People are suggesting that this year will be a competitive year to say the least.  Companies are increasingly turning towards email marketing in a bid to still market whilst reducing costs.

So this year you will have to not only attract your customers but also compete against a greater amount of emails in your recipients’ inbox.

Fear not though!  We’re going to point out what you should be looking out for.  Moreover, we will then give you a couple of ideas on how to distinguish yourself from the competition.

The first thing to do is start to look back at your years statistics.  Try and look at them to see any emerging patterns:

  • Yearly Trends (open rates increasing/decreasing)
    • What has changed during the year? Make a note to use for future planning.
    • If you are not already, make sure you’re split testing your campaigns to makes sure you know what makes your recipients react.
    • If you have changed nothing but are still seeing negative results for the year, it may be that your campaign has become stale and un-interesting.  Definitely time for a rethink.
  • Any anomalies in results (positive or negative)
    • Look at the campaigns that have out of the ordinary results – what was different?
    • Subject lines, Special Offers, Design etc. should all be looked at to get ideas for your upcoming campaign.

By really spending some time going through the stats, you can get a feel for what turns your customers on/off from your mails.

Re-Energise Campaign

One thing to look out for is a gradually turned off customer base.  If you’ve seen your open stats gradually decrease over the year, it could be that your recipients are slowly growing tired of the same email format you are sending.

A re-energise campaign is in order to get those lost opens back.  Sales, competitions and other campaigns will re-ignite a lot of interest in your campaign.

It could also be a case that you are sending too regularly to your recipients.  Many email experts have always stressed about making each and every email you send interesting and not just sending one for the sake of sending.

Relevant, interesting emails, every email, is the key to a better conversion rate. 

Subject Line

I’m signed up to that Google alerts email for email marketing and some of the ones I’ve recently received have been along the lines of “2009: The year of the subject line”. 

If you’re unsure about subject lines and how to get the most out of them, here are a whole bunch of links that should really get you up to date.

Writing Effective Subject LinesSubject Line Review

Step Out From the Crowd

I know this is really easy for me to say and so much harder for you to do but you have to think of a way to distinguish yourself from the competition.

As there will be more companies using email marketing than before, this point becomes even more valuable than before.

I have previously talked about emails with viralability.  Such an email can have a massive impact not only on business itself but also exposure to new potential customers and if you can think of something which can have this effect, you’re on to a winner.

Themed campaigns can make your emails stand out as well as keeping your newsletters different throughout the year which will keep your recipients interest maintained.

Theme’s could be seasonal or in line with the current news stories or maybe evolve around major events.  All of which should grab their attention (depending your company).

Design

Keeping your newsletters design up to date is another thing worth considering.  Are the call to actions clear and visible?  Is the email engaging and professional?  You can go to my article on the basics for email design and make sure you’re considering everything.

But now people are looking further and I think probably the biggest buzz around email marketing is videos and animated gifs in emails.  Perhaps the big trend on 2009?   Only in moderation hopefully.

Hopefully this has given you some good ideas on where to take your 2009 email marketing campaign. Remember to keep A/B Split testing everything you do and learn from each mistake and success that occurs.

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