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How to increase the effectiveness of promotional emails
Promotional emails is an important part of email-communication for online shops. We have projects where 80% of all the sales from the email-channel are promo. That is why when promo rates are decreasing it is necessary to look for the reasons and correct the situation.
In general it is similar to boyfriend-girlfriend relations in high school. When they come to know each other — it is interesting and fun, but then some conflicts arise and no gifts -promo codes — will help you to get out of spam and make open the emails again.
When people break up, they often say: "It is not about you, it's me". And it is really so: the subscriber is not interested in your emails yet. It is ok.
To understand when it is time to undertake something, trace the following indices:
Open and click rate The simplest metrics, though most noticeable and illustrative. If you see a steady tendency to decreasing - it is time to act.
Unsubscribe rate Unsubscriptions are fine. People unsubscribe even from interesting email campaign. A different matter is when the unsubscribe rate is high. It is believed that unsubscribe rate should not be higher than 0,4%. If it is higher, something is probably wrong with the campaign.
Falling sales from promo emails Of course, it is necessary to pay attention to seasonality and special offers. It is natural that in comparison with "Black Friday" other email campaign sales may look weak. That is why you should pay attention to sales share from all the emails and to not cling to separate hot offers.
Now let’s see why promo rates may fall.
Reason number 1. High churn rate
Churn rate is a metric demonstrating the speed of losing subscribers in the base. It can be calculated on the formula:
There are three main reasons why people unsubscribe from the email campaign:
They are irritated with the frequency of emails;
They are not interested in your offers;
They get too many emails as it is.
What you shall do if subscribers unsubscribe from promo-emails
Outflow of subscribers is inevitable, each of your email campaign will lead to the fact that someone will unscribe from you and it is fine. The main thing is the contact base to grow, and for the base to grow it is necessary to ensure the inflow of new subscribers. How it is possible to do it:
1. To establish leads generation
We have already written several articles about lead generation, that is why we won’t dwell too much on it.
For lead generation process it is important to:
Set up a form of collecting contacts and motivate the website visitors to subscribe. To do it, it's important to understand what they may be interested in: probably, you will offer a discount for the first order right after the subscription or some free material. Probably, the readers subscribe because they are already interested in your content and do not need any additional stimulus.
Synchronize what you offer for the subscription and what the subscribers get as a result, because if you offer one thing in the subscription form and then send another thing, you will disappoint the readers and they will either unsubscribe or even will not understand what it was and will send the email into spam.
Start working with the subscribers as soon as they subscribed. If you just collect contacts and do not send them anything, your readers will soon forget about you or their mailboxes will become inactive and your base will be full of ghosts.
2. To make a subscriptions management center
A subscription manager center or a subscription manager allows the readers to choose themselves what emails and how often they will get. For example:
You can leave the link to the subscription manager in the campaign footer. Then instead of unsubscribing they will be able just to reduce the frequency of getting emails or choose other interesting topics.
Reason 2. Irrelevant offers
If the readers get the offers they are not interested in, they stop opening the emails. To meet their needs it’s necessary to do the audience segmentation. It’s possible to do it on a pop-up while registering, like our client Puma does:
Thanks to this pop-up, it's possible to allocate subscribers according to both age groups and interests.
Segmentation goes hand in hand with personalization. Personalization presupposes adaptation of the email content to the interests of the readers. It is not enough just to put the name of the reader into the email to believe it to be personalized. If you initially segmented the subscribers according to their interests, then sending relevant emails is already personalization. It you include product recommendations into an email — it is personalization too.
There are also categories of goods the interest to which fades naturally. For example, goods for newborns are bought within a year or or two. After this period is over the subscriber should be removed to another segment.
Personalization is a good step, but making a subscriber wait for your emails is even better. It is great if you are not only helpful but also become a real friend and a living interlocutor.
One more example is PUMA. When they discovered a system error, they sent their readers an apology letter. The error was insignificant and most of the readers probably may not even noticed it, but such concern and the email format caused unprecedentedly good feedback and the profit from the email was commensurate with promo emails for the whole base.
Reason number 3. Outdated addresses in the base
It happens that the base is collected and nothing is sent for several years. As a result, there are several million of emails in the base but part of them are inactive, others have already forgotten that they someday subscribed for you. In this case, it is worth to clean the base and come back to lead generation to collect new addresses.
What else can be done:
To implement double opt-in Implement DOI if you haven't done it yet. DOI is a double confirmation of a subscription. It saves the base from being flooded with bots and erroneously entered addresses. If there are too many of them, there will be errors in sending emails and mail clients may send them into spam.
To validate the base To filter out outdated and nonexistent email-addresses, it is possible to use Xverify service.
Reactivate the subscribers in time
When the subscribers starts losing the interest to the mailing, it is still possible to get him back. If he lost his interest half a year ago, he would hardly want to read your emails again. That is why reactivation should be a constant automated process and not an email saying something like "you stopped opening our emails" once a year to all the inactive subscribers.
When should the reactivation email be sent? It depends on the specifics of your business and frequency of mailings. You can read about it in detail in our article about reactivation.
Let’s summarize the point
For promo-emails not to lose their effectiveness, it is enough to do 4 things: