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Do you know why you’re using email marketing? Email marketing
Online retailers rejoiced at the news their email marketing campaigns are eagerly read by consumers. This report showed that nearly half of those surveyed said they look forward to finding the latest deals in their inbox.
The question is: are you creating compelling messages that make subscribers keep coming back for more?
Roller Warehouse has their aggressive skating crowd interacting with them regularly, thanks to their email campaign. Their biweekly deal approach has brought them a great return on investment, customers are interacting with their business like never before, and they were eager to share their results and strategies with fellow online marketers. Here they are…
The Biweekly Deals from Roller Warehouse
Roller Warehouse sends out their deals on skating equipment and apparel every Tuesday and Friday.
The Tuesday email usually looks like this:
Tuesday’s email requires a phone call to order the sale item:
Roller Warehouse explains that the reason the deal can’t be done online is because their price is too low to publish. This is a great way to get customers on the phone and talking to you. That offer also gives a sense of urgency, since the deal has an expiration date.
The Friday deal the subscriber can order online:
This approach can appeal to subscribers that are interested in getting deals, but maybe don’t want to call in to order. Another consideration is that subscribers may have more time on the weekend to think about their hobby.
There is also the advantage that online orders can come in while offices are closed for the weekend.
This deal also has a sense of urgency, since it expires once the weekend is over.
Results from the Biweekly Deal Approach
Roller Warehouse is proud of the campaign’s performance so far. Since implementing this method they’ve had:
- 8-10% increase in sales after each email deal is sent out
- Facebook fans increase 32%
- 30-35% increase in blog traffic
Why This Works and How To Apply it to Your Campaign
1. Consider the Audience
Roller Warehouse’s target market consists of kids and young adults. Roller Warehouse looked at reports of when subscribers were opening the messages, and that’s how they found Tuesday would be a good send day. Friday was picked as the second day because most of their audience doesn’t have school on the weekends.
Are you looking at when your subscribers are reading? Use your reports to find out what day your subscribers open messages, and send your emails keeping that information in mind.
2. Utilize Social Media
Roller Warehouse promotes sharing their deals with others by including a link to share with Facebook friends:
With one click the deal can be shared with friends, allowing even more people to interact with Roller Warehouse. You can do this by uploading the Facebook logo as an image in your email, then hyperlink that image using this:
Just replace the <url> with the link you want to share.
3. Build a relationship with subscribers
Roller Warehouse does not just go for the hard sell in their deals. They use a friendly tone and even create cool videos for the products they’re promoting:
You can click to view one of their videos below:
Roller Warehouse also keeps in mind that not everyone will be attracted to the featured deal, so they include other products that are on sale as well:
Along with that, Roller Warehouse includes news from their blog so subscribers will still interact with the site even if they aren’t interested in the current deals:
Take a look at your last email and make sure you’re working on building a relationship. Are you having a conversation with your subscribers or is it an advertisement? Are you asking for feedback? Do you provide materials your subscribers will find interesting?
Have a friend look over your messages and let you know if your personality comes out in it, or if it sounds like a salesperson.
4. Stay Consistent
If you don’t set expectations for valuable messages, subscribers won’t be reading. Roller Warehouse has set a consistent schedule for their campaign, which means subscribers know when to expect getting the deals. All their messages include either the phone deal for Tuesday or online deal for Friday, and they make sure to include product demos in all their messages.
Make sure you have set expectations for your campaign early on, and stick to the schedule and material you promised!
Have You Tried Frequent Email Deals With Your Campaign?
What results have you seen from email deals? What other tactics have you tried to increase sales?
This is a guest post by Andreas of London Cyclist.
He contacted me asking if he could share how he’s achieved increased open rates for his email marketing campaigns. I think you’ll enjoy his story and advice.
Take it away, Andreas! -Justin Premick
Listening in awe to a highly accomplished blogger about how she built her email list, I only had one burning question in my mind.
When the presentation was over, I eagerly worked my way through the crowd and asked: “I’m getting email open rates between 60-70%… what can I do to get it higher?”
The blogger looked at me a little shocked.
It Turns Out 60-70% Constitutes a High Open Rate
She sat down with me and we pinned down the key things that were contributing to the success.
Four of these you can easily implement in the next hour, while the last one will take a little longer.
Whilst I wouldn’t recommend you use email open rate as your only key metric, it’s one of those things that as email marketers our eyes can’t help drifting towards.
Here’s how I maximize mine.
Find Your Perfect Time and Stick To It
Through testing I’ve found the perfect time to send out my emails. Now, I stick to it religiously.
To achieve the same result, try split testing your emails and seeing which one receives the highest engagement.
Once you’ve found the perfect time, deliver on it consistently. This way subscribers come to expect it. Most of my subscribers get to work, flip open their email and grab a cup of tea while they read my newsletter.
