In our last blog post we wrote about the upcoming can’t-miss Email Marketing Summit 2012 from Marketing Sherpa. If you attended last year’s summit, you know how valuable it is, and this year’s is shaping up to be the best yet. One of the most important insights from last year’s summit was a roundup of the most common email marketing challenges to plague email marketers, and how to handle them. These are just a few of the challenges that were discussed, and the solutions that came out in the email marketing summit last year:
1. How do you increase engagement if you have a limited list?
Even though you may have a small email list, there are a number of ways in which email marketers can increase engagement, and ultimately, ROI. For example, you could start by expanding your company’s web presence and visibility. One great way to do this is by guest blogging for online industry publications. By getting your name out there as an expert in your industry, you’ll attract more followers and grow your list while increasing conversation and engagement. Also consider integrating social media into your email marketing program: a strong social media program will not only help grow your reach, but also show your followers that you are posting great updates (and thus encourage them to sign up for an email newsletter). Finally, consider offering incentives to your email subscribers to share your offers with others, which could be another way to integrate sharing, engagement, and social networking.
2. How can effective results be achieved through an email marketing program without being repetitive?
As we always say at ClickMail Marketing, the best way to address this challenge is to be consistently creating excellent, specific, and relevant content. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time; you simply need to get creative about repurposing your key messages in ways that draw prospects in and keeps current customers engaged. If you’re feeling stale or need inspiration, you can always develop creative content and new ideas based on customer surveys, industry trends and other insights. Be open to feedback and take suggestions from your audience. Often, your customers ask the same questions your prospects are silently wondering.
3. How are maximum results attained through optimal frequency and timing of email marketing messages?
If you’re struggling with this question, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Most email marketers wonder about the best timing and frequency to send out email marketing messages, and we’ve written about this question recently ourselves. Even though HubSpot’s social media scientist, Dan Zarrella, discovered that Tuesday at 11am is one of the worst possible times to send out email campaigns, this day and time may not apply to your audience and their behavior patterns. The best way to find out the most optimal frequency and timing for YOUR specific email campaigns is to engage in testing, another email marketing best practice we regularly espouse. In order to determine your ideal email frequency, the best thing to measure is your total open and click rates under different email frequency conditions. Consider running an A/B split test with different email frequencies and comparing the results.
For even more takeaways from the 2011 Email Marketing Summit, see Marketing Sherpa’s roundup!
What are some of the email marketing challenges you’ve encountered as an email marketer? Share them with us and we’ll try to address them in future blog posts!