Series Posts: Practical Marketer

What’s The Expected Open Rate For My Industry?

What’s The Expected Open Rate For My Industry?

Practical Marketer • July 11, 2016

An open rate depends on a variety of things when it comes to email marketing. Not everyone will open your email, so you shouldn’t expect a 100% open rate when you send out a campaign. It’s not impossible to get 100%, but you’ll need to be somewhat psychic. So what is the expected open rate of an email campaign? Some would be surprised to see that on average, across all industries, it’s 15% - 20%. Since that is across all industries, let’s break it down by a couple industries, measured during the course of one year as learned from Smart Insights: Automobile: 24.9% Computer Software: 22.1% Food Service: 22% Insurance: 29.7% School: 27.9% We can see that the average, when broken down into different industries, is improved. Don’t worry if you aren’t getting these numbers! There are certain tools and tips that you can put to use in order to increase your open rate ... even if it’s just a little bit. Segment your list. Creating a segmented, more targeted list will improve your opens rates. In retail, you may try to track what products your subscribers are interested in and promote similar products. List Hygiene. When people hear list hygiene they think, “Deleting contacts, NO!” However, deleting contacts that don’t read or open your email is beneficial when you really look at it. You reduce the total emails you send, saving you money. You’ll also reduce the greymail and possible abuse complaints, increasing your deliverability. Preview Text. This is an advanced tool for some which allows users to control what subscribers see before even opening the email, enticing users to open the email beyond the subject line. Remember not to lie or be deceptive about that either.


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How to keep my branding consistent in my email marketing?

How to keep my branding consistent in my email marketing?

Practical Marketer • July 8, 2016

How to keep your branding consistent in your email marketing is a matter of simply being consistent in everything that you do across all customer touchpoints for marketing and all other aspects of your business. Is that it? Problem solved, next question? Yes and no. There are three key aspects that you can focus on in order to execute consistently on your branding. Deliver On Your Promise This means first and foremost staying true to the mission statement of your company in each and every thing that you do. That’s how a customer is treated when they walk in the door of your brick-and-mortar location and it’s what you communicate to them with your email marketing … and many things in between. Delivering on your promise also applies to what you told subscribers to expect when they opted-in to receiving email communications from you. This includes the frequency with which you send your email campaigns and the content they asked to receive. Design The next aspect of being consistent with your branding is design. The user experience should remain the same whether it is in your email campaigns, website, social media posts, in your brick-and-mortar location and everywhere else a customer can interact with your business. In email marketing, this includes the color schemes of your email templates and even consistency with the colors of your buttons to match the ones on your website and landing pages. It can also include building a navigation at the top of your emails so that your template experience is similar to what customers view on your website. Even for special events such as holidays, there should still be consistent aspects of your brand that carry through, so that a subscriber will never doubt from who they are receiving an email campaign. Voice No, the latest email marketing feature isn’t celebrity voices reading your email campaigns (even though some may argue it should be … me included). This is how you’re communicating your message, who is delivering it and more. Voice means the personality that you infuse into your email campaigns. Some businesses are funny, some are informative. Regardless of what it is, it needs to be consistent … and authentically you. Who it is that is delivering your messages should also be the same as often as possible. This starts in the From Name subscribers will see in your inbox and ends in the email signature when applicable. Whether it says your business’ name or something such as Andy from Benchmark, your subscribers should know from who to expect your email communications.


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How Can I Avoid Harming My Brand With My Email Marketing?

How Can I Avoid Harming My Brand With My Email Marketing?

Practical Marketer • July 5, 2016

To avoid harming your brand, you need to avoid consistently sending unwanted emails. Not just once or twice, but consistently sending time after time will be the factor in harming your brand. It’s like a bully at school knocking your books down every time an email is sent. A little extreme, but you get the picture. What you should avoid doing, before you harm your brand: Using A Public Domain Irregular Sending Sending Grey Mail Using A Public Domain Using a public domain such as Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL can harm your brand when sending emails. The reason being is that anybody can sign up for these services and create an email. That doesn’t make your brand any different than the 6 billion individuals in the world. What makes you different? Having a private domain for your email address will not only improve your branding, but also your deliverability. Irregular Sending Sending irregularly is a problem as well. It’s hard to determine when to send a campaign to your subscribers. Should it be daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Yearly? The answer is any of the above! Pay attention to your reports to know the frequency with which your subscribers want you to send. You can also employ different strategies for a daily email campaign and then a monthly email campaign as well. This could be a type of segment! The point is to make sure you have enough content and enough time to stay on a regular schedule. If a person is expecting an email from you subscription at 1pm every week, keep that schedule! You’ll lose interest and subscribers if your schedule bounces around everywhere during the year. Grey Mail Grey Mail is a term not widely known or used in email marketing. Grey Mail is the email that subscribers receive, but do not open. They don’t open the email often because the subscriber knows what the email is about. It could be a transactional email, notification email or even a promotional email that they don’t care to open. It’s not a usually bad thing to send to these contacts, but nowadays there is so much Grey Mail that it’s starting to look like spam from the 90s and early millennium. What should you do with Grey Mail? It’s the same question as, “what can I do to improve my deliverability?” The answer is keeping up with your list hygiene. Cleaning your list of bounces and unopens regularly can improve your deliverability, brand and ultimately your ROI. Cleaning your list doesn’t mean deleting your contacts or subscribers, but maybe setting them aside for a different strategy. Allow them a chance to unsubscribe. You don’t want to be emailing anyone that doesn’t want it! That will only hurt your brand.


