01 Jan 2019

Looking Back: The winning email marketing strategy you can learn from football

In football, top teams usually make the best halftime adjustments. They look back at what happened thus far in the game, analyze their successes and failures, and then refocus their strategies before returning to the field.

People who use email marketing for business should do the same thing. While it may be tempting to send out one blast and move on to the next, it’s important to take time to study your deliverability results. Email marketing reporting can help you spot strategic mistakes, security issues and little problems before they become big ones.

Why wouldn’t you want to know all that?

Some people don’t. These companies tune out reports about how much of their mail reached its target, either because they don’t know what it means or they don’t want to know. Instead, they just do what they’ve been doing, with no consideration to past results. That’s like a football team starting the second half without even knowing the score.

In a typical mailing, one in five opt-in emails won’t reach a customer’s inbox. That’s a lot of eyeballs who simply miss out on your message. What you do between mailings can determine whether your next effort outperforms that number or puts you on a downward spiral.

Take the time to study your email marketing reporting or you’ll miss opportunities to:

1)  Learn from your mistakes

People trying to lose weight need to step on the scale once in a while, even if they don’t always like what they see. You simply need to know how your efforts paid off.

Email marketing reporting can show you bounce rates, open rates, click-through rates and how many recipients chose to opt out. Comparing these numbers to historic data can help raise red flags about all kinds of problems.

If you added a ton of new leads and had an unusually high bounce rate, your address list may be riddled with junk. You might have made some errors in your SPF, DKIM or DMARC infrastructure code that you’ll want to fix before next time. If people aren’t clicking through, maybe your marketing copy — or the offer you were making — wasn’t good enough. Whatever the problem, not knowing about it means you’ll just keep repeating it.

2) Stop small problems before they become big

People who ignore deliverability unless there’s a catastrophic problem have probably missed the chance to solve that problem in its infancy.

Email marketing reporting can identify potential problems with your overall email reputation. For example, a sudden, unusual drop in your email open rate suggests many of your emails landed in spam folders. Not only will those emails go unseen, your future mailings will also have a higher chance of being marked as spam. It’s a reputation death spiral that feeds on itself.

To fix it, you may want to purge your list to get rid of outdated or erroneous addresses. You might check to see if you’ve somehow wound up on a blacklist and work to clear your name. You might need to reduce the pace and reach of your next few emails in order to re-warm your IP address. The earlier you catch issues that hurt your reputation, the less likely they’ll result in something catastrophic.

3) Alert yourself to potential security problems

Spoofing is when con artists use forged sender addresses, in order to make their predatory email appear to be from a trusted source. It’s an easy and fairly common scam that can cause big headaches if that trusted source is your company. If your good name was being used to rip people off, you’d want to know about it, right?

Email marketing reporting can tell you when and how your domain responds to issues with SPF and DMARC, two authentication tools designed to help prevent spoofing. It’s one good way to find out whether scammers are tarnishing your brand. It’s also another reason why all email marketers should be using both SPF and DMARC authentication, if they’re not already.

4) Improve your email marketing strategy

Finally, like the football team using halftime adjustments to dominate the second half, companies who keep tabs on their deliverability results can use it to improve their marketing copy, offers and overall presentation.

If a specific email had a high low open rate, consider re-writing your subject lines. On the other hand, if your most recent mailing got a lot of users to click through, you’ll want to do more of the same. If you sent an email that prompted a lot of people to opt out, you’ve got fences to mend.

Why send another email without knowing what you did right or wrong last time? Businesses that don’t use email marketing reporting are making the decision to fly blind into the next campaign.

The Bottom Line

Deliverability has been called a secret crisis facing businesses that rely on email to reach their customers. In the mortgage business, there’s a direct connection between effective email marketing and loan volume. Bad deliverability can affect both your brand and bottom line, and it’s a problem that generally doesn’t get better on its own.

Coaches who can’t adjust at halftime tend to lose games — and jobs. If you don’t adjust while using email marketing for business, you’re losing opportunities for sales and success. Smart companies take time to look back before they forge ahead. Use the form above to get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!