In our most recent post we highlighted a survey that said more marketers are using email marketing for their efforts than social media, SEO, lead scoring and paid ads alike. However, email marketing is not as simple as creating aesthetically pleasing emails, captivating headlines and pleasing content. Much like everything else in marketing our email strategies have to turn to data in order to provide us the best indication of whether or not what we are doing is working.
Popular email software like MailChimp, Constant Contact or Vertical Response all provide metrics on open-rates, link clicks and locations but they don’t provide some of the more detailed data that the email testing and marketing analytics software company Litmus provides. For the record, we don’t have any affiliation with Litmus but do want to discuss some ways that it can help your brand better utilize the power of email marketing.
Why Message Previewing is so Important
As you know, not everyone uses the same email client or devices to open and send emails. While many people may use Gmail, many others may use AOL, Yahoo or Outlook. Similarly, we may use different devices to view our emails and what an iPhone user might see may be very different from what an Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone user might see.
With Litmus you can preview your emails on each mobile device with realistic scroll features so that you can ensure the layout you worked so hard to create makes the appropriate impact. If you see any issues that you want to change, the interactive troubleshooting feature allows you to make and see changes in real time so that you aren’t wasting time saving and previewing your emails for hours.
Other impactful features include a preview pane that lets you see how your email will look with images off (many email clients block images by default), a color blindness check (8% of males are colorblind) and a subject line preview to ensure all of the email clients will see the amazing subject line (different emails clients have different spacing) that pulls them in. One of the final previewing tools worth mentioning (there are many more) is the link checker. This allows you to see a screen shot of where the links go from your email so you can quickly double-check that they are going to the right landing page and so you can make sure the links are not blacklisted.
The Less Spam the Better
A couple of years ago Huffington Post reported that spam costs society $20 billion dollars a year and that there are something like 94 billion spam messages going out every day. As marketers who have gone about accumulating email addresses in ethical ways (such as opt-ins) it makes sense for us to spend the extra time to ensure our fine-tuned messages are making it to the people that can benefit from them.
Litmus has several spam testing features that allow you to have your emails scanned by every major spam filter before they go out. These screens check for spam filters server-side as well as ISP-side and provide reports to notify you if your emails are at risk of getting blocked somewhere along the way. When your emails bring up red flags with spam filters Litmus provides actionable advice so you know how to fix them. For example, the website says that Outlook views the word “Free” combined with exclamation marks in the body of the email as spammy. With this knowledge you’d be able to correct your message and resubmit it to make sure it passes the test of this commonly-used email client.
Email Metrics and Analytics
Perhaps the most important thing to marketers besides device layout and spam is the feedback of who actually reads the emails. Most email software lets you know the percentage of people who opened your email but doesn’t notify of the percentage of people who “glanced, skimmed, read or deleted” your email like Litmus does.
Litmus also lets you know which email clients or device your patrons used to open your emails. This knowledge allows you to optimize specific emails for specific demographics based on data so that you can increase your engagement rates.
In addition to providing info on geo-location (most email software provides this) Litmus also provides info on prints and forwards. This can help you to identify which recipients are sharing your content most frequently and can help brands who use printable coupons, for example, identify if their promotions are being printed.
One of the most important metrics that marketers should pay attention to that is provided by Litmus is the ability to segment email behavior into new or different email lists. This creates an opportunity to offer more personalized emails so that you can separate recipients into groups based on:
- Where they live
- The time of day they open the emails
- What cellphone they use
- The most engaged users
Finally, Litmus works with many types of existing email software so you can easily import your data and continue to use the lists that you have in place.
Litmus is available for personal use or for big marketing brands that need to have as many as 10 users on an account. The packages currently start at $79 for the most basic, $149 for the Plus package and $399 for the Premium package. Costs are month-to-month and Litmus also offers a free 7-day trial.