending of marketing emails custom-tailored to the personal characteristics, preferences, and past behaviour of a subscriber (or group of subscribers). Many elements of a marketing email can be personalized, from the email subject line to the body content, media, and featured products/offers (and everything in between). Personalisation is all about delivering the most relevant email content possible to each subscriber with every send.

Why it’s awesome:

Fact: most marketing emails never get opened. That’s why it’s important to make sure that when they do, the content of that email is relevant to the subscriber who decided to open it. It doesn’t take more than a few emails containing nothing of interest before a subscriber will stop opening your emails altogether. Personalisation in email marketing offers the opportunity to let subscribers know that you care about what’s important to them, and that your brand will make the effort to deliver it. Personalised email content ensures that your brand has the best opportunity possible to connect with every subscriber on your mailing list as effectively as possible.

 

2) Dynamic content

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

The term “dynamic content” refers to any web/website-based content that changes for each user based on their past behavior or interactions. In email, dynamic content can manifest as different media, copy, offers, featured products, calls to action, or other email elements within a marketing email. Hence, an identical email can be sent to multiple subscribers but will render with a personalized mix of content elements for each recipient based on his or her user data.

Why it’s awesome:

Keeping email marketing content as relevant as possible for the end user is essential. However, the practicalities of personalizing hundreds of different email templates manually make this approach cost-ineffective and largely inefficient. With dynamic content in your email marketing mix, a single template can be optimized for relevance in real time for each and every individual user. Subscribers are presented marketing email content curated and tailored to their individual preferences, which allows for the highest probability of a conversion in each case.

 

3) Subject line optimization

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Subject line optimization is the process by which the language within a brand’s marketing email subject lines is tailored to the tastes and past behavior of that brand’s email audience to maximise email marketing performance.

Why it’s awesome:

How frequently a brand’s marketing emails are opened and read by that brand’s subscribers is the single most important predictor of email marketing ROI performance. The email subject line is the one element of every email that each subscriber will see. Not only that, most of those subscribers will decide whether to open any email from your brand based on the subject line alone. For this reason, it is absolutely crucial that you get the subject line just right (or as close to just right as possible). Regular split testing of email subject line performance can go some way toward optimizing subject line copy, but only if you have mechanisms in place to learn from the results of those split tests and optimize the language your brand is using accordingly. With Phrasee’s AI technology at the helm, optimizing your brand’s email subject lines for your audience’s unique tastes, while keeping your language brand compliant at all times is now easier than ever!

 

4) Audience segmentation

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Audience segmentation is a process by which a brand’s marketing audience is divided into subgroups based on individual criteria, such as past behavior, demographic data, and purchase history. In email marketing, each segment of a brand’s audience is sent personalized content based on the data points that audience has been segmented for. Through this process, each audience segment can be sent email content as relevant as possible to the individuals within his/her subgroup.

 

Why it’s awesome:

In contrast to the “batch and blast” email marketing strategies of the past, in which the entirety of a brand’s audience was often sent identical emails, email audience segmentation presents a practical, easy to implement solution. Audiences broken down into simple segments based on past behavior and unique stage within the purchase journey (and marketed to accordingly) have historically engaged with marketing emails at much higher rates, leading to a significant uptick in ROI. However, the relative benefits of more in-depth “hyper-segmentation” – where audiences are broken down into smaller and smaller segments – are less clear.

 

5) Interactive content

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Rather than simply providing information, links, and media in a marketing email’s content, interactive content provides the subscriber with visual, easy to use, and (ideally) fun tools to interact with within the email body. Interactive content can include satisfaction surveys, scratch cards, menus, videos, GIFs, and polls. All are designed to capture and maintain subscriber interest.

 

Why it’s awesome:

Interactive email content makes it easier to engage subscribers and progress those subscribers along the journey to purchase. By providing simple ways for a subscriber to engage with your brand, the brand-consumer relationship can progress on a more intimate level. Progressing the brand-consumer relationship is what email marketing is all about.

 

6) Behaviour-triggered Emails

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Behaviour-triggered emails are marketing emails which are automatically sent to a subscriber when that subscriber performs a specific action in his/her interaction with a brand. For example, if a new customer subscribes to a mailing list or joins a loyalty program, they might instantly receive a “welcome” email. Behaviour-triggered emails are designed to keep the brand-consumer relationship progressing on a healthy course toward purchase.

Why it’s awesome:

The modern buyer’s journey is made up of several key steps. Managing these steps to maintain a positive user experience throughout the journey helps ensure that customer don’t fall out of the sales funnel along the way. Behaviour-triggered marketing emails allow brands to stay in control of the user’s experience and hold consumer interest, lest losing this interest result in lost revenue.

 

7) Targeting

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Right person, right ad, right time. Such is the mantra of modern digital marketing. In email marketing, targeting means reaching the right subscriber with the right marketing message at the right time. Delivering email content relevant to a consumer’s stage in the buyer journey is the key goal of the targeted marketing email, be it a discount email for a product a subscriber has recently looked at or an email offering hotel rooms in a city a subscriber has recently booked a flight to.

Why it’s awesome:

The benefits of getting the right marketing message in front of a subscriber who is ready to make a purchase don’t really need to be explained. Sending targeted marketing emails designed to accelerate the journey to purchase can represent the easiest email marketing revenue a brand is ever likely to see.

 

8) Offering Value

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Offering value to customers is a time-honoured retail tradition. Discounts and sales designed to increase traffic and drive revenue have been used for centuries in the retail sector. However, in the email marketing sphere, offering value can take on a very different meaning. Certainly, marketing emails offering substantial discounts do indeed work, but “value” in email can also be offered in the form of a well-written and entertaining newsletter, sharp looking design and media, and consumer-relevant email content.

Why it’s awesome:

If a brand offers its subscribers nothing of value in any form, it won’t be long until those subscribers lose interest completely. Email marketing is a dialogue between brand and consumer. If a brand has nothing interesting to say, the dialogue dies a quick death. Brands which can consistently offer their subscribers value in some form or another will see this reflected in consistently healthy open and click rates. Having emails that are worth opening is the best thing a brand can do to maintain consumer interest and engagement over time.

 

9) Split testing

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Split testing in email marketing is a process by which emails containing different email elements are sent to random samples of a brand’s audience in an effort to determine which combination of elements that brand’s audience responds to. Several different versions of any marketing email can be sent, and the resulting data can drive future email marketing efforts and how they are constructed.

Why it’s awesome:

For any brand, split testing different versions of marketing emails can provide key insights into the best strategies for reaching that audience. Every brand is different, and every audience is different, so it behooves every brand to determine the most effective ways to connect with its subscribers. Email marketing strategies driven by ongoing, rigorous split testing consistently see higher open rates, click rates, and ROI than those which don’t.

 

10) Sender reputation management

10-most-effective-email-marketing-strategies

What it is:

Every user’s mailbox provider issues every email sender’s IP address a “sender reputation score”, which is accrued over time with each email send, based on audience responses to that sender’s emails. Senders who receive a high degree of spam complaints, send to unknown users, or industry blacklistings see their sender score plummet. Sender reputation management is the ongoing effort to mitigate such issues to retain a healthy sender reputation score.

Why it’s awesome:

A brand’s sender reputation score has a significant impact on how its marketing emails are treated once they reach their intended subscriber mailboxes. Winding up in the dreaded “spam” or “promotions” folder can represent a massive decline in opens and clicks, which in turn devastates email marketing ROI. Brands which manage their sender reputation effectively can avoid many of these pitfalls and remain in the inbox, where the money is.

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