Email Best Practice

Email Best Practice

January 15, 2016

6 Tips for a successful email campaign

Despite the rise of new communication and marketing channels such as social media, email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for restaurants and hotels to connect with their customers. It has held its value for years and many businesses still choose email marketing as a way to communicate with their audience. Email marketing, used correctly can offer a very high return on investment for restaurants and hotels- it can deliver a highly targeted and personalised means of communication. It can also build lasting relationships, reinforce your brand and can increase awareness to a large number of customers at a relatively low cost. It’s no surprise then why email marketing is still going strong.

However, email marketing is not without challenges. Without the correct know-how, spam detection can mean your email marketing efforts are likely to land in the spam inbox. That said, it’s not enough to get past spam detection. Your message may have made it to your customer’s inbox but to get them to take action, you will need to engage them. We’ve therefore come up with 6 tips to help you create a successful email campaign.

1. Grow your subscribers list organically

Many businesses are tempted to purchase bulk mailing lists to broadcast their message to a wide range of audiences. However, doing this can threaten your IP’s reputation and therefore email deliverability. When buying bulk mailing lists, you violate the implicit trust between your brand and recipients as they have not requested communication from your company. Recipients from these lists are likely to label your email as spam which reduces your reputation score – your Sender Score. Sender Scores are based on a scale of 1-100. A low sender score will experience higher levels of email filtering and give you a harder time getting to your recipient’s inbox. Rather than paying for your lists, pay attention to growing them organically and increase trust, brand loyalty, and response rates.

2. Use previous analytics to create content

Analyse reports from previous email campaigns by using email analytics to understand your subscriber’s interests and preferences. Behavioural data is great to help create highly targeted content when combined with demographic data collected from your opt-in form e.g. subscribers’ age and location. You may find that certain content continuously receives more clicks than others. You can use this information to provide your customers with what they want to see in future campaigns.

3. Optimise for mobile

Google has officially confirmed that mobile queries have overtaken desktop queries and according to email analytics company Litmus, emails opened on mobile devices has increased. The study shows an increase from 8% in 2011 to 53% in 2014 – a 500% increase. It’s no surprise then that email opens have grown exponentially over the past couple of years. Mobile optimisation is therefore essential to an effective email campaign. Make your recipients’ email experience as smooth as possible by creating a responsive design that resonates with them. When creating your emails, always check on mobile. Avoid small text sizes and use touch-friendly buttons as well as one column layouts as it maximises legibility.

4. Start with a great subject line and avoid common spam trigger words.

Once your email has made it through to your recipients’ inbox, you will need to turn your attention to the subject line to get their attention. Subject lines are one of the first things they’ll see along with the sender. This coupled with the fact most recipients scan through their subject lines means it it’s essential to create one that will attract their attention. A great subject line is short, descriptive and gives the reader a reason to open your email. Another thing to keep in mind when creating your subject line is to avoid common spam trigger words such as ‘discount, cost, bargain and ad’. Using these in your subject line will raise the likelihood of you landing in your recipients’ spam inbox. An exhaustive list can easily be found with a quick Google search.

5. Personalise

Unlike other forms of mass communication such as broadcast and print, emails are unique in that you can change the content for each segment of your market. To get your recipients to take action, personalizing their experience is key. Rather than sending mass generic content to all your recipients, segment and slice your list into smaller ones based on what you know about each user. Once this is done, you can create and tweak the content of your newsletter to match their interests and demographics. Accurate segmentation leads to improved deliverability, click-through rates and conversions.

6. Contact cleaning

Email service providers assume that responsible and reputable email senders will remove bad emails from their lists. It is therefore key to clean your list- make sure you manage your bounces, remove duplicates and remove inactive subscribers. Not doing so puts your deliverability at risk and will greatly affect your sender score. You should therefore clean your list regularly and consistently by setting a threshold of 3-5 bounces before removing an email.

For more details please visit our email marketing page.

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