To be successful at email marketing, which, to this day, remains the cheapest way of advertising, you’ll need to come up with a viable strategy, starting with proper research.
It is no brainer that sending emails only to target audiences and only at the right intervals is a prerequisite for long-term success. What many people tend to forget, however, is that audiences change over time – and so do trends.
It is, therefore, essential to keep informed about the developments, listen to customer feedback, and keep an eye on the competition.
There are some benchmarks that should help you improve your content and campaigns. Let’s take a brief look at them.
Government, nonprofit and education seem to continually top the charts, and even the disastrous 2020 wasn’t an exception. Government open rates rose from 19.79% in 2019 to 30.5% in 2020, nonprofit open rates – from 20.39% in 2019 to 25.2% in 2020, and education open rates – from 18.9% in 2019 to 23.4% in 2020.
Consumer packaged goods had 14.5% open rates in early 2020, but the rate was boosted considerably due to the lockdown later in the year. The poorest performing industries are Automotive and Aerospace (12.6%), with Food and Beverage and Retail, which traditionally rank low, gaining momentum due to the increased need for home deliveries.
As regards to CTRs, the government placed first once more, with Real Estate, Design and Construction, as well as Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting following behind.
In a nutshell:
- Average open rate stands at 17.8%
- Average CTO stands at 14.3%
- Average CTR stands at 2.6%
- Average unsubscribe rate stands at 0.1%
- Average bounce rate stands at 0.7%
Online Shopping Is on the Rise
Due to obvious reasons, online shopping has witnessed a boom. With people around the globe being unable to perform regular daily shopping, brands who managed to improve their services to include home delivery have prospered during the pandemic.
Note that since many people were simply forced to turn to online shopping, they have realized its benefits. As a result, it is expected that the trend will continue in the future, so if you still don’t ship your products, jump on the bandwagon fast.
Mind the Timing of Your Campaigns
If recipients don’t see your emails, no matter how good your offer is, it will all be in vain. It is, therefore, paramount to mind the timing of your campaigns.
To do that efficiently, you need to know your customers’ time zones (especially if you operate internationally).
Various stats show that the best time to send an email is around 10 AM or 1 PM. These estimates are, actually, valid for “regular” times and target mostly 9-to-5 workers. It is reasonable to argue that people who now work online retain their schedule, though, so this timing still seems sustainable.
The key takeaway here is that messages displayed on top are always visible to the recipient. According to GetResponse, the majority of email opens happen within an hour of their arrival.
Also, various attempts have been made at discovering which days are the most convenient for sending emails. The stats for 2020 haven’t been made available yet (and this year should be considered an exception, anyway), but the stats for 2019 show that the best days are, as follows:
- Tuesday – highest open rates (18.3%)
- All but Tuesday – lowest unsubscribe rates (0.1%)
- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – highest CTRs (2.6%)
- Wednesday – lowest bounce rates (0.6%)
- Thursday and Friday – highest click-to-open rates (14.4%)
And the worst:
- Saturday – lowest open rates: (17.5%)
- Tuesday – highest unsubscribe rates (0.2%)
- Sunday – lowest click-to-open rates (14.2%)
- Friday and Saturday – highest bounce rates (0.8%)
- Wednesday and Saturday – lowest CTRs (2.5%)
1. Subject Lines Can Make or Break Your Campaign
Simply put, subject lines tell the recipient whether they should bother opening (let alone reading) your message. As such, they are the most crucial part of your email and you should spend as much time as needed brainstorming them.
That isn’t to say that stellar subject lines alone will win your brand massive following. The message body should follow up on the subject line promptly, be concise and mobile-optimized, and feature proper links leading to a responsive shopping page.
Finally, all emails should feature a CTA that stands out from the rest of the text. Go easy on the images as the majority of open rates happen on mobile devices, even during the lockdown.
2. Keep Communication Alive
Communication is the single most important feat any serious brand aiming to survive on the global market needs to master.
It’s communication that keeps your customers informed and satisfied, and you should always strive to be professional and still empathetic. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and do listen to it. Be active on your social media pages, answering all queries and addressing complaints in a timely manner.
Most of the interactions take place on social media, as a rule, so cross-promote your offer and ask for opinions.
3. Keep Your Goals in Mind and Refresh Your Audience List
Never ever forget your goals. Even if things seem to be going the way you want them to, remember that online work is appealing to an increasing number of people – the trend that won’t go away any time soon.
The best example is dropshipping – the practice where education or skills don’t matter one bit. The more unqualified workers are likely to turn to easy money – online selling and similar. If you are an expert in your field, invest in advertising (free options come first like blogging, guest posts, forums and online marketplaces), and make sure you always provide high-quality products and services.
Last but not least, while addressing your clientele, remember to be literate and concise. A single typo can lead to the loss of a customer, especially since the field is competitive with many alternatives available.
Inspire and get inspired. Let your brand stand out by letting customers know what exactly it is that makes it stand out from the competition. Create a brand with an attitude, and be bold and observant.
Other things will come in time. Be patient, as different people expect different approaches, and experiment as much as needed until you’ve created exactly what you want.