Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar Sunday night. It had been a long time coming for this talented actor, but Leo did finally win his coveted golden statue. Do you ever feel like you are being “Leo’d” from time to time with your email marketing performance? You are probably convinced that your email design, subject line, and content are all perfectly aligned to optimize open and click rates, but your messages continue to underperform. Let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons your email marketing is not winning Oscars.
The lack of performance COULD be the DiCaprio phenomenon of an exceptional talent arguably not being rewarded for excellent work. However, reality indicates that you are most likely overlooking an element or four that could vastly increase performance. If you recognize or identify with any of the list below, it’s probably time to take a step back and rethink your strategies.
Time of Day – You send emails at the beginning and/or end of the day. The highest engagement rates are at noon Eastern time and decrease in a linear fashion both earlier and later.
Consistent Sender – You use multiple different senders and profiles. Your audience needs to recognize the name in the “From” line. Whether you use your company name, CEO, or a marketing staff member, consistency is key.
Shorten the Subject Line – Your subject lines conjure memories of The Odyssey. Nearly every report and statistic available indicates that the shorter your subject line, the better your metrics will be.
Personalization – Every individual’s email looks and reads the exact same. Personalizing with the first name is a good start. Adding the company name, specific interests, title, or personalized content is great.
Images – Images get slapped into your emails without further editing, tagging, and/or classification. All images should have an “Alt text” and a description. These will affect deliverability rates if not utilized.
Text:Image Ratio – Your emails look really “pretty” because your graphic designer creates 90% of the content. You can not send an email built solely using images. It will have a high spam score and never make it to the inbox.
List Building – You buy lists of email addresses and send to these contacts without appending or verification. I will never recommend that a company buys a list of email addresses. A long-term, organic, inbound campaign will pay huge dividends in the end.
Have a Strong CTA – Your email lacks direction or sense of urgency. Calls to action must be featured visually and through the text of the email. One is enough as long as it is strong.
Multiple Client Testing – You send one internal test email then fire it off to your audience. Your Email may look great in the most current version of Chrome and Gmail, but how does it look on Outlook and Internet Explorer 2014?
Form Pre-population – When a contact is driven to your landing page, they have to type ALL of their information into each, separate field. Whether it is registering for an event, requesting a demo, or downloading a whitepaper, your forms should pre-populate with the available information when a contact clicks through on an email. This will boost form conversion rates immensely.
Certainly, competition has been a factor for Leo over the years. Unfortunately, there is no prize for second place at the Oscars or with your email marketing campaigns. If you can identify one small area of improvement at a time, you will be well on your way to the difference between another ho-hum campaign and raving marketing success.
If you continue to make incremental improvements like the ones listed above, I have no doubt that your competition will begin to feel like Fitzgerald in the Revenant when Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) stated, “He’s afraid. He knows how far I came for him.”