You have your segmented list and a good offer. You write compelling content. Then you get ready to send out an email that you hope will generate business.
But do you stop there?
If so, you’re missing a few simple steps that will improve your email performance, make your email broadcasts more effective and bring more money in to your business.
For small and medium-size businesses, email is a very important lead- and revenue-generating mechanism. Email helps to build your marketing list, improve your brand awareness and communicate critical messages to your prospective customers.
Be Careful of Best Practices
The internet is full of articles on best email practices, how to create a good offer, write effective email copy, and do A-B testing. They emphasize how important it is to measure your click and open rates.
Some of those recommendations may not help your small business, however, because they are aimed at bigger companies, different industries, or different audiences. Worse, the best practices they recommend may reflect The Way It’s Always Been Done. Accepting the status quo is never a good thing when change is constant and business moves at internet speed.
We founded Wicked Reports to help small and medium-size businesses so we know it takes more than just blasting out an email to get good results. Here are our six tips for fine-tuning your programs and improving email performance.
Tip #1: Customize those default settings
Default email settings make it easy for new customers to get their email programs up and running. Choosing a default setting means you can just go with the flow. After all, if everyone else is doing it then it has to be the best way, right?
Wrong. Default settings are just a starting point, a convenience provided by the email company, and many not necessarily work for your company.
You know your business better than anyone else so don’t accept default settings as established wisdom. Your business, your industry, your target audience, and even your location can make a big difference in how, when, where and how you send out emails.
Here’s a short video that explains why it’s best not to copy the marketing practices of other companies, even when they are default settings:
Tip #2: Send emails on the best day to reach buyers
Do you think about what day of the week to send emails out? It makes a difference.
Should you hit Send on Monday because that’s when prospects are starting their week? Should you wait until midweek to avoid the rush or broadcast on Friday so your target audience can read them over the weekend?
The answer depends on your business. It will differ depending on whether you sell to businesses or to consumers, to tech companies or food distributors, to Millennials or Boomers. And the only right answer is to send emails on the day when your customers are most likely to buy.
That means tracking email performance by day sent and measuring the results.
Once you learn what day of the week works best for your business and your target audience you can schedule your email broadcasts to get the best results.
Fortunately, you can get the email data you need from Wicked Reports. The ROI Report tells you which day of the week is most profitable for your emails. We calculate the data daily so you can keep on top of changes and trends.
Tip #3: Send emails at the best time for your business
You want to send emails at the right time of day as well. Time them to arrive when your prospects are most ready to buy and you’ll rack up more revenue right away.
Are your customers early risers who open email first thing? Are they located in a different time zone? Or are your emails getting lost in the default Monday 8:00 am rush along with everyone else’s?
Wait. What? You haven’t thought about what time of day works best?
If you don’t know, you’re missing an easy way to maximize email performance so your broadcasts deliver more revenue.
To learn more, just watch this short video on the importance of sending emails so they arrive in your prospect’s inbox at the sweet spot between need and offer:
Tip #4: Replicate the emails that work best
If your approach to email broadcasts is to send out lots of them all the time and hope for the best, you’re losing out on a simple strategy for making them more productive.
Just determine which emails worked best and do more of them for a better return. Oh, and forget about the ones that didn't work well—you can’t afford to waste time and money on those.
Again, however, you need to have the basic information that helps you to make these important decisions—and you won’t get it from a lot of big expensive CRM systems. Our comprehensive ROI Report shows you everything you need to know in one place and lets you drill down to see details. Filter by time period and select specific content to measure email performance by:
- Long-term Value
Just hover over totals to see which were recurring or re-opting. And click on the totals to see a detailed breakdown.
Examine which emails delivered the goods and you’ll know where to invest your email campaigns for future revenue growth.
To learn more, watch this short video on how to find out where the sales came from:
Tip #5: Track revenue per email, not open rates
Do you send out emails so people will read them or because you want to sell your products? Do you want to reach people who love your creative content or who are ready to purchase?
Of course you’re saying that you want both, but what if I told you that the two don’t always match up? Sometimes emails with good click and open rates don’t sell much while emails that few people seemed to read actually bring in revenue over time.
The trick is to know the difference. If you focus on ROI instead of clicks or open rates, you’ll identify the strong creative and messages as well as the weak ones. You’ll see the real value of your email programs to your sales funnel—and know which ones to replicate.
Bottom line: You’ll make more money with what works and waste less money on what doesn't.
Want to know how it’s done? Read this blog post on “Revenue per Email Trumps All.” Then watch this short video on how to tell which emails made the most money:
Tip #6: Measure results over time to see long-term value
We’re all impatient and deadline-driven. We value immediate response, short-term results, and instant feedback. In fact, we can get addicted to measuring results right away and forget that some prospects take time to go from information gathering to purchasing.
That’s why it’s so important to think about the long-term value of your prospects and customers. We talk about it more in this blog post on how “Time is the X-Factor for Tracking Customer Behavior.” Or just watch this short video on "Measuring Value Over Time":
The Tip of the Iceberg
Following these six tips will improve your email performance and make those broadcasts more profitable. But they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how Wicked Reports can make your entire marketing program more productive.