Let’s say that you have an important package to send. Are you simply going to pop it into the mail, cross your fingers, and hope for the best? No. You are going to send it via FedEx, UPS, government mail service, or courier service, so that you can receive a tracking number. Through this tracking number you will quite literally be able to monitor your package’s journey, so that you know exactly when it arrives at its final destination. If you take this much care to track your important packages, why aren’t you properly tracking your emails?
Tracking Emails 101
Far too often business associates send out important emails, hold their breath, and wait in baited anticipation that their emails have arrived, been read, and will eventually be responded to. This mentality is the equivalent of asking a stork to carry your important packages. In other words, you are leaving too much up to fate.
Instead, you should implement the following tactics:
- Send Important Emails With Read Receipts. — Just like you want to know when your packages have arrived at their final destinations, so too should you want to receive confirmation that your emails have landed in the appropriate inbox. A read receipt not only tells you that the email has been successfully delivered, but it also sends you a notification when it has been opened. Through the read receipt you can take away the guesswork and baited anticipation of wondering if your important email has even been opened.
- Monitor, Analyze, And Adjust. — Tracking emails is about gathering the data needed to adjust your messages, so that they achieve the best results. Like sending a package by tying it to a flock of pigeons (clearly something that should never be tried), you shouldn’t simply adjust your messaging tactics without the proper data. In short, email tracking allows you to monitor results, analyze these results, and then adjust the messages accordingly.
- Track What Portion Of Your Email Has Been Read. — When you send a marketing package you need to know which aspects of the message were best received. Were the images downloaded? Was the video watched more than once? Or, was the email simply sent directly to the trash? These types of questions can be answered when you use an email marketing service that gives you valuable insights into the various ways that your recipients interact with your email messages. Through these insights you can determine how to best follow-up with future marketing campaigns that are tailored to your recipients specific preferences.
Email Tracking Meet Email Marketing
Once you have implemented the above email tracking best practices, it will be time for you to optimize your actual emails to achieve the best results. Keep the following simple marketing enhancements in mind to improve open ratings, click through ratings, conversion results, and recipient interactions.
- Abide By CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing). — The CAN-SPAM act must be followed if you want to avoid hefty fines or an Internet Service Provider (IPS) imposed block on your email account(s). The act is a series of rules for businesses sending commercial or email marketing messages. By following these guidelines, you can remain in good standing.
- Personalize All Emails. — Personalizing emails begins with the actual email address that you are using. In fact, recent studies show a direct correlation between sending an email from a real person and open ratings. As any marketer knows, encouraging recipients to open your emails is half of the battle. Once you have personalized your email addresses, it will be time to personalize the actual email body. Whenever possible, address the sender by their name, include at least one line that let’s them know you aren’t simply copying and pasting the email body, and include a CTA that is directly tied to their purchasing history or previous interactions with your company.
- Don’t Delay, Email New Contacts ASAP. — Just as you might send an important package via overnight shipping, so too should you take advantage of the small window of opportunity that is presented when you receive a new contact. More specifically, it is a good idea to email new contacts within 24 hours. These new contacts might be leads that your sales team has acquired, individuals who signed up for your newsletter or blog updates, new social media connections, or people who filled out the contact us portion of your website.
- Write Compelling Subject Lines. — Personalization can only get you so far; if you want recipients to be in the right mindset for your emails, then you must use compelling subject lines. The best subject lines will be click-worthy without falling into the “click-bait” category. In other words, they should be:
- Clear and understandable;
- Use fewer than 50 characters;
- Contain language that is familiar to your target audience;
- Include action-oriented messaging; and
- Generate a sense of excitement about reading the actual email.
- Remember The CTA Button. — Take a page from Staples’ iconic “easy button,” and make a CTA button that just begs to be clicked. Many email recipients will simply scan your emails, which is why it is so important that you use a powerful CTA. Instead of burying the CTA within the text of the email, make it scan friendly and place it at either the beginning, middle, or end of the email as an image or button that can easily be clicked on tablet, desktop, or smartphone browsers. Without a clickable CTA your recipients will be left wondering “now what,” and your sales team will be wondering what happened to their leads.
While implementing the above email marketing best practices will be a step in the right direction, you can only successfully reach the finish line if you also use email tracking. Leverage the power of email tracking today and take the guesswork out of your digital marketing efforts with actionable insights.