» Five Tips for Successful Email Marketing

email-marketing-tipsEmail marketing is a great way to connect and share important details about your business with your audience. However, it’s very important to consider your messaging, design and calls to action to ensure your email marketing is effective. Most importantly – always focus on the consumer first! Consider their needs, interest and what would engage them and be sure to avoid ‘me’ language. Tell them what you can do to make their life better, not just why your business is so great.

To help maximize the impact of your next email campaign, check out these top tips for effective email marketing!

  • Send people the content they want. Great content is an important part of a successful email campaign. Determining your email content is really all about understanding what your audience would like to know about or what would be helpful for them. Consider sending relevant wedding planning tips to your category that would be relevant and engaging to them!
  • Keep your email short and sweet. Your email should be simple, and right to the point with one main focus. Too much content or differing messages will not only be confusing to your audience, but also will cause reader drop off. Too much writing is overwhelming and not digestible from all devices.
  • Create a brand voice and design. Strive to reflect your brand message and voice in all communication and all your marketing materials. Ideally, your audience should recognize your email campaigns and the content you share, and over time will look forward to your emails and updates.

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» 4 Email Marketing Metrics to Track

4 Email Marketing Metrics to Track

Of the major marketing tactics employed these days, email marketing is one of the least used by wedding professionals. In order for email marketing to be a viable option, you must have a solid email list. But if your “client” is an engaged couple who’ve booked your product or service for their wedding, they might not be a repeat customer, in which case it doesn’t make sense to email them about your business on a semi-regular basis. This is often true for Pros in the Venue, Dress & Attire, Officiant and Wedding Planning categories.

For many service categories in the wedding and events industry, though, there is the possibility of repeat customers. Bands, Caterers, DJs, Florists and Photographers are the types of Pros that clients may go back to for future events if they had a great experience. To capitalize on those opportunities and stay top-of-mind for those past clients, email marketing is a great tactic!

Email marketing is a valuable tool because everyone has an email address (or two or three!). And better yet, people are accessing emails 24/7 through both their computers and mobile devices. But for those who are just starting out with email, it can be hard to figure out how to measure success.

Below are four email marketing metrics to track so your business can determine the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns (and improve on them in the future):

Open rates

The open rate of an email is usually the first metric most businesses will look at to understand the success of the email. The open rate tells you the percentage of those who opened your email out of the total number sent. Since people can’t possibly click through the content in your email without opening it first, the open rate of your email is the first step in determining whether or not your email is resonating with your audience. A good open rate is a good indicator that your subject line for the email was engaging and relevant to your audience!

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» 6 Principles of Successful Email Marketing

Despite the daily inundation of emails in our inboxes, email marketing is still one of the most effective communication methods for businesses. Email marketing is a great way to reach your audience and share timely and pertinent information.

Because seemingly everyone is using email as part of their marketing repertoire, it’s hard to know what exactly constitutes a successful email marketing campaign. We’re here to help with the 6 principles you should follow to make the most of your email marketing!6 Principles of Successful Email Marketing

1. Examine your audience. As a business, you should understand your overall audience, but it’s also important to examine the specific audience you are emailing. Email campaigns should be segmented in a way that may not include your entire audience. Knowing your audience is the best way to create emails that they will find relevant and useful. This can also determine your tone and email content, such as whether your emails should be conversational or more formal.  For example, you wouldn’t want to send the same email about a free consultation to your booked client—this should just to go active leads.

2. Write a catchy (and different) subject line. When writing your subject line, look at it from your own point of view as a consumer: Would I open this? Your subject line has to entice the recipient to open the email. Even if you’ve written the whole email in a way that is relevant, useful and full of great content, your recipients will never know unless they open it! Keep it short and to the point, and don’t use the same subject line for every email. Also avoid super sales oriented subject lines which can seem spammy and focus on what value you are providing to your audience.

3. Keep the design simple. Think about all the emails you receive in a single day – tons! With all of the back and forth in the average inbox, your recipients probably don’t have a lot of time to read through your email. Keep your content concise, and keep your email design simple. Make it easy for people to skim the email to find the parts that interest them, and make it even easier for them to take action on a given item by remembering to…

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» Inside WeddingWire: Email Marketing Accolade!

At WeddingWire, we firmly believe in the power of email to reach your audience with relevant, smart and engaging targeted campaigns. Our talented Email Marketing Team is passionate about everything email, from the importance of practicing good List Hygiene, to making the commitment to mobilize all emails to effectively reach users on the go, and even how to creatively and strategically deal with a dreaded “Oops Email!”

We were thrilled to recently be honored as the winner of the Best Triggered Email in MarketingSherpa’s Email Awards 2013 for our Welcome Series campaign. The WeddingWire Welcome Series was designed to create a personalized email relationship with our users, and most importantly provide them with valuable, engaging and helpful information to support and maximize their WeddingWire accounts.

