Targeted email campaigns are still one of the most effective forms of marketing, and marketers say that email is still a strong performer as a generator of both website traffic and revenue. Experian recently released a white paper titled, “E-Mail Market Study: Acquisition and Engagement Tactics”. Email engagement proves your subscribers are interested in your brand and the content you are delivering. Email marketers are using new methods for email engagement and also improving older methods to gain a greater understanding of their customers’ needs and wants.
Here are some interesting facts and best practices from the white paper:
1) Point of Sale is the Best Place to Collect Email Addresses
• Seventy-eight percent of retail brands use sales associates to collect email addresses.
• Thirty-six percent of brands collect email addresses on paper (not recommended due to spelling errors)
• The majority of marketers (73 percent) source and track email addresses acquired at point of sale differently than other addresses
• Thirty-three percent of marketers report that more than 25 percent of their customers are willing to provide their email address at point of sale
2) Use Incentive Signs at Your Cash Register
A successful example Urban Outfitters used was “Ask to be signed up for our e-mails and receive 10% off your next purchase.” This tactic would be most effective in the service department. Post a sign in your waiting room or at the cash register offering an incentive to sign up for your emails.
3) Use Pop-Up Windows
Pop-up windows on websites are one of the most aggressive and successful method for e-mail address acquisition. When Sport Chalet installed a pop-up window on their website saying “Sign up for Our E-mails,” they experienced an 84% increase in the total number of valid e-mail addresses and a 39% increase in total opens. If this isn’t an option on your site, offer e-mail opt-ins in several places across your website. Experian finds that above-the-fold opt-in locations perform better than those below the fold.
4) Use Opt-Out Surveys
Opt-out surveys are used after a customer opts-out of your emails, and can help identify why your customers are dropping off your list. Ask questions like:
• Do they not like the time of day they’re receiving emails?
• Have they had a life change that would make them unsubscribe?
• Do they not like the frequency with which they receive your messages?
• Do they find your content interesting or useful?
The answers to these questions can help steer your program in the right direction.
5) Use Subject Line Testing
Companies surveyed agreed that subject line testing wins when it comes to results. Over time, if subject line testing is done correctly and consistently, open rates can improve significantly. With today’s sophisticated CRMs, subject line testing on different groups can be accomplished very easily. Every marketer should make this type of testing a common practice.
What are your best practices and recommendations for e-mail acquisition?
What has worked and what hasn’t? Why?