5 email tips from our customers to help us all be better marketers

September 23, 2014 jamie@myemma.com

One of my favorite parts of my job (other than the fireworks and Top Gun guitar solo that greet my arrival every day) is that I get to interact with our smart and savvy customers and share ideas on how to do great email marketing. They give us so much real-world insight into what’s working and what’s not with their wide range of audiences. It’s why we try to share their expertise as often as we can here on the Emma blog. Here are some of the key takeaways from recent chats that we’ve had with them that can help us all become better marketers.

Segment to stay relevant to your audience.

Tracy Goldenberg of digital marketing agency BubbleUp manages the email marketing for country music star Luke Bryan. She frequently asks subscribers to update their email preferences and uses audience segmentation tools to deliver content that they’ll find most relevant and useful. This results in a 50% open rate, a 20% click rate and a whole lot of happy Luke fans.

“We segment by location, but we found that Luke fans will travel pretty far,” said Tracy. “Many people said they want to get every single presale email, so being able to segment the list that way and really give the people what they want has been awesome.”

BubbleUp surveys Luke Bryan fans and segments them accordingly to give them the content they want, when they want it.

Automate for all occasions and reward loyal customers.

Automated emails are perfect for welcoming new subscribers, sending annual birthday greetings (don’t forget about half birthdays, too!) or engaging followers of a campaign.

Matt Olsen of Firehouse Subs used automated emails throughout their Hearty & Flavorful Challenge to reward participants with small offers or health tips. The campaign was a hit with an astounding 83% open rate and 48% click rate.

“Emma really was the engine on the back end pushing that content out to our subscribers so that I could focus on other aspects of the campaign,” said Matt.

Firehouse Subs sent automated emails to reward customers for participating in the Hearty & Flavorful Challenge.

Don’t be afraid to start over.

If you’re keeping tabs on your email results, then you can tell if your audience is just not paying attention. Listen to your audience, scrap what’s not working and try out new ideas to better engage your customers.

It’s what John Lavey, president and COO of digital marketing agency Hammock, did when he revamped their email marketing. By scrapping their old, underperforming newsletter, creating a new streamlined design and focusing on the most useful content to their subscribers, Hammock doubled their email open rates.

“We like to call it an ‘un-newsletter.’ We wanted to do something that was sincerely helpful, meaning very brief and relevant to our audience,” said John.

Hammock's revamped email marketing doubled open rates.

Say hello when subscribers are most interested in you.

Welcome emails have 4 times the open rate and 5 times the clickthrough rate of other bulk mailings, so you can trust that your new subscribers will be reading. Be sure to link them to your product or some great content so they can get acquainted with your brand.

It’s how Amanda Thomas, fashion designer and founder of Luv Aj, welcomes new subscribers to her list. And it’s paid off big time. By sending new subscribers a welcome email that offers a 10% discount, Amanda has converted 21% of them into paying customers in Luv Aj’s online store.

“It’s the first opportunity to give subscribers a sense of your personality,” said Amanda. “If you’re already taking the time to do email marketing, then you might as well set up a welcome email that looks pretty and gives people something, like a discount.”

Luv Aj's welcome email is a conversion powerhouse.

Personalization is powerful.

People are more likely to respond to a call to action when it feels direct and tailored to who they are. Brandeis University’s Aaron Louison and David Nathan used email to tell a compelling story featuring real campus locations to tie donors and alumni back to their time at Brandeis. The resulting campaign helped them exceed their year-end fundraising goal.

“It was a really fun way to feature iconic locations and connect alumni back to campus. ‘You remember this place on campus, but do you also know that you’re supporting students who are doing the same things you did when attending Brandeis?’’’

Emails that told a story alumni could relate to helped Brandeis beat its fundraising goals.

Have some tips you’d like to share? Drop some knowledge in the comments!

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