Email Primer for Marketers
Tips for building a thriving email readership.
In the age of social media marketing, email can be an overlooked medium, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Eighty percent of marketers agree that email is core to their business, according to Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing Report. What’s more, McKinsey’s 2012 iConsumer survey reports that email is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than either Facebook or Twitter. Faith Aronow, director of digital marketing at RCI, says the same is true for timeshare: “Owners are expecting email communications from resorts, and for many it’s their preferred channel.” Follow these tips to improve your email-marketing strategy:
Build a strong subscriber list
Don’t focus solely on the numbers. “A large list isn’t always a strong list,” Aronow says. You want engaged readers—and that means sharing relevant content. To improve readership, answer common questions and deliver interesting information about your destination that will inform and inspire subscribers. “List hygiene is also critical,” Aronow says. “No matter how relevant, interesting or valuable your content, your email list will inevitably need regular maintenance.” A large number of inactive subscribers can cause your messages to be categorized as spam, ultimately hurting your readership. Purge inactive subscribers regularly (Aronow recommends 12 to 24 months of inactivity depending on your customers’ vacation patterns) and send a warning email to those about to be removed so that they have the opportunity to stay on the list.
Test subject lines
“Testing is the best way to learn which types of subject lines resonate with your audience,” Aronow says. Consider testing different keywords to evaluate a subject line’s potential effectiveness. “Subject lines can be short or long, include emojis, be catchy, straightforward or quirky,” Aronow says. Just be sure to maintain your resort’s voice. The first sentence of the body of the email can act as a second subject line since it can be read as a preview in most in-boxes—including Gmail—before the email is opened. “Even consider a test of switching the primary and secondary subject lines to learn which combo will drive more opens,” Aronow suggests.
Focus on mobile
Marketing company Litmus’s 2017 State of Email Report found that 54 percent of all emails are read on mobile devices, and while the majority of travel consumers still book on desktop, mobile bookings continue to grow. As you’re crafting your emails, consider that readers are often on the go. “Make sure your emails are responsive and there is a click-to-call feature when applicable,” Aronow says.
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