Our company sends out monthly email campaigns. Although they seem to be well received, our subscribers continue to drop off, and there does not appear to be any real sales benefit. What should we consider to improve the impact? – Jarvina in Las Cruces, NM
Jarvina, there are three core steps you need to take regarding your email campaigns: evaluate, plan, and execute. Once you have gone through this process, you will be positioned to achieve your objectives. You will be able to improve your email campaign impact and exceed expectations. Let’s break down the three steps:
Start by gathering your facts and figures. You need intel to understand your audience behavior. Your email service provider will be able to provide this data, and in fact, your company should already have this incorporated in the monthly analytics and goals. Along with measuring your results month to month, look for trends in the data. This is probably obvious, but basic metrics you need to track include your open rate, click-through rate (CTR), and number of unsubscribes. There are many excellent resources out there to help, starting with your email service provider. Indeed, providers have a wealth of support material available to better understand your data, as well as strategies on improving those metrics.
Once you have a clear picture of what’s happening with your campaigns, you should benchmark that against your industry standards. A simple Google search will lead you to standardized metrics, best practices, and the answers you need. When you benchmark within your market segment, are you behind, on par, or a unicorn? If you’re a unicorn, it means your metrics are far outperforming your competitors.
Your company may be doing comparatively well on some data points, but not on others. Dig in to reveal the big picture of what is happening with your subscriber journey. Examine how many new subscribers you are acquiring and their subsequent behavior. Every business needs at least one rocking lead magnet, and many organizations actually have multiple lead magnets they utilize to grow their audience. At the minimum, you need one that really kicks it.
Analyze your data to determine what areas need attention first. If you’re at or slightly above industry standards, great! But there’s still room for improvement. Whatever the case may be, be ready to align your sales, marketing, and organizational objectives with the understanding you’ve acquired.
Your company will have specific goals they want to achieve monthly, quarterly, and annually, and your email campaigns should fit into the overall strategic plan. Based on the intelligence you gathered, you have uncovered areas of opportunity. I’m going to assume in this scenario that you’re either under-performing in some key metrics or at par with your industry standard. Therefore, your company makes a tactical decision to pursue process improvement around your email campaigns.
Based on your question, you may have a challenge with subscriber retention. If this is the case, this may be the first thing you refine. Your company messaging, content, and/or value proposition may not be resonating with your audience. Ask how you’re answering the customer why. How is your content serving them and providing what they want, need, or lack?
Create your strategic plan and the road map to get there, and determine the resources you will need and how you will measure success. The organization, sales, and marketing must be in lock step on the initiative. Keep it real and don’t expect overnight transformation. Progress comes in many forms with lots of minor wins.
The third and final step is to execute on the plan that you’ve created. If your unsubscribe rate is higher than industry standard, you’re going to want to turn that around. As noted in the plan scenario above, start adding more value in the emails. Regular newsletters or email campaigns should be designed to build your like, know, and trust factor with your audience. Remember: you’re building a relationship. As your organization executes plan, continue to keep your hand on the pulse of your audience. Watch your data, and pivot as needed to improve the impact of your email campaigns. Retain customers and prospects as you forge a deeper connection. Remember that email campaigns are a long game, and the foundation you establish must be golden. Nurture and feed the relationship, because if you treat them well, you will continuously strengthen the bonds. In the end, you’ll be the company they think of when they have a need for your product or service.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.