This campaign makes use of techniques you could easily implement to create a personalized email relationship. Here are some tips that you can apply to your business:

  • Although it’s tempting to create one email and blast it out your full list of potential clients, personalized campaigns that are relevant to your users behavior and preferences typically outperform generic emails. For example, if you are a photographer trying to engage past clients with another event promotion, tailor your list and customize your message. Send one email to those that you served their wedding, another email for those you served an engagement session, and another email for corporate events. In each campaign, include a simple message about how you loved being their Wedding Photographer, and wanted to share a special discount for any personal referrals to their friends.
  •  Keep your communication relevant by collecting information about your clients, and personalizing your emails based on that information. If a couple with a December wedding gets an email from you about Spring wedding specials, they might unsubscribe because you aren’t sending anything that’s useful for them. Keep your potential clients interested in your emails by staying relevant!

For more Email Marketing Pro tips, be sure to check out our “Inside the Inbox” series! Do you have any Email Marketing questions we can address next in the series?

» Hi %%FirstName%%…? Oops!

This post was written by Matt Byrd, WeddingWire’s Email Marketing Specialist. WeddingWire was recently recognized by the Email Institute as one of the best brands for email marketing, alongside companies such as Amazon, J.Crew and Starbucks. Matt also spoke at MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas.

 

It happens to the best of us. You spend hours creating a beautiful email, segmenting your list, testing repeatedly to make sure everything looks solid…and then, as soon as you press Send, you realize there’s a mistake.

Don’t panic!

Mistakes happen. After you’ve been staring at the same email for hours, it’s easy to miss something, no matter how obvious it might be in retrospect. Upon realizing a mistake has been made, focus on remaining calm, considering any potential damage and, if needed, taking quick action.

Begin by assessing the severity of the error. Is it something small, like a misspelled word, or is it more serious, like an incorrect event date or information about a promotion? Small mistakes can be embarrassing, but are typically not worth sending a corrected version of the email. Your customers will understand that you’re human and forget about it.

Larger mistakes often require sending a correction, otherwise known as an Oops! email. Don’t be afraid to send an Oops! email, but only send one if it’s necessary. Clients will appreciate the fact that you are correcting your mistake, and providing them with the proper information.

If you do send an Oops! email, look for ways to turn your mistake into an opportunity to further your relationship with your clients.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Extend your discount an extra day to give people more time to take advantage of an offer;
  • Offer them a special promo code to use at a later time;
  • If appropriate, provide an email address or phone number they can use if they are confused or have questions.

Most importantly, make sure your Oops! email is sincere and authentic. Don’t over-hype or over-complicate your message. Explain that a mistake happened, apologize for it, and offer the correct information.

Many marketers have even found that a well-done Oops! email has outperformed standard promotions! Customers appreciate honesty and being treated like real people. As a result, owning up to your mistake will have better long-term benefits for your brand and business.

» Inside the Inbox: The #1 Rule of Email Marketing

This post was written by Matt Byrd, WeddingWire’s Email Marketing Specialist. WeddingWire was recently recognized by the Email Institute as one of the best brands for email marketing, alongside companies such as Amazon, J.Crew and Starbucks.
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The #1 rule of email marketing is… that there is no #1 rule! Many resources try to suggest that there are finite rules and guidelines for email marketing. Common ones include things like “Don’t use FREE in the subject line!” or “Don’t have subject lines longer than 50 characters.”

Take a quick glance through your own inbox, and you will realize that those “rules” are outdated. The word “FREE” might have sent your email to the spam folder two or three years ago, but that isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Many new, complex factors affect how your email marketing performs beyond black-and-white rules about content and subject lines.

And 50 characters? Check out this subject line from popular online retailer Rue La La…it’s 177 characters!

“Vera Bradley, Charles David, Sweet Pea, Earnest Sewn, For the Table: Eco-Friendly Wood & Bamboo, Hello, July: The Month of Heritage, Honora, & The Baby Gifts They’ll Go Gaga For”

You might also hear things like “Don’t send emails on the weekends!” or “Don’t send emails after 5pm!” Again, factors like this are completely dependent on your audience. What works for you might be completely different from what works for another Pro. The only way you can find out what the best days are for your clients is to test – and test often!

As an example, you segment your database into three equal parts, and send an identical email to each group on three different days but at the same time. It’s important that only one factor change – so make sure it’s the same email at the same time, just on a different day. Otherwise, one of the other changes might also affect the results of the test. You won’t know if it was just the send day that had an effect, or one of your other variables.

Repeat the test a couple of times to ensure that the results are consistent. On the flip side, you could send the same email on the same day, but at different times. Maybe your customers open emails more at 2pm instead of 10am. …There’s only one way to find out: get testing!