From social media, to display ads, to mobile app ads, to video ads, we have seen multiple marketing channels become extremely popular and widely used in recent years.
Yet email marketing, which can be rightfully considered to be the first form of online marketing, is still a dominant marketing channel. It is also one of the go-to channels when it comes to distributing organic content.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of B2B marketers say email is one of their top free organic content distribution channels.
Invariably, bulk email campaigns, i.e, the practice of sending a single bespoke email message with a marketing message to a large email list is a popular email marketing strategy. This is because it can provide a high return on investment.
But, do bulk email campaigns work for everyone?
Unfortunately, no. Email marketing is not a carnival game where a gift is assured for everyone who plays. It is a strategic marketing channel. It needs proper planning, direction, control over resources, and flawless execution.
Even with that you might struggle to get the best results.
If you have been planning to run a bulk email marketing campaign, here are some strategies that can help you get the maximum ROI out of it.
Strategies to Improve Your Bulk Email Campaign Performance
Tactics win individual battles. Strategy wins the entire war. Email marketing is a war to get your email to find its place in the coveted primary inbox of the target audience. The war to get them to notice it so that they click on it, open it, read, and respond positively.
This chain of action will not happen on its own. A strategy is what makes it happen. Be it in email marketing or any other function, as American author Alvin Toffler said, “If you don’t have a viable strategy, you will be defeated by someone who does.”
Here are some strategies to consider:
1. Apply KonMari (Declutter) to your clean mailing list:
Marie Kondo shot to internet stardom as a guru of personal and home organization. Her proprietary process of tidying up, which is known as KonMari (Mar from Marie and Kon from Kondo in reverse order) has become the magic wand that can make any clutter disappear. In fact, it can do the same with your email marketing list.
Your email marketing list in its original form will be infested with outdated email ids, spammy ones, or even non-existent ones. When you send your bulk email campaign, these emails will invariably fail to get delivered. They will inflate your bounce rate significantly thereby undermining your efforts. Hence, the need to clean your mailing list.
Ensure that emails are updated from time to time. Make a list of email ids that failed to deliver in the previous attempt and remove unsubscribes. This should help you get the right results for your efforts. Next, segment your email lists.
Segment your email lists
Segmenting is the process of bucketing emails into specific categories based on audience demographics.
Marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
Segmenting ensures that the email is sent to the right audience whose interests match your offerings. Also, you will be able to target the right marketing message based on which funnel stage the prospect is in. This could help increase conversions.
2. Check your mail copy for spam triggers
Spam triggers are keywords or phrases that email service providers mark as red flags. If your email subject line or body contains these spam triggers, your email will be labeled as spam or at least a promotional email.
It is not just content, even too many links can get your email marked as spam. Here are some other checks you must do to prevent your email from getting marked as spam.
- Content (spam trigger words)
- Links (too many promotional in nature)
- Media files
Content (spam trigger words)
There is no definite list of spam trigger words. In fact, spam trigger words change from industry to industry and from function to function. For example, eCommerce has the following spam triggers:
- Orders shipped by
Whereas employment emails filter emails based on these words:
- Double your
- Additional income
- Extra income
- Income from home
- Money making
- Online biz opportunity
The key is to do research on the spam words related to your industry and ensure that they are not part of the email’s subject line or body.
For example, the team at classic gaming sites Solitaired and Mahjong-Challenge, found that their solitaire game of the day email would end up in spam and promotional filters. When they reframed it as a daily solitaire challenge they found that deliverability and open rate went up.
You’ll have to test what are trigger keywords in your space. Here is a primer for you to get started — 504 Spam Trigger Words To Avoid.
Your email body can definitely contain links that take the user back to your blog, to a landing page, or even your homepage. However, inserting too many links on your email, especially ones that lead to spammy websites can cause trouble. Also, even if the links are directed to your website, too many links can irritate any user. So, it is wise to downplay the use of links in your email.
Here is an example:
Heavy media files like HD images or video files are a strict no-no in bulk email marketing campaigns. They make it difficult to load the email on mobile devices. Also, they might get filtered out by email service providers due to bandwidth issues. The smaller the file size, the easier to pass the recipients email servers filter.
Pro tip: Always create a balance between the images and videos with the text in your email copy.
3. Harness the power of mail merge for personalization
Today, email marketers rely on mail merge extensively to reduce their efforts and maximize their productivity.
A personalized email subject line increases the open rate by 50% and at the same time it helps you generate a median ROI of 122%.
Here is how mail merge helps. It helps use a single email template and data file to create personalized emails for a bulk email list. In other words using a single email template and master list of your contacts, you can send an email to thousands of email IDs with personalized messages, CTAs, and so on.
With mail merge you can personalize:
- Subject line: You can include the user’s first name in the subject line
- The email body: You can create a consistent email copy that reads like it is written for a specific individual (with name mentions) and not for a collective group at large.
- Call-to-actions: You can create CTAs addressing the individual that has a higher chance of action or response. (Eg: [Name], Your offer awaits).
4. Use a mobile-responsive template
The world has gone mobile. Mobile accounts account for 46% of all email opens. With time, more and more users will be accessing their emails on their phones than on other devices. Hence, the need to use a mobile-responsive template.
A mobile-responsive template fits itself snugly onto the user’s screen irrespective of their dimensions. Not all email templates are capable of doing this. You must design a mobile-responsive email template or pick one that is mobile-responsive. To make sure that all their emails look professional, companies have started to pay more attention to how to hire a freelance designer to help them succeed and be at least one step ahead of their competitors.
Apart from the template, you also have to tweak your email content to make it mobile-friendly. These tips will help with that:
- Shorten the subject line (preferably less than 30 characters)
- Write short preheader text (preferably less than 40-50 characters)
- Optimize your sender name for quick recognition
- Place CTAs strategically and with appropriately sized buttons
5. Use a warmed up IP address
As a business owner and a marketer, it could be tempting to send your emails from your personal email id. After all, it matches the need for personalization, right?
However, it can be a mistake if you do that. Instead, use a dedicated email address for sending bulk email campaigns. Before blasting the first burst of emails though, the IP address must be warmed up.
Warming up means gradually creating a reputation for the IP address as a legitimate one with ISPs.
How do you warm up an IP address?
- Begin by sending conversational emails with friends and colleagues
- Send at least 10-20 individual emails from the new email
- Send the first bulk email to your most active or engaged subscribers
- Remove bounced emails quickly
6. Monitor metrics to improve performance
It’s critical to monitor emails metrics regularly and make changes as you see fit. There are three primary metrics you can get started with:
- Open rate — The percentage of people actually open your email
- Response rate — The percentage of the people who received the email and responded to it
- Unsubscribe rate — The percentage of the people who unsubscribed from the email after receiving it
These metrics collectively can help gauge the performance of your bulk email campaign. It can indicate whether the email was sent to the right target audience or what the level of interest is in your offering. Additionally, compare these metrics to industry benchmarks to get a relative idea on how it should be performing.
That brings us to the question — is it possible to find the perfect email?
A/B tests can help you improve your email. As the name suggests, A/B tests are used to test out the best between two options. In marketing, they are used to figure out the best of the two landing pages, the best website structure, and case in point — the best bulk email campaign.
The best bulk email marketing campaign does not happen by accident. It requires conscious effort, planning, and implementation to create a high-performing email marketing campaign.
It also demands strategic planning and bringing together several moving pieces so that together they deliver the best results. There are countless strategies that you can try to maximize your bulk email marketing performance. These strategies offer a good start.
If you are looking for an effective email marketing tool to start your bulk email marketing campaigns, I would suggest you to check out SendX.