Summer vacations draw to an end – it’s time to kick-start the new season and raise the bar of your Email Marketing efforts.
Everyone is back to the office, except for the naive few traveling in September. People are back at their desks, struggling with loose ends to tie up and new projects to launch.
Today, let us focus on this last one and suggest what, in our opinion, are the key activities to be done when coming back from vacation. This will set the foundation for a new season of Email Marketing from today to 2020. Let’s get started.
Give yourself new performance goals
Before looking ahead, we need to look back at what was done in the previous months. We suggest taking stock of the results from last year’s mailings.
Aggregated reports allow you to consult the overall trends of your campaigns. It is possible to choose the most indicative time interval for your business, such as the last three months, the last semester, or the last year.
In doing so, you will have a performance overview on your email campaigns: delivery rates, opening rates, and click rates. Once this trend is grasped, set a new goal for the new season—one that is possible and achievable, yet not too low.
Give an ultimatum to inactive recipients
The second step is to work on your database. Each company should “delve into” its lists of recipients to identify contacts that have not interacted with emails for a while.
Considering a large number of inactive recipients can cause delivery problems, cleaning your lists of inactive recipients is essential for improving the deliverability  of future mailings. More and more, some email providers (Google, Yahoo…) use the “inactive recipients” value to decide whether messages sent by a certain sender should be directed to either an inbox or spam.
A list typically has about 50% of recipients that can be classified as inactive, i.e., they have neither opened nor clicked on any message sent to them in the last three months.
What you need to do is pretty simple:
- Enter the platform and find the percentage of inactive recipients by looking at the gray portion of recipients in the Analysis and comparisons report in Statistics > Email > Analysis and comparisons.
- Use activity filters to limit inactive recipients. You can do so by creating an activity filter to define recipients who have not made any action in the last X amount of days. The value of X varies depending on how many emails you send to your list.
- Plan a reactivation campaign to regain and capture the attention of inactive users. The most effective campaigns generally involve sending two messages. This invites the user to reactivate. A final message notifies the user of his/her future unsubscription. For these mailings, you will need the previously created activity filter.
Once the reactivation emails are created, you can automate the mailing by setting a time interval after which the inactive contact will receive the messages.
Send a profiling campaign
Marketers are back—and so are customers and prospects. Why not send them a welcome back email? Play with many ideas: the approaching autumn, the challenge in returning to work, or something along the back-to-school lines. Puma did just this in its animated email. It’s brilliant.
That is the minimum, though. We strongly recommend including a self-profile invitation within the same email. This way, the return from vacation becomes a chance for asking contacts for further details about themselves (later, we will see why).
The profiling form can create this in just a few steps. Simply use the drag & drop editor to edit blocks and other graphic elements, such as buttons, checkboxes, and groups. All of these can personalized to fit your needs.
Data collected through the self-profiling modules are saved in the platform’s personal data fields.
Implement a customization strategy
Separately or together:
What to do with already collected recipient data collected via the profiling form? We will personalize emails based on the characteristics, interests, and inclinations of each recipient.
Despite the challenge of personalization, this element is fundamental for companies. The McKinsey study states that personalization will be “the prime driver of marketing success within five years”.
Companies must accept this challenge. How? By adopting certain tools and functions to bring Email Marketing to an advanced personalization level. Let us take a look at them:
Display Conditions option
What’s it for → Personalized content blocks
This feature is available to all MailUp customers. While creating the message, you can set up rules for displaying blocks and whole message sections that will be filled automatically with the most suitable content for each recipient.
Practically speaking, the Display Conditions option brands can send emails with images and texts in line with each recipient’s demographics, preferences, and needs.
An example? A promotional campaign by an e-commerce website able to segment a promo sale of jeans depending on whether the recipient is a woman or a man.
What’s it for → Related/recommended products
What if a company wants to send emails with products that are constantly and automatically updated and customized? The Personalization Engine takes care of that. It uses Liquid markup language to create emails with real-time content retrieved from a site or an external page (i.e., a site, blog, or an online store) and sent to MailUp. This can be personalized for each recipient.
Here are a few examples: a Real Estate company can send its customers one email per week with new housing listings of their neighborhood or an e-commerce site can automatically send a follow-up e-mail the day after a shopping cart is left behind. Such an e-mail includes either the products that were abandoned or other related products. A large distribution company can also send coupons localized by geographical area.
The Display Conditions and Personalization Engine options are available in the MailUp platform. These can be activated upon request. The first can be done by all companies, whereas the second requires skills with HTML and Liquid markup Language.
What’s it for → Personalizing customer journeys
Using Artificial intelligence is not a utopia — every company can do it. Datatrics is a Predictive Marketing platform owned by the MailUp Group. It allows companies to predict customers’ future needs because of data collection involving behaviors and habits.
Here is how it works: Datatrics aggregates data from internal sources (CRM, email, social networks, e-commerce, web analytics, etc.) and external sources (demographic data, weather conditions, traffic intensity, etc.). The algorithm forecasts the interests of customers who interact with the website, emails, and campaigns on Google, Facebook, Display Adv, and other channels.
The result? High-performing personalized customer journeys. We would also like to emphasize that the integration between MailUp and Datatrics does not require specific technical or statistical skills.
Update your skills
» Courses, ebooks, masters degrees, and any other type of educational content
To wrap up this list of recommendations for the new season, don’t forget to keep training, updating your skills, and leveling up your knowledge.
This is an essential ingredient for a successful Email Marketing strategy and, more generally, Digital Marketing.
There are many other activities to carry out for the new Email Marketing season. Today, we focused just on those that we consider priorities.
If you think there are other essential activities, then please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
It’s time to try MailUp with a 30-day free trial. Here is your chance to try your hand at Email Marketing.