As a marketing tactic, email marketing has been used for many years now, and it’s shocking to consider that companies are struggling with the most basic email marketing tactics like list growth and list maintenance. List growth seems the most common hurdle, cited by the majority of respondents, while 41% of publishing professionals have issues maintaining their current lists.
In growing our sports company’s email list from zero to over 23,000 names within 18 months and generating over $200,000 in sales, we learned how to maintain a successful email marketing campaign.
If you are struggling to grow and maintain your own email list, here are five tactics that worked for us:
1: Make Capturing Email Addresses a Priority Within the Site Design
We strategically placed callouts and signup forms, along with targeted pop-up ads to collect email addresses. Although pop-up ads may seem outdated, there’s a reason why many top sites, like Williams Sonoma, still use them; they work.
2: Test Subject Lines Again and Again
We constantly tested subject lines to find out the most efficient. Most mailing programs allow you to A/B test subject lines in the same email campaign. A/B testing allowed us to see open rates as high as 84.6%!
3: Segment Your List
If we were selling Red Sox World Series memorabilia, we only sent email notifications to Red Sox Fans. By sending relevant content to segmented, focused groups, we achieved click rates as high as 66.3%!
4: Test the Format of Your Emails
The biggest jump in our click-through rate came after we redesigned our email format to make the CTA clearer, more visible and mobile friendly.
Making emails mobile friendly has been critically important as more and more people are accessing their email from mobile devices.
In the FOLIO report, more than one-third of respondents said their emails are fully optimized for mobile. An additional 31% have started working on this and plan to complete mobile-optimized email efforts in the next 12 months. Still, the remaining 35% haven’t started, and nearly half of respondents in this group aren’t even sure where to begin.
5: Implement Gary Vaynerchuk’s philosophy of Jab, Jab, Jab, and Right Hook
In his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, and Right Hook, social media guru Gary vaynerchuk writes that when most marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale.
Not every email has to be sales-focused. Vaynerchuk writes that a more effective approach entails patiently engaging with customers, which he calls “jabbing,” to build relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns. Jabbing prepares the customer for the “right hook.”
For our sports website, we sent emails that highlighted content on our site and covered breaking NEWS stories. As a result, we developed an audience that found our information interesting and informative. Our opt-out rate was under 0.5%. Subscribers continued to receive and open our emails, and when we offered them the chance to buy something, they did.
As a result of implementing the above five strategies, we grew our email list from zero to over 23,000 with over $200,000 in sales via email. The success of our email strategy in engaging fans and generating revenue demonstrates that email lists are still one of the best ways for brands to stay in touch with fans and customers.
Looking to stay in touch with your fans and customers, get in touch with us!