For many online retailers, email marketing is seen as an important way to communicate exclusive offers and generate added revenue, but often, they are not seeing the full value. There are some common mistakes that are made before and after, which we will look at below. We will guide you though some of the common mistakes made on the popular email marketing platform Mailchimp, and what you can do to improve.
Lists and setup
The first and most important part of any successful email marketing campaign is the data list. Many marketers will neglect this during setup which can result in valuable data being missed.
Spend time configuring all of your lists and the fields within them before you send, considering how you want your data to be segmented. The added time early on will pay in the long run with enhanced results.
Groups are a great way to segment your users into specific areas of interest, they allow you to create targeted campaigns with content tailored to each user. Many online retailers overlook this feature in Mailchimp choosing instead to send mass emails with generic content which will often result in a high rate of unsubscribers.
Sign up forms
Some common mistakes in email marketing are unbranded sign up forms with strange list names and uncompleted list fields. These are things that you will probably never see unless you sign up, but for your customers they will see the mistakes each and every time. Mailchimp allows you to customise each of your forms, so take the time to ensure these look great and on-brand. Once all of your lists and forms are ready, you should look to integrate your forms on your website and Facebook for maximum exposure.
Email setup including eCommerce tracking
One thing that is often missed by online retailers when sending newsletters is tracking. Mailchimp, alongside google analytics eCommerce tracking, allows you to track and record sales as well as goals completed on your website. This information is vitally important for all retailers in order to see the ROI and who is buying from you. By tracking these campaigns you will have a historical view of what works and what doesn't, so be sure to have this implemented on your website and turned on in mailchimp!
Email template design
Many online retailers often make the mistake of sending dull, non-responsive, text heavy emails with huge images, not thinking about the implications for the end user. Your newsletters should mirror your brand image and should be user friendly. Mailchimp has a simple drag and drop editor which allows you to style almost everything to your brand and the great thing about them - they are all responsive. With over 50% of people now opening emails on mobile devices it is important that your emails look great on all of them, with no pinch to zoom.
Email marketing isn't a one size fits all solution. We are all different and the content of your email should reflect this. If you have all of the above set up you should be able to tailor each email to the likes of your subscribers which will help reduce the number of unsubscribers. If you are unable to segment your lists you should look at communicating your content in a way that is easy to digest. Reduce your copy, use great, optimised imagery and have clear call to actions.
Image optimisation and formatting
Email opens are becoming increasingly popular on mobile devices so factors such as the size of the email and speed of opening need to be taken into consideration. If you are uploading large images into your templates be sure to make use of the in-built aviary editor to resize images to a max of 600px wide. This editor will help to improve the performance of your campaigns. Adding descriptive alt tags to the images will also help with any users viewing the email as plain text.
Social sharing and follow
Your campaigns shouldn't just be confined to email, and with Mailchimp, they don't have to be. Mailchimp allows you to integrate with Facebook and Twitter, allowing instant posting to your profiles when a campaign is sent. This integration helps spread your message to new customers and increases the possibility of new sales. The system also allows you to create links to your social accounts to help you build loyal followers and share new content.
The time you choose to send your campaigns can have an effect on the results. Research has shown that midweek sends in the late afternoon seem to have better results. There is an easier way to take this out of your hands however. Mailchimp can analyse your send data and use this information to suggest the optimum send time. Your campaigns will improve over time as you get to know your customers habits, in the early stages it will be trial and error.
Analysing and refining
As with any successful project, analysis and refinement is an important process. Mailchimp offers a wide range of reports which allow you to understand what is working and what needs improvement. You should spend time after each campaign to look at the details and use this knowledge to improve things on your next send.
If you have been struggling to get the results you were hoping for with your campaigns, follow these points and you should see an improvement. Being thorough and consistent with your data and campaigns will stand you in good stead for future success.