There’s a lot of talk in the email marketing world about “best practices”. Best practices are touted as the solutions to all sorts of problems – from spam filters to content creation – and following them is normally a good idea. However, with so many voices out there trying to decide what the solutions to these problems really are it’s not surprising that occasionally some wires get crossed, and bad things happen.
We’re going to examine some commonly labeled “best practices” that often turn out to be anything but.
It’s no secret that we here at The Mission Suite are a fan of analytics. It gives you scores of information and provides solutions to some of the toughest questions in email marketing, but sometimes there really can be too much of a good thing.
Any good marketer knows that time is a scarce resource. It is impossible to literally test everything. So many good marketers get caught up in trying to test every minutiae of their campaign that they end up overwhelmed and give up on testing altogether.
So how can you avoid this pitfall? Find a good starting place for testing, master that, and then slowly expand your tests. This way you can gradually wrap your head around things, instead of finding yourself overwhelmed by work.
“Open rates are the only thing that matters”
When discussing metrics one stands above all the rest: the open rate. It is the crown jewel of analytics in email marketing, the solution to a question every marketer wants to know: who’s actually reading my emails?
But open rates can actually fall a little short. It doesn’t really matter how many people open an email if once that email is opened it goes straight to the trash bin. Click-through and conversion rates end up being far more telling metrics of a successful campaign.
So shift your focus to these metrics and gain a better understanding of the impact your email is really having.
“The all-important campaign…”
It’s a great thing when customers get caught up in an email campaign, it means that you’ve put together an effective and engaging campaign. But marketers need to focus more on the big picture, the lifetime value of a customer.
One great campaign is, well, great. But locking in a customer’s interest with a great campaign will hopefully lead to them reading your next email, and the email after that, etc. That is what a marketer should really focus on: the big picture.
It’s not necessarily “wrong” to do any of these things, but if we are discussing the absolute best practices then they should be avoided. Try to look at things from a new perspective, and avoid these pitfalls, and you’re next email campaign will almost certainly benefit.