With 81% of SMEs relying on email marketing as their primary customer acquisition tool, email lists are considered the lifeblood of eCommerce companies.Almost 300 billion emails are sent and received daily to just over half of the world’s population, and that number is growing daily. By 2023, there are expected to be over 4.3 billion people using email services, up from the current 3.9 billion. Research is still showing that despite the use of social channels, paid ads and traditional marketing, email marketing is still the number one marketing tool for ecommerce and startup companies globally.
In fact, it is estimated that for every $1 dollar spent on email marketing, you can make a return of $42. But, in saying that, you need to make sure you have the foundations of email marketing right. If you are reading all of this and thinking to yourself, why is this not happening for me or what am I doing wrong, we are here to help. We took a look at the biggest pitfalls most companies face when it comes to managing their email lists. Yes, you are certainly not alone, they can be really tricky, but once you have them configured correctly, and once you know your way around the lists, you should start seeing a massive improvement on your conversion rates.
So, here are our top hints at getting your email lists just right to start generating sales from your campaigns.
This is the first thing you need to take a look at is the integrity of your lists. Clean data is the difference between having your well planned campaigns going out to actual people, and going to dud email addresses. We won’t lie, it can be a total hack to start combing through lists and lists of email addresses, but when it comes to conversions and sales, it makes a huge difference.
Take some time out of your schedule weekly and start doing deep dives into your lists to see what is truly going on. Are email addresses spelt correctly? In many cases you could be emailing firstname.lastname@example.org instead of .com, or at gnail.com. These are easy mistakes to fix and could just be a potential new customer. There are also numerous email verification tools that you can use that cleans your data and verifies that it is all correct.
Yes, we all want to build up our databases to hundreds of thousands of leads strong to really get the message out, but this is one of the biggest pitfalls faced by startups. If you have bought leads from a company, you will soon notice that your open rates will start dropping and that unsubscribe button gets hit a lot. This is because you have weak leads. In a lot of cases, most companies actually shoot themselves in the foot when they buy a couple thousand leads as they end up paying more for the automated marketing platform that they are using.
Although it could take longer to build, organically built lists have a higher conversion rate. Roll out a great referral campaign that offers discounts and specials to those who take part. Include a pop-up form on your site for visitors to subscribe to your newsletters. Think of innovative ways of collecting email addresses, like sponsoring wifi on public transport or at a cafe. These are a few easy ways to generate clean data where the recipient is actually expecting your email and is more likely to click through.
Once again, this can also be a time consuming task but is well worth the outcomes. You should be segmenting your contacts into lists in order to send custom marketing mailers directly to them. This form of personalization has been shown to increase opens by up to 15% and click throughs by up to 64%. Although incredibly daunting, it will be worth your while in the long run. There are a number of different lists that you can create, so our advice is to try one a month for a few months and compare the results of what generated the most opens.
You can segment your lists into the following categories:
– Survey or quiz results;
– Email engagement;
– Geographical area;
– Past purchases;
– Amount spent;
– Status in the sales funnel (e.g. do they leave carts abandoned often);
– Website behaviour;
– Type of buyers (Frequent, once off etc.);
– Personal interests (data collected by surveys).
This kind of data can be collected over the months and you can separate your customers by lists and create bespoke mailers for each list. Measure the successes of each list every week and then make a decision about which one worked for your company. If more than one stands out with its results, you can go back and forth between each one. Just remember, keep measuring and testing.
Do some research on online tools and platforms that can help you with your lists. There are a number out there that can automate your segmentation, will assist in cleaning your data and will help you pick out the dead leads. Not only will this save you time and money, but your clean data will start converting quicker and sales will start picking up.