Email marketing hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years.
That being said, tremendous opportunities still exist to improve your results.
Last month, Jay Baer presented a webinar with Rachel Insler, Patina Restaurant Group’s Director of Marketing, and our friends at Emma, and revealed just how to do that.
I’ve been in email marketing for over 10 years, and I still took away a ton of ideas to apply to our own email marketing at Convince and Convert, and you will too. Watch the full recording here—I promise, you’ll enjoy it!
Straight from the webinar, here are 5 ways to make your email marketing more awesome:
1. Make email your digital nerve center.
Algorithms change. Social networks fall out of favor. But your email list is always yours. And, as Jay explained, you can leverage your email list to improve your ad targeting on paid social networks.
The best digital marketers, like Rachel Insler, think of their email list as their digital nerve center. Her email marketing program at Patina is so effective, it drives the majority of event attendees at The Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center.
In fact, 194 out of 220 guests at the popular “Paella Patio Party” came from their email list. Impressive!
2. Personalize and micro-target.
According to Infosys, 86% of consumers say personalization impacts purchase decisions, but Emma’s own research found only 29% of email marketers segment all their emails.
Jay revealed the best way to earn your subscribers’ time and attention is to “treat each subscriber like an audience of one.”
And how do you do that? By sending messages that resonate with their unique circumstances and needs with email targeting and segmentation.
At Patina, Rachel combines non-email behavior with email data: this is an optimal way to segment. She sends targeted promotions based on purchase data.
In this example, she explained how she sent a complimentary oyster offer to a list of 80 people who spent $25 or more on oysters in the last 6 months.
She achieved a 50% open rate, and 12 people came to a restaurant and redeemed the oyster offer. That’s a 15% conversion rate, from subscriber to in-store visit. Wow!
3. Boost authenticity with personalization and user-generated content.
As Jay explained, every business is just a collection of people, and we trust people more than we trust businesses.
You can use user-generated content to find interesting, trust-worthy images and content to humanize your emails and persuade your subscribers to take action.The more personal and trustworthy your emails are, the better your results will be. Click To Tweet
Jay shared two examples of survey emails, asking for feedback about his experience with the company. Guess which one Jay filled out?
Yup, you guessed it. Not the one on the left.
Rachel also achieves fantastic results by personalizing emails at Patina, and sometimes she even makes the from name “Chef David Buico”, executive chef at Rock Center Café and Summer Garden & Bar. Those personal emails from the chef also result in higher opens. But Rachel is careful to not overdo it and use the chef’s name all the time—only when it makes sense for the message and feels authentic.
4. Always test your emails.
Email is one of the most testable forms of marketing. If you’re sending emails, you should be testing.
But where do you begin?
Start with your hypothesis (if we change X, it will result in X), seek to prove yourself wrong (not right!), and make sure your variations are different enough to actually achieve a measurable difference in results. So don’t test a Gala Apple against a Honeycrisp. Test an apple against an orange. (This something I am constantly reminded of here at Convince & Convert! We just A/B tested our newsletter and the challenger and control achieved the same click-through rate!)
Rachel tests her emails at Patina, and she often has to re-test to achieve clear results because her list is (relatively) small. In this example below, Rachel A/B tested an email with a menu vs. an email without a menu.
It’s safe to assume the email with the menu achieved a higher click-thru rate, right?
This is precisely why we must always test our emails—we never know what will work until we actually test it.
5. Look at benchmarks, and then ignore them.
There is more email benchmark data than any other kind of marketing benchmark data.
But benchmarks will only tell you so much, and if all your care about are averages, then you’ll always be an average marketer.
“Think outside the box in order to break through the inbox, and don’t be afraid to test something unusual,” says Jay.
Because really, who is satisfied with a 3.37% click-thru rate?
So if you want to truly stand out with your email marketing, watch the entire reply of 5 Ways to Make Your Email Marketing Awesome with Jay, Rachel, and our friends at Emma. It’s fast, it’s fun, and even if you’ve been in email marketing since when there were 4 email service providers instead of 400, I promise you’ll take away actionable ideas to make your email stand out and be awesome.