For years I have followed best practices and industry guidelines to send email the right way
. However, I have been learning in recent years that there is no best practice that is better to follow than to know the audience you send your email to and tailor your communications to what they want to read. Some of the rules I am learning to change...
- Never send on a Monday or Friday. I have heard this mantra for years. In fact, I have even cited it myself when asked why we weren't sending on a Friday. However, we have been testing this mantra here at Delivra and have learned (at least for our audience) Fridays tend to be the best day for sending.
- The more personal, the better. This mantra can still be considered true, but only if your data is clean and it is executed well. In fact, I actually saw an email go out from an organization this week that messed this up to their very own audience. And then, as if to rub salt in the wound, they sent an apology email. (Another pet peeve of mine, sending oops emails, here is my rule of thumb~If what you sent is grossly inaccurate then send a CORRECTED email, if it is a personalization or typo, you run the risk of beginning a vicious cycle of additional emails that might irritate your audience. Let it go and do it right the next time.)
- Automate, automate, automate. It is true, automation CAN help you reach more recipients in a timely manner. However, you must be cautious not to remove the relevance and authenticity in your communications. Automating is good for responses to a form or when someone subscribes, but when it comes to your regular communications, be sure that you remain authentic and provide value to the very recipients that opted in to receive your mail.
- Email is very different from other marketing. This mindset has changed somewhat over the years, but marketers still isolate their email campaigns from their other tactics. Email is likely one of the highest ROI generating tactics any organization can employ. Because of that, it should be used as a connector, an integrator or sorts with all other marketing mediums (both traditional and new.)
- If you get 30% Open Rate and 10-15% CTR, then you've succeeded. Over the years I have managed email marketing campaigns at four organizations and every organization performed differently depending upon the content, the audience, and the engagement of the audience with the topic. I have seen the numbers bounce all around the "benchmarks" and truly believe it is the audience that determines this best.
I recently read a blog post by Kevin Senne
that speaks to this same evolution. He too has been an email marketer since the beginning and I'm sure he even followed a couple of these. His blog post stresses the importance of knowing your audience and maintaining your list the right way
. I have to agree with Kevin here and say, knowing your audience is probably the single most important way to benchmark success. Monitor your emails and know how they perform. Once you do, you can begin to tailor to that audience of followers. The more you can tailor to their preferences, the more engaged your audience will become email campaign by email campaign.
Carissa Newton | Marketing