Email Marketing; Best Practice for the Tech Sector

Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Rachel Ennis

To the unfamiliar, email marketing could seem simple and straightforward; write words, make it look pretty and send it en masse to a database that could either be so relevant Its excited about the iPhone 8, or so outdated its still using its iPod classic on the commute.

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Already you will know that there’s more to email marketing than the pretty pictures and the layout. The quality of your data and your content is also a major consideration when broadcasting an email campaign or even just sending a weekly email/newsletter.

Frequent questions that I’m sure you’ve asked or been asked include; 

  • What is the best time to send an email?
  • What are the best CTA’s?
  • What kind of response rates should I expect?
  • Why is my response rate good/bad?

If you look online there are varying answers and trends to answer the above questions and they vary from year to year too. To get a more applicable answer for your business it is better to look at these trends according to the industry that you fall into.

For example: mailchimp.com reports that the average email open rate is 21.57% in the Telecommunications industry but when you look at the Marketing and Advertising sector the open rate decreases to 17.81%

 

What is the best time to send an Email?  

Let’s start with timing, what is the best time to send an email if you’re targeting the tech sector? There’s probably no surprise here, but if you’re sending a responsive email (and you should be) to a tech target audience, the best times are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (between 12pm and 3pm). People are usually in post lunch productive mood ensuring they get all they need to do done before going home for the evening.  Furthermore, if you want to be really granular and look at it from a seasonal perspective; email campaigns sent between September and November perform better in terms of open rates (21% compared to 17%) for the tech industry. Perhaps it’s a case of people wanting to get as organised as possible before Christmas.

Source: http://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-communications-strategy/best-times-send-email-2016-infographic/

It’s one thing to get people to read your email, but it’s another to get them to respond and take action. So, what are the best Call to Actions to use for our tech target audience? Luckily, there are a variety of things that you can do.

 

What are the best CTA’s?

Firstly, use active language, something that has “clickability” and will entice the target audience to take action. This could be by using an incentive or by creating urgency. Whatever you do, please stay away from the realm of “click here” – this is unlikely to do you any favours. Also of note; CTA buttons have a 28% higher chance of leading to conversions than text links. Think about your target audience and your business offering, what can you offer that will make them want to click? Is it a recent white paper that provides more information that your target audience will want to read?

Personalisation is now becoming the norm in marketing communications having proven its worth so look at ways at personalising the CTA’s in your email campaigns. For example; “Treat yourself Hannah” or “Get in contact today George”. This might be more applicable when sending to a smaller list of contacts. 

Something else to consider is working in the campaign messaging to your CTA’s. For example; we recently launched an email campaign where the key message was about “Enhancing Your End of Line Testing” so instead of a generic “contact us today” message we went with “Enhance your world today” on a CTA button which took the user to a contact form.

Other points worth pondering are optimising for mobile and ensuring CTA buttons and images are built in HTML in case there are picture download issues with the reader’s email provider.

Finally, you want the reader to know that you can fix their problems by clicking on that CTA, so do exactly that by using the correct language and messaging throughout both the copy and the CTAs.

 

What kind of response rates should I expect?

When it comes to response rates, this is somewhat of a greyer area. A response rate of 25% sounds great, but it’s only great if there is a final conversion at the end. You could have one response out of 500 but that response could end up being very valuable to your business. Response quality is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

However, we all love a straight answer, don’t we? So, in terms of optimum CTR’s for the tech industry, you should be aiming for 2.16% according to one of Mailchimp’s 2017 monthly updates of their Email benchmark stats.

If you’re wondering why your conversion rate is good or bad an ideal place to start is your content and the CTA’s; is it compelling? Be critical and get second and third opinions. Then look at your data, does it need a refresh? How many emails do you send to that list per month? Is it possible you’re overwhelming your target audience or are you sending just the right amount to keep them tuned in? You want the customer to enjoy the brand journey and to interact positively with you so give them a reason to clickthrough and not unsubscribe.  After all, the two main reasons and benefits for email marketing in tech is to generate leads and drive conversions.

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