Use The Headline and First Sentence Effectively
We all know a well written headline will tempt someone to open an email. But did you know there’s a another key thing subscribers see when they are deciding whether to open your email or not?
It’s the first sentence inside the email. I’m often disappointed to see most email marketers are missing this opportunity to lure people into reading the email.
I typically receive emails where the first line inside the email reads: “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”. Hardly attention grabbing!
The first item in my email newsletter is my logo. I’ve set the alternative text inside the logo to a secondary headline I use to lure people into the email.
The HTML You Need For This
My subscribers often receive content that is not available on the blog.
Whether that be an exclusive competition, a new article or something a little bit more personal about me or the site that I wouldn’t share on the blog. This gives subscribers an extra reason to be vigilant about opening my emails.
My open rates often skyrocket when there is content in the newsletter that cannot be found elsewhere.
Draw People Into the Next Email
Another method to make sure people are opening the emails you are sending out is to point out what is coming up next. If one of the topics in your next email strikes their interest then they’ll look out for it. I do this by simply having a “Next Week” section at the bottom of my e-mails.
The Big Secret
The above four techniques can be instantly applied to great effect. The final suggestion takes a little longer.
If you sat me down in a quiet cafe and pushed me further on the techniques that have worked I would lean back, scratch my head and tell you this:
Treat your email subscribers like you treat your best friends. Take an interest in them, learn what their needs and fears are and then create content and products that will suit them perfectly. Then they will always be eager for your next email.
Your Steps to Take for Higher Open Rates
- Create an email schedule. Deliver emails consistently and make sure readers know when to expect them
- Make sure the first sentence readers see isn’t “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”
- In your next email think about what extra content you can give that hasn’t be seen before
- Hint towards what content is coming up to draw people into the next email
- Get to know your audience so you can cater your offers and content to them
Andreas Kambanis started London Cyclist when he saw the need for a place for casual cyclists to meet and exchange tips online. He uses email marketing to sell his own products such as the London Cycle Routes eBook and affiliate offers. You can check out his newsletter here.
Does it really matter if you schedule your emails for specific days and times?
Some marketers think so. Others don’t. You can certainly peruse your reports for days and times that draw good response in your own campaign. But what if you don’t find anything conclusive?
To help you figure out your scheduling strategy, we took a look at when some of the Big Guys send. Do any of their approaches work for you?
Newegg sends on weekdays, two or three times a week. With the exception of some (strategically planned?) Black Friday emails, they send between midnight and 8 every morning – perfect timing for pitching their electronics and digital products to the 9-5 techie crowd.
Weekday morning sends can also work for promoting office supplies and industry equipment or sharing job postings.
The Container Store, before mid-June, sent with haphazard timing. Since then, they’ve sent every Friday afternoon. Their emails arrive just as their readers’ focus is shifting from the work week to managing life at home – a good time to suggest containers that can help one do so.
Friday afternoons can be ideal for sending emails about local events, home remodeling tools, concerts, art shows – anything useful for planning weekend activities.
Several Times a Day
Such a high frequency can work for limited-time offers or for sending out updates during an event. But be careful with this frequency. You’ll need to provide a lot of value for subscribers to put up with two or more emails in a day.
(Almost) Every Day
Yoga Journal sends Tuesday through Sunday. On Mondays, people are busy digging out from work accumulated over the weekend. After they’ve caught up, YJ sends them a new idea to try in their spare time each day, whether it’s a backbend to battle fatigue or creating yogic space with natural materials.
Subscribers who are counting down to an event or working their way toward a goal may appreciate a daily (or almost-daily) nudge. Whether to skip a day of the week depends on your readers, so check your open rates to see if it makes sense for your campaign.
At Lunch Time
Other ideal lunchtime content might be lighthearted news reports, quick tips or advice, daily inspiration or hobby-related digests. Who doesn’t want something fun and uplifting to read while they chomp?
As News Breaks
Immediate emails could work well in fast-paced industry, with alerts for software releases, real estate listings and the like? The immediate timing assures readers that they’re the first to get the scoop.
To Schedule or Not to Schedule
While these brands send at specific times, other big names, like Bed Bath and Beyond and CVS, don’t. Their content may not be time-specific. Or maybe they trust their emails to bring in clicks morning, noon or night.
What about your own campaign? Do any of these strategies fit? Or would you send at an opposite time to stand out?
Also, consider your subscribers’ schedules. Do they work weekdays, 9-5? Are they freelancers? College students? Retired?
Do You Already Time Your Emails?
If you do, how did you decide when to send? We realize you might not want to give up all your secrets, but we (and your fellow marketers!) appreciate any details you’re willing to share below!