Blowing out the cobwebs: How to spring clean your email marketing Published April 11, 2016 Spring is finally here, the sun is warming us up and the flowers have begun to bloom. In the bright light of day, you might have noticed a little bit of dust has accumulated in your email marketing (metaphorically speaking, of course) so let’s think about spring cleaning and how this applies to your email marketing strategy. From data cleansing to new strategies, let’s sweep out the dust, throw open the shutters and spring clean your email marketing. Dirty laundry, dirty data During the flurry of holiday promotions around Christmas, you may have found that your database has become cluttered and full of dirty data, which can result in some serious consequences such as reduced deliverability, spam-flagging and wasted time and effort on your part. As you’re spring cleaning your house, why not clean your database too? Data cleansing is an essential part of email marketing and by maintaining a list of clean data, with no duplications, errors or out-of-date information, you will have a much more valuable database that produces useful, reliable analytics. Data cleansing is something which should be done regularly, and lists can be maintained through your email platform which will automatically remove hard bounces and do the majority of the work for you. Remember that clean data is not only important for your brand image by maintaining positive connections with your database, but will also ensure you comply with recommendations from the Direct Marketing Association’s Best Practice Guidelines. A snazzy new look Are your campaigns starting to look a little ‘last season’? Perhaps your images are now somewhat dated and don’t have the same appeal that they used to. Keeping up to date with the latest changes and keeping abreast of popular ways to foster engagement with customers will ensure any campaigns you produce remain relevant and maximise your ROI. Dynamic content such as GIFs and videos remain a popular way to help your campaigns stand out from the crowd and are going to continue to increase in importance throughout 2016, with these elements seeing increased application and being used to deliver suggestions and guide your customers to particular actions. Email is no longer a novelty in and of itself, so we must continue to roll with the times, utilising latest trends and fashions to ensure we keep up-to-date and relevant to ensure we grab our customers’ attention. Out with the old, in with the new Well, not quite. We’re not suggesting that you kick some of your older subscribers off your mailing list altogether, but you might want to consider segmenting these into a different list of ‘loyal’ customers. New subscribers tend to be the most active on the list and, depending on your degree of email maturity, would likely be funnelled through a series of automated emails that nurture them through their initial journey with your company. So what about your most loyal customers who have hung in there with your campaigns through thick and thin? Segment them, and try sending out a “Thank you for your loyalty” email to the olds and bolds on your list. This will enable you to maintain engagement and improve activity flow across your entire email database, leading to more relevant campaigns and thus a better open rate and CTR. A breath of fresh air Do you have a go-to subject line that you utilise time and time again? “Spring Sale!” “Summer’s Coming!” Whilst some would say these tried-and-tested subject lines are a dead cert, you can guarantee that a competitor will probably have a similar headline, so how is yours going to stand out in comparison to every other email out there? Our “Email marketing best practice for subject lines” guide will give you valuable guidance on creating the perfect new attention-grabbing subject line that will help improve your open rates. Don’t be afraid to try something new such as personalising the subject line – if it’s been a while since you updated your subject lines, you might just find this leads to a surge in opens as your customers embrace your new springtime strategy. Final Thoughts As spring arrives and summer is just around the corner, it’s a time to declutter, embrace change and try something new, which might just lead to new growth in your business as well. Steps such as data cleansing or new subject lines are a simple way to update your strategy and subsequently improve your ROI. So let’s update that database, embrace new strategies and get ready to put a spring back in to your email marketing step!