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BizReport : Email Marketing : November 17, 2015


Expert: How to get the most from email campaigns

Over the holiday months more brands will send email campaigns. There will be sales campaigns, holiday tip and gift guides. In some cases brands will send an email each day. That, of course, can get old for the shopper. One expert offers his top tips to keep customers engaged with email.

by Kristina Knight

When it comes to email, smaller may be better. According to a recent analysis of 2014 holiday email campaigns, SendGrid found that larger newsletter lists tend toward lower engagement rates than smaller lists.

"Larger newsletter lists tend to have lower engagement rates. We think that smaller lists may be getting more engagement because they tend to have better list targeting and cleanliness," said Victor Amin, SendGrid's data scientist. "Small, well-targeted lists get more engagement than big email blasts. For example, don't send Thanksgiving-centric emails to customers outside of the United States--that email just won't be relevant to them, and your engagement rate will suffer. Similarly, don't share lists across business channels. If you own shoes.com and bags.com, don't send a shoes.com holiday email to your bags.com list."

Amin also suggests brands know their list members' engagement history. This can lead to better segmentation - for example, did a certain sub-set open an email but not click? Sending a follow-up to those members can result in a click-through. He also suggests cleaning up email lists prior to the holiday rush.

"Clean lists start with good email collection practices. Build holiday email lists organically and verify you have permission to email customers on your list. Don't scrape the bottom of your list for more email addresses--it can cause more damage than it's worth," said Amin.

Now that you're clear on segmentation and targeting, think about how often you're emailing. Looking at the 2014 data, Amin found that higher send frequency resulted in lower engagement rates.

"According to our data, senders who sent 100 Black Friday emails (multiple emails per day!) would be expected to average an 11% engagement rate, compared to 16.5% for senders who sent only 10 Black Friday emails," said Amin. "We think that this trend is related to email fatigue. Every person has a different tolerance for email volume, and when that tolerance is exceeded, they are likely to become disengaged or even unsubscribe."

How can you be sure to email enough but not too much?

• Be careful not to fatigue your recipients. You should send multiple emails per day only rarely, and only to recipients who consistently engage with your mail
• If your list has low engagement, send less frequently
• "Down-subscribes" and other ways to help users to indicate their preferred frequency can be useful tools for fighting email fatigue

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: email content, email marketing, email targeting, email tips, SendGrid










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