(Updated December 15, 2018) We are now into the time of year when email inboxes get even more crowded and cluttered. Retailers are emailing their lists more frequently in their zeal to tap into the holiday buying frenzy.
What does that mean to the B2B email marketing team and its desired email marketing ROI? It means you suddenly have a lot more competition for attention in the inbox.
At ClickMail, much of our work as email consultants involves B2B email. So while other email marketing consultants are focused on the B2C clients, helping them maximize their email marketing ROI over the holidays, we’re over here thinking, “How do we help our B2B clients compete during the seasonal increase in email volume?”
Oddly enough (or not), our advice doesn’t change. The keys to successful B2B email marketing ROI any time of year is the same during the holidays, but perhaps more so. It’s about the basics: Be relevant. Be customer-focused. Provide useful content. Don’t be self-serving.
Or maybe we should say the email best practice in this case is simply do it right all year, and you’ll reap the rewards during the holidays. If you’re always relevant, always customer-focused, always helpful, your emails will be welcomed all year—even amid the flurry of holiday email. Your subscribers will be anticipating them, making your messages stand out.
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(Updated December 1, 2018) Noticed anything different about your email inbox lately? For instance, maybe it’s even more crowded than usual?
The holiday season is upon us…and so are the holiday email marketing campaigns. That means you can take a crash course in email marketing and who is doing what with their email subject lines.
Whether the increase in emails pleases or annoys you, stop long enough at each email to pay attention to the email subject lines. OK, granted I am CEO of an email technology company, so I’m more likely to notice these email subject lines than most people. But that’s all the more reason to encourage you to do so too.
Start doing your own little private email marketing analysis as you go through your inbox, using the questions and advice below:
- Do any of them jump out at you? Why? In a good way or a bad way? What makes that email subject line stand out?
- Which email subject lines are ho hum and not to be noticed if you weren’t paying attention? What lessons can you learn from the boring subject lines?
- Pay attention to length, not just the message. Does that impact your reaction, your willingness to open the email or not?
- What about the order of the words? Do brand names affect your interest? Numbers? Dates? Dollar amounts?
- How about humor? Seriousness? Dissect those email subject lines and learn all you can!
You might not be your target audience, so the email subject lines that appeal to you aren’t necessarily to be copied in your next email marketing campaign. But the email subject line is a critical component in getting people to open your emails, and unless they open them, they won’t interact with them (i.e. buy from you!). Studying a wide variety of email subject lines will broaden your thinking and approach.
The more you can learn about email subject lines, the better. The more you can test them, the better. The more different types of email subject lines you get exposed to, the better. So don’t curse the deluge of holiday emails in your inbox. Tis the season to appreciate them and learn from them. For better email subject lines in 2019!
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(Updated November 1, 2018) Although it’s 2018, I think we still suffer from confusion about how to improve email deliverability and the role of the email service provider (ESP) in doing so. At ClickMail, we help marketers choose the right ESP for their situation so I see this confusion firsthand when marketers hope switching ESPs will improve email deliverability. The ESP can make a difference, yes, but your choice of ESP is not the determining factor.
I’ve talked with marketers using low cost, entry-level ESPs who enjoy good deliverability rates. On the other hand, I’ve met with many who were using top-tier ESPs and had lousy deliverability rates. Of course, I’ve seen the opposite too, where the marketer using the entry-level ESP has the email deliverability problems and the marketer using the top-tier ESP has great email deliverability rates.
The takeaway is that your ESP choice alone does not improve email deliverability. No ESP can guarantee you’ll achieve higher deliverability rates because it is a result of many pieces, not just your ESP choice. Your email deliverability rate is the result of your list hygiene, your data collection processes and your sending policies too. It’s the result of your targeting and segmentation, your content, your cadence, how well you warmed up your IP address…there are so many pieces to it, and the ESP is only one. (Read “Why Your Email Deliverability Doesn’t Rank 10 Out of 10 Yet” to learn more.)
Some ESPs will be able to deliver (pardon the pun) more emails to the inbox than others, but it’s often on a case-by-case basis. But even finding the ESP that gives you the highest email deliverability rate doesn’t mean your other email marketing pieces can be sub par. All of the factors that will improve email deliverability must be put to use.
For more advice on improving email deliverability, see these past posts on the topic.
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