Everybody loves a comeback story.
Whether it’s your favorite celebrity reclaiming the spotlight, a musical act climbing back up the charts, or a sports team staging a come-from-behind victory — we’re all know how inspirational these stories can be.
Can you infuse the same inspiration into your email marketing strategy?
I recently had the chance to speak with Kolbie Richardson from fashion retailer, No Rest for Bridget. Since getting started with email marketing in 2007, the store has built their contact list to over 15,000 names.
Kolbie and her team see email marketing as their most effective tool for driving website traffic, online sales, and brand awareness.
One of the keys to Kolbie’s success is that she’s constantly looking for new ways to reimagine her strategy and bring something new to her email audience.
With ten years of email marketing experience behind them, the No Rest for Bridget team has learned firsthand how to be marketers. If you’re looking for a way to reinvigorate your email marketing strategy, these five tips can help:
1. Try a new list growth technique
When was the last time you introduced a new way for people to sign up for your email list?
Kolbie and her team are always on the lookout to find new technology and creative ideas to spark interest.
“We’ve recently starting using some apps that integrate with Constant Contact that allow us to offer discounts to anyone that signs up for our mailing list,” Kolbie explains. “We’ve definitely been able to acquire more emails that way, and it’s great because we don’t have to go in and manually enter them into our account.”
You can find similar tools for growing your email list in the Constant Contact Marketplace. And don’t forget to set up other list growth tools like — a website sign-up form and our Text-to-Join feature which are available right in your Constant Contact account.
2. Separate contacts into different groups
With an updated list growth strategy, you can now start thinking about how you’re organizing your contacts. Organizing a large email list into smaller sections is the best way to deliver targeted messages that are relevant to your audience.
Kolbie explains: “We organize our lists a few different ways. We separate our contacts by location for our different stores, and then we also target by interest. It’s been great because we can build content that appeals to just that specific type of customer.”
Recent data has shown that campaigns sent to 35 subscribers or less — suggesting more personalized content — saw incredible open rates at an average 55 percent. Meanwhile, campaigns sent to more than 7,500 subscribers — suggesting low personalization — average a 14 percent open rate.
Take a look at the No Rest for Bridget website sign-up form, which allows new contacts to select what they’re interested in:
Try something similar at your business and update your sign-up form. Don’t forget about your existing contacts either — send them an update profile form to request additional information and get to know their needs better.
3. Give your layout a makeover
If it’s been a while since you updated the look and feel of your email, it’s probably time for an update. With more than half of all email now read on a mobile device, you have to take into account small screens and short attention spans.
“I think the best change we ever made was to our layout. You only have a certain amount of time to get people’s attention, so we want to find the most efficient way to get our message out. We normally do a main product feature with a graphic and then a few small features that we’re trying to push. That’s been working really well for us.”
Here’s an example of a recent email from No Rest for Bridget with their new layout:
4. Get your timing right
The timing of your email includes three important factors: the time and day you send, your sending frequency, and the time of year.
Sending frequency means picking a timeline — whether it’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly — and then sticking to it.
“Every Thursday we send an email that notifies customers that our newest items are posted,” says Kolbie. “After I send an email, I love watching the spike in traffic to our website because it’s always really noticeable and immediate. I see about 80 percent of traffic to a landing page come from an email, and I’ll see direct sales from it right away.”
Here’s an example:
Beyond sending consistently, Kolbie attributes success to being aware of major shopping seasons and holidays. She and her team send timely messages such as “Festive Fridays,” which are sent on Fridays throughout the month of December to boost holiday sales. She also promotes sales for major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
5. Fine-tune your subject lines
Subject lines may be small, but they don’t escape Kolbie’s notice:
“We test out different subject lines to see what gets us the best results. It’s crazy, just little tweaks like that can definitely deliver different results, so we’re constantly experimenting with different things.”
What works well for Kolbie?
“We’ve found that ambiguous subject lines work well,” she says. “Our last email subject line was ‘Say Yes To This Dress!’ Things like that pique curiosity and work well because people want to click to see what we’re talking about.”
Use this cheat sheet to craft an eye-catching subject line, then look back to your email reports to see if there’s a difference in your email open rate.
Ready to reinvigorate your email marketing?
A few small tweaks to your strategy can be all you need to whip your email marketing back in shape and start seeing better results than ever before.
Don’t get discouraged if change doesn’t happen right away. As Kolbie has come to learn, marketing is always a work in progress:
“One of the most important things is to have patience with what you’re testing. Seeing results will sometimes just take time. You’re always going to be acquiring new customers so your approach to market best to them will change too. We feel that you can really never stop learning about your customer needs and what works best with email marketing, so we continue to experiment and see what works best for us.“
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