For many marketers, the new year means planning, budgeting and strategising. It’s one thing to talk about making improvements but it’s often easier to stick to a given path than deviate from it. We hope that our ten resolutions will help you to make those key improvements.
Remember, to win more business you don’t have to be the best, you just need to be better than your competitors.
1. I will make a clear strategy
Make sure you take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
What are you trying to achieve? What are your core challenges as a marketing team? Where would you like to be this time next year? How are you going to get there?
These are all important questions to consider before burying yourself in day-to-day tasks. A focussed strategy will give you the best platform to win market share.
2. I will have a testing plan
Testing and learning is essential for any successful email programme. Read our blog on 32 creative split tests you can try, if you need some inspiration.
To get ahead, try testing the things you don’t expect to work. Standing out means being different.
3. I will set clear KPIs and decide what to measure
A lot of marketers are under pressure to prove their worth. With a higher ROI than any other channel, email is important to get right. But how should you measure the success of your email programme?
Start by thinking about the ideal action by a customer or prospect who receives an email. Would they reach out to your team? Click through to the website? Read and acknowledge?
Knowing what you want to achieve with every email you send will give you clues about what to measure. Being clear on how to measure success means you can replicate the good and ditch the bad.
4. I will use a custom return path to deliver more emails
Getting your emails into as many inboxes as possible is one way to move ahead of the competition. Make sure you’ve set up a custom return path, with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication configured. If you’re sending to global organisations, chances are your emails won’t get through without this.
You can find our guide on email authentication here.
5. I will keep my list clean
Setting up the technical authentication is the easy part. The trick most companies miss when it comes to email delivery is to keep a clean marketing list. Some service providers (ISP s) look at your contact’s engagement with your emails. If you have a lot of contacts that don’t engage they will drag down your reputation.
Make sure you clear out old or inactive contacts. Use an email validation on your sign-up forms and use double opt-in to be sure you have valid emails. Make sure the content you’re sending out is engaging and relevant to your audience.
6. I will have a welcome programme in place
Make sure you have a welcome programme for all new sign-ups. It‘s always polite to thank and acknowledge any new contacts willing to share their details. This applies in any environment or context, whether it’s B2C, B2B, in person, on the phone… This list could go on for a while.
Welcome emails increase engagement, help build trust and set future expectations. If your competitors aren’t sending one, this is an easy win.
7. I will create a lead nurture programme
Many businesses judge marketers on the number of leads they can generate and how many go on to buy. Make sure you set up lead-nurture journeys. They can increase sales efficiency by creating conversations at scale. Nurture journeys also help you to:
· Gauge interest in your product or service
· Get more information about prospects
· Increase inbound enquiries
8. I will adopt email creative best practice
Make sure you optimise your template to increase web visits. More clicks mean more opportunities to convert. We’ve put together a best-practice guide to help you get the most out of your email creative.
9. I will use basic personalisation in my emails
It’s no secret that personalised emails are more engaging. 75 per cent of people are more likely to buy when they receive personalised content. So, why aren’t we all doing it? Start with the basics like name and company details, before moving on to full dynamic content.
10. I will experiment with advanced email creative (GIFs/cinemagraphs)
If you want to stand out in a crowded inbox, why not try something that demands a little more attention? Check out some cinemagraph examples online. They're an effective tool to help catch the eye. To go a step further, try using kinetic elements in key campaigns to make them pop.
Whatever your focus for 2019, get the basics right first. Put a clear plan in place. Form a testing strategy to continue improving and make sure you know what success looks like. If you do these first three, it will help form the rest of your goals.