Most people can learn the basics of email marketing in a few hours, but it takes a lot of dedication, research, and practice to learn how to effectively market via email. It also takes a bit of time before a marketing campaign can be seen as a success. Unfortunately, as most marketers and marketing firms will tell you, there are always clients and managers who demand immediate results, which can be really difficult for an email marketing campaign to deliver. There are three factors in particular that can wind up being a bit of a headache for a marketing team – growing the subscriber list, showing a high rate of deliverability, and proving a solid return-on-investment. And while there are no quick-fixes, utilizing the right resources and acting the right way will help you meet those challenges.
Our subscriber list won’t grow
You need a solid, active list of subscribers for your campaign to succeed. Sadly subscriber lists decay, and there isn’t anything you can do about it except find new subscribers to take the place of old ones. So how do you attract new people to subscribe? Well, stop asking ‘how can we advertise to these people?’, and start asking, ‘what are we providing to our subscribers?’. As we’ve said in previous articles, your subscribers are doing you a favor by opening another channel of communication – don’t waste that opportunity. Will you provide links to engaging, informative articles? Or are you just going to send coupon codes and offers? Both of these scenarios are equally valid since they provide something for your subscribers, you just need to solidify the purpose of your campaign so that your subscribers know what they are going to be getting.
Messages aren’t being opened, or even delivered
Spam filters can be a nuisance for marketers, but without them everyone would be forced to wade through nigerian prince scams and ads for cheap prescriptions. You can, and should, ask your subscribers to white-list your email, but you can’t rely on that alone to improve your open rates. You should also take a long look at how your messages are constructed and figure out why they may be getting caught in the spam filter. Every batch of emails you send out should be well-written, engaging, and thought-out. Bullet-point lists of copied content are much more likely to be shut out than a well constructed, unique message. But what if your emails aren’t even being delivered? Well, if that’s the case consider purging your subscriber list. Most email marketing programs will automatically deleted emails addresses that bounce back, but if you want a more hands-on approach, you can send out an email asking users to confirm they want to be on the list. Your subscriber list may shrink a bit but those that are on there will interact more with the messages you send out.
We can’t accurately measure ROI
Measuring ROI, or your return on investment, can be very tricky, especially if there isn’t a lot of contact between the sales and marketing teams. Most email marketing programs offer some sort of analytical tool, which makes it easy to see who clicked-through the marketing email and went to the business’s website. But how do you know where your customers went from there? Luckily, figuring that out is simply a matter of integrating a customer relationship management app with whatever email marketing service you use – MailChimp, for example, works very well with SalesForce. A well-maintained CRM will allow the entire company to access customer profiles, and determine how many leads became customers. Marketing helps sales by pointing them to leads, and sales helps marketing by making it simpler to quantify ROI.
Many of the challenges that email marketers faced a decade ago continue to be a real problem. The difference is now there are email marketing programs and services built to make your life as a marketer much easier. Learn how to utilize the analytical tools that come with these programs, and you can much more effectively tailor your campaigns and figure out what works and what doesn’t. As your campaigns become more effective, your subscriber list will grow, more leads will convert to customers, and you’ll be able to relax knowing your clients or the management can see real growth from your campaign.