Increase Profit 2300% and Other Key Takeaways From MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit
As a reader of this blog, you might occasionally wonder, “where is email marketing headed?”
Me too. So to see what others were doing with their email campaigns, Jay Moore (you’ve probably heard him on one of our free live webinars recently) and I recently headed to Miami for MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Email Summit.
After several long days jam-packed with case studies, presentations and chats about email marketing, we walked away with our brains full.
Here are my biggest takeaways from the Summit:
The Relevancy Challenge: Can You Break Through The Inbox Clutter?
The Summit kick-off featured a MarketingSherpa survey that found nearly three-fourths of consumers reporting a noticeable increase in email volume from subscriptions.
You might expect that this to mean subscribers are getting overwhelmed and simply unsubscribing en masse to cut back on email, regardless of who it’s from.
However, the survey also revealed that the #1 reason for unsubscribing was not email overload, but lack of relevance. On top of that, another popular reason for unsubscribing – “the email doesn’t apply to me” – further underscores the need to create relevant emails and stand out in the inbox.
Numerous other discussions touched on increasing relevance not only to reduce unsubscribes, but to lift conversions.
In one case study, retailer L’Occitane en Provence demonstrated how a simple use of email analytics – personalizing a promotion to subscribers with a picture of a product they had recently viewed – yielded a 2300% increase in profit (yes, 23 hundred percent) over a less relevant control email.
(By the way, AWeber can segment your subscribers based on what web pages they’ve viewed; that’s one of the features of our Email Web Analytics tools. Hopefully a 2300% increase in profit gets you thinking about how you might segment with that data 🙂 )
Read more about email relevance.
Content Is King Again…
…or still, as many of you will already know.
One of the fascinating and heartening takeaways for me was the focus on quality content by several speakers.
Given that many big brands attended the Summit, I anticipated a strictly promotional email focus, but there was a lot of discussion of email newsletters and of welcome series (autoresponders) for new subscribers.
As competition for email users’ attention gets fiercer, the need to provide valuable content (which to subscribers is typically more relevant than promotions) increases.
In a down economy, with many businesses and marketers ramping up email volume, subscribers are more likely to open, read and click through from emails from senders who consistently deliver valuable content.
…and Testing Matters More Than Ever
I lost count of how many presentations focused on test results (half the presentations were case studies, which nearly always included test results), or on the gains to be had by testing.
To adapt a line from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, a central theme at the Summit was “A.B.T. — Always Be Testing.” And I agree:
There’s almost never an email campaign where you shouldn’t be testing something – subject line copy, different styles and locations for your calls to action, adding a headshot to your email (one of our social networking tactics for email marketers), or whatever other split tests you believe may impact your campaigns’ effectiveness.
Read more about split testing.
More Takeaways From Email Summit
I amped up my usage of Twitter during the Summit as it was a great way to get bits of information out in real time (and to serve as an informal notepad).
Were you at the Summit? If so, what were your takeaways?