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4 Keys to Mapping Successful Email Marketing Programs

4 Keys to Mapping Successful Email Marketing Programs

4 Keys to Mapping Successful Email Marketing Programs

EmailGlobeFor the umpteenth year in a row, email is still the Number One tactic for reaching audiences and generating revenue.

Which is obviously why we use it.

But the devil’s in the details; in the case of email marketing, the devil is “relevance.”  Specifically, how can an email marketer consistently deliver relevant messages and offers that (1) engage recipients, (2) keep opt-outs at a minimum, and (3) get measurable results?

It’s the focus of a new Brunch & Learn on-demand webinar with a hefty title: Mapping Out Your Email Calendar – How to plan ahead so you can send the right message at the right time for maximum results.

Brought to you by Direct Marketing IQ and sponsored by Act-On, the webinar features Reggie Brady, an expert and authority in email marketing with a Who’s Who list of global clients including B2B, B2C, and agencies.

In a fast-paced 30 minutes (45 if you listen to the Q&A section – which I recommend), Reggie provides answers, advice, and ideas on four topics:

  1. Why use an email marketing calendar … and how to create one
  2. How to optimize frequency without popping your unsubscribe rates
  3. Ways to establish and maintain relevance
  4. Strategically using subject lines and power words

She also offers testing schemes, charts and graphs, and loads of examples to inspire you. Here’s a peek at some of the things you’ll learn:


The (hidden) holidays have it

As is surely no surprise, the holidays are primetime when it comes to email success. As the chart below shows, holiday-themed promotions stomp non-themed emails into the dust.


Transaction Rates: Holidays versus Regular Mailings


Leveraging the idea of themed emails, Reggie shows several examples of how “hidden holidays” can be uncovered, delivering impressive results. Disney used daylight savings time. Sears took advantage of an impending snowstorm and geo-targeting to sell snowblowers. And Oscar de la Renta? It grabbed onto the Oscars, of course.


The 800-pound gorilla isn’t going away

The big ape is frequency; as in, “how many emails can I/should I send?”

If you’re thinking, “There’s no right answer. You have to test, test, test,” you’d be right.

BUT … when you take the time to test, do you know how to read the results? What to look at? Look for? When, for example, a percentage is meaningless and should be dismissed?

Reggie takes a look at two real-world case studies – companies that increased frequency from very low to very high. She shares data snapshots and shows you how our initial conclusions can be flawed.


Subject lines are not an afterthought

Not if you want good results, that is.

According to Reggie, 8 in 10 people make open/no open decisions based solely on the subject line. (I’m surprised that it’s not 10 out of 10, actually). Nonetheless, it underscores the steep importance of wise word choices to stand out from the crowd.

Not only do subject lines affect open rates, they affect initial deliverability and post-open clicks, too.

To test how good your instincts are, Reggie shows a series of subject line tests. Here’s an example?

  • Test A:  “Live Today: Next Generation Desktop Summit”
  • Test B:  “Live Tomorrow: Next Generation Desktop Summit”

Which test won? Watch the webinar to find out.


Image of “email marketing” by Pascual López, used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.


Monique Torres is a senior writer for Act-On Software and regular contributor to the Act-On Marketing Action blog. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in the marketing industry, with a focus on digital marketing and market research for high-tech.

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  • bri44any

    Interesting to see the reversal of stats for Halloween emails. Any insights as to why?

  • Carrie Scheetz

    I did attend this webinar and it was extremely insightful! I really found the portion on subject lines very useful, as she breaks down the most used keywords and how they affected the open rate (either negatively or positively). I also found the Frequency portion interesting as we struggle with how much and when to send emails ourselves so this was a great session to hear about.

    • bri44any

      I find email frequency performance statistics extremely interesting.

  • Tim

    Subject lines are such a basic thing, but man they really do make a difference. We often A/B test exclusively on the subject line. If your email doesn’t get opened, it can’t get clicked!