4 Tips for E-mail Marketing Campaign Optimization

Carnegie Higher Ed Feb 11, 2016 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

I love the conference high, and I love talking to people when they’re on it. It gets you going and seeing things from a whole new perspective, giving you energy and optimism about all that is possible. I heard a lot of that last month at the Carnegie Conference—people eager to return to campus to rip up or restructure their e-mail campaigns or redesign campaign landing pages after hearing from Justine Jordan of Litmus and Oli Gardner from Unbounce.

But we all know the drill, right? You go to a conference and get your mind running about all the new and impactful things you want to do. You return to campus, a fresh to-do list in hand, armed with all the third-party endorsements and Twitter bites you need to convince your boss you need to invest more time and/or money in a given initiative. Then you hit a hurdle and lose steam, and before you know it you’re back to chasing your tail just trying to keep up. So, let’s keep this simple.

Here are four things you can and should do—starting right now—to greatly improve the performance of your e-mail marketing campaigns. None of this will cost you any money, and you can do this whether you’re doing your e-mails in house or with a vendor partner.

  1. Take time to write good subject lines. Think about it. How often do you spend a boatload of time going back and forth on the right copy for an e-mail and only take three seconds to write a subject line right before sending. Subject lines are incredibly important. It’s the first thing the recipient sees. Write a good one.
  2. Make sure your e-mails have intro text, even if it’s hidden. Most e-mails are received on mobile devices, and the intro text is the only thing that’s going to show on a preview. Use the intro text to deliver a taste of what you hope the e-mail will convey.
  3. NSAMCWADLP. Never Start A Marketing Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page! This is another tip from Oli Gardner, who also presented it at last year’s conference, but it is so worth repeating. Again and again. Create landing pages for all your campaigns, fill them with good content, and have clear, singular calls to action. The fewer links on a landing page, the greater the conversion.
  4. Measure, test, and learn. E-mail campaigns are ready-made for A/B testing, and you can learn so much from the smallest things. Split your lists and test different subject lines, different intro text, different imagery and e-mail formats (text only vs. html design). Test different landing page designs and formats. Measure the results, learn from them, and then apply what you learn.

Follow Eric on Twitter @HigherEdEric

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