Email marketing – when used effectively – can be super powerful.
Still not convinced? Here is some more proof that email marketing is far from dead.
My theory for why some folks still don’t believe in the awesome power of email marketing is that they are doing it wrong. And to be clear, by “wrong” I don’t mean they are “breaking the rules” and sending mostly-HTML (or mostly-text) emails. Nor are they “doing it wrong” by sending emails with the word “free” or using ALL CAPS in the subject line. Nope. As long as you are testing to determine what works best for your audience, I’m a huge advocate for being an email marketing rebel.
Instead, I think that many marketers are not using data that they have to personalize/customize emails for various segments of their list. Too often, marketers send the same email to their entire database. Sure, that tactic can be effective. However, you’re likely to get better results from your email marketing program if you send targeted, timely, VALUABLE emails to your audience.
That’s exactly what Norm Thompson did this morning. Check out the email below.
There are many things I love about this email – 6 to be exact. Taking it from the top…
1. The Subject Line: As I’ve said before, along with the from name (sender), the subject line is critical to getting someone to open your email. In this case, Norm Thompson chose the following subject line: Thank you for being a loyal subscriber. Enjoy 20% off your next purchase. What’s great about this subject line is that it leads off with a thank you and follows with a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) … 20% off next purchase. I opened the email immediately. Mission #1 accomplished.
2. The Preheader: Norm Thompson did not waste that valuable real estate above the header (aka, the preheader) with boring, non-valuable text. Nope. Instead, they included some clickable text that allowed me to take advantage of the 20% off offer immediately: You deserve a gift! 20% off your entire order.
3. The Lead: The first text above the main call to action image read, “thank you for being a loyal email customer for 1 year!” YES! Norm Thompson used subscriber data to segment its list! While many marketers ask for a subscribers birthday so they can send a special offer, Norm Thompson decided to use my one-year “subscriber anniversary” as the date to give me 20% off. Unique. Smart.
4. The Main Call to Action: One of my biggest mistakes marketers make is sending emails with no clear call to action. Make it obvious. If I have to guess what action you want me to take, it’s a lot less likely that I’ll do it. Think about it. In this case, Norm Thompson makes it very very obvious what they want me to do. The main image is clickable as is the “coupon” and “shop now” button. Love it.
5. The Messaging: I really love is the copy. It’s simple. It’s direct. It’s not super-fancy. Phrases and words such as “thank you,” “loyal,” and “you deserve a gift” all give me the warm fuzzies.
6. The Simplicity: The final aspect of this email that is really smart is the fact that Norm Thompson does not make me remember some crazy coupon code in order to redeem my 20% offer. In fact, they don’t provide a coupon code at all. As the messaging reads, all I have to do is “Just click through this email.” To be nitpicky, I would suggest making that a bit more clear – maybe even putting it in red/bold text below the image: “Note: You do not need to enter a coupon code at checkout to take advantage of this 20% offer. Just click through this email and the discount will automatically be applied.”
Now, the questions I cannot answer with certainly are these: How effective was this email? How did the open and click-to-open (CTO) rates compare to other emails? How many of the 20% offers are redeemed with these emails? What impact do they have on sales?
Note: If someone knows a person on the email marketing team at Norm Thompson, I’d love to chat with them!
April 3, 2013 UPDATE: I spoke with some of their team and, while they are unable to share specific numbers, let’s just say … it’s been VERY effective!
How are you using data to make your email marketing messages more valuable? What are you doing to make your email subscribers feel special? Please share in the comments below.
P.S. Have you heard the news? Nick Westergaard and I have started a weekly podcast called The Work Talk Show, where we interview crazy-smart folks about how work gets done. Give the latest episode a listen!
DID YOU KNOW…
I recently launched a new online course, Email Marketing Made Simple, that promises to help make you a better email marketer.
-Having trouble growing your email list?
-Not sure what a preheader is?
-Avoiding using the word “free” in your subject lines because someone told you it was a “rule.”
-Having trouble figuring out how to use social media and email marketing together?
-Not sure what you should be testing and how often?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions (or all 5!), I can help.