Don’t Be an Email Marketing Zombie

For many marketing professionals, email marketing is just one component of a successful integrated marketing campaign. This type of thinking leads many marketers to run their email marketing campaigns in a checklist-like manner—almost in a daze, doing the same thing over and over, day after day. In other words, they’re practicing zombie-style email marketing.

Today’s social media environment demands more creative ways of attracting eyeballs in this competitive market. Customers have brains: They demand powerful and relevant content and, as a marketer, you need to deliver this and make them come rushing back for more.

If you feel like you are stuck in a zombie rut, here are six tips that can help bring your email marketing efforts back from the dead:

Slice and dice your lists

Create segmented lists so your customers receive messages that interest them the most. You wouldn’t send an email about blood to a zombie, or an email about brains to a vampire, would you? Exactly. Think about what’s really compelling to the various demographics within your customer list. Segmentation applies to your Web content, as well; don’t send a CEO to a landing page that’s meant for marketing managers—unless you want to lose that CEO.

Follow the 80/20 rule

Zombies may be 80% dead and 20% alive, but the fact is that in most organizations 20% of customers drive 80% of the revenue. Know who these customers are, prioritize them, and remove any dead weight. Offer your targeted 20% a reprieve from the Internet zombies and provide them with great content and a warm, safe website to visit anytime.

Wake the dead; get even your disengaged customers to take action

Don’t forget that customers do have brains. You need to feed them with good information or their brains will slowly deteriorate and they will die off. Include a call-to-action in your email campaigns to keep those brains engaged. You may have an amazing newsletter filled with great content, but if your readers aren’t asked to take action, the content may be ignored or unsubscribed from all together. Compel and entertain your readers so it becomes second nature for customers to “click” or “sign up here.”

Don’t be a zombie, get an email personality

Spam filters examine a large list of criteria when determining an email’s “spam score.”  If your email campaign’s total score is greater than a certain threshold, then it may be sent to the dreaded spam folder. Here are a few common mistakes you should avoid when planning your email campaigns.

  • ALL CAPS: Seems like a “no brainer,” but it’s not nice to yell at your customers
  • Spam words: “FREE,” “Mortgage,” “Once in a life opportunity,” “Namibia,” etc.
  • Symbols: ***$#@!!$^” — This is zombie speak for “I’m a really lazy marketer”
  • Poorly designed HTML

Review your “kills”
Analytics, or “kills,” are critical to successful email marketing campaigns. It’s important to watch email campaign performance metrics as closely as you can. Of the emails sent, how many were opened? Which links were the most popular? How many times was your content shared within the users’ social network? Which offers resulted in the most conversions? All of this information is useful when planning your next campaign. You can then build segments and email campaigns based on opens or clicks to target your customers more.

Sleep with one eye on your audience

In a post-apocalyptic, zombie-driven world everyone has to have their eyes and ears open. The same applies for your email marketing campaigns. Understand what makes your targets engaged—this is the key to survival. Ask for feedback so you can deliver increasingly relevant offers that keep them frothing at the mouth for more.

These suggestions should help to improve existing and new marketing campaigns. But remember, they all have one thing in common: Content is king (and also feeds brains). Make sure your customers are engaged with relevant, impactful content that keeps their brains active and asking for more.”

Seamas Egan is manager of  revenue operations at Campaigner.

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