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Top 10 sales email subject lines to increase open rates

Top 10 sales email subject lines to increase open rates

Practical Marketer • May 26, 2016

You invest time drafting a perfect sales email pitch, inserting the perfect links and crafting the perfect CTA (call-to-action) for your emails. Is your time well spent? All this is a waste if nobody even bothers to open your email. This is where the importance of a subject line becomes the topic of discussion. Email marketing is still among one of the best method of communication with prospects, leads and customers. In the era of the crowded email inbox, before your prospects, leads or customers reads your email ... it has to be opened first. That’s why the subject line of a sales email plays a vital role. The more people that open your emails, the increased probability for sales. Hundreds of billions of sales emails are sent every day to grab the attention of the customer. How many unread emails are there in your inbox? 200? 500? Probably 1,000 if you have subscribed to countless mailing lists. People today get many emails daily and most of them go unopened. People are flooded with more information than ever before and have less time to soak it all in. Most of the emails are simply ignored ... unless they have a rocking subject line. According to a study on email statistics, 35% of recipients open emails based on the subject lines alone and 69% of the recipients report an email as SPAM based on the subject line of the email alone. There isn’t a silver-bullet subject line for a given subject, because what works for one business might not work effectively for another. Just think about this: will you open an email that has a subject line “Open Me” or “Hi” or “URGENT” or “Register to win FREE iPhone 6S+” or something similar? All such emails directly land in your SPAM folder. A bad subject line will get 5x less customers that open and read your emails. The best sales email subject lines should be creative, igniting the interest in the customers. They should have a curiosity seeking subject that is relevant to them, all while also being informative. Looking for some interesting and provoking subject lines for your sales emails that scream out “Open Me Now?” Then here are best sales email subject lines that will boost the open rates of your emails: “Need My Help?” or “Hoping to Help” The best sales people today are the ones who can help their customers solve problems. If your email lands in the inbox with an open-ended subject line like “Tell Me What You Have Been Struggling With” or “Tell Me Everything That You Have Tried and How Can I Help You” or something like “Hoping to Help” there is an increased chance for your emails being opened. Prospects get an idea on your willingness to be of service to the customers. “[Name of the Prospect], do you have 15 minutes for a conversation?” These kind of subject lines distinguish your emails from other marketers, because you’re asking a question directly in the subject line which addresses the person with his or her name. Personalized subject lines with a question in the subject help increase open rates. “We found you through [Name of the Referral]” or “[Name of the Referral] suggested that we connect” If someone referred you to a prospect, make sure to use their name in the subject rather than saving it for the body of the email. Using the name of the referral in subject line grabs a prospect’s attention right away and also gives automatic credibility to the sender for leveraging an existing connection of the prospect. A Subject Line With A Reply “Re” Many marketers use a “Re:” or “FW” in their email subject lines with an eye towards increasing their open and conversion rates. This is a clever tactic, as it exhibits a personal relationship with the prospect that you know them. However, once a prospect open the email and gets to know that they have been tricked and have not had any prior conversations with you this kind of an email subject line will not impress them. If you have actually spoken with them before and this is a factual reply then you can try removing the subject line as a whole and just including “Re” to increase the response rate of your sales emails. Email Subject Lines That Convey An Idea The Prospect Cares About If you are a blogger, an email with a subject “Idea for increasing unique visitors to your [blog name]” may intrigue you enough to click through the email and read it. Nobody wants to miss out on a free idea and the probability that prospects will open an email is greatly increased. Listicle Subject Line With Tips Or Ideas Listicle subject lines in sales emails are an effective and simple way to attract the attention of prospects.  If you are an email marketer, a subject line with “10 Best Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rates by 80%” will attract you more than a subject like “Email Subject Lines To Increase Open Rates.” Using numbers in the subject line makes a prospects aware of what they are going to read. Personalized Email Subject Lines with a Question: “Hi [Name of the Prospect], [Question the prospect is looking to solve]?” If James is a content writer, then an email with a subject line something like “Hi James, Do you know how to write compelling content that boosts traffic?” will surely motivate James to open the email as it addresses his problem. Subject lines with a question are a great way to compel people to open your emails, as prospects are promised that the email content is intended to guide them and help achieve a goal. “Don’t Open This Email” Human Psychology works just the opposite way. If someone refrains you from doing something, you always are keener on doing it. This subject line is the most simple and effective means to create curiosity among the prospects to open your emails. Email Subject Lines That Benefit the Prospect= “A [Benefit] for [Prospects_CompanyName]” If a company, “ABC Inc.,” has recently launched a blog and is looking to increase its subscriber base, then a sales email subject line like “Get your first 2000 subscribers to the ABC Inc. Blog” will invoke the self-interest in opening the email to find out what’s in store to increase the number of subscribers for the blog and help it grow. That level of personalization in the subject line is likely to catch the eyes of the prospect. Email Without A Subject Line / A Blank Subject Line Email Yes, you read it right. If you cannot think of any subject line and have been scratching your head for quite some time, then just type in your email body and hit SEND. According to a study by Sidekick, emails with an empty subject line are opened 8% more often than the emails that contain a subject line. Remember getting your sales email subject lines right or wrong can actually be the difference between your emails being opened and converting to customer or lying dead in the spam folder. The ultimate goal is to make your sales email subject line stand out. These are just some of the convincing sales email subject lines that will increase your email response rates. How you customize these subject lines based on your niche in order  to increase your open rates and click-through rates is up to you. What are your favorite sales email subject lines that have stood out for your email marketing campaigns? Chime in your thoughts in the comments below!


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