Do More With Less: 8 Keys to Efficiency in Email Marketing

As an email marketer, you want to make the best use of your time, your talents and your tools. After all, you don’t have time to waste on busywork and repetitive tasks, do you?
Read on to find out eight ways you can work more efficiently today, so you have more time tomorrow to come up with that next amazing idea.

1) Automate your email campaigns – Automation deserves its number-one slot on our list, since it’s probably the greatest efficiency tool email marketers have at their disposal. “Marketing automation allows you to create multiple email campaigns with personalized and specific messages for more engaging email,” writes Ankita Kaushik on the Agile CRM blog.

“Customized automation will schedule and send emails with company details to individuals in no time. You don’t have to waste your hours on emails. Instead, you can automate and optimize your campaigns.”

Last month, we released a case study on how HSN used email content automation to create a campaign that drove revenue to their daily deals, lifted web traffic by 31 percent and decreased email production time from 1.5 hours to less than five minutes. Download it here.

2) Use triggered messages – We’re cheating here a bit, because triggered messages are a technically a subset of “automation;” however, they are so useful as time-savers that we think it’s worth calling them out separately. The efficiency in triggered messages comes from the fact that you do all your creative work up front – developing messages that serve to welcome new subscribers, commemorate birthdays, remind consumers that they have left items in a shopping cart, etc. We looked at triggered messages in more depth here on this blog last month.

3) Use brief subject lines – When it comes to subject lines, less is definitely more. “Email subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, particularly on mobile devices, writes Olivia Allen on the HubSpot blog.

“And with 40 percent of emails being opened on mobile first, we recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters to make sure the people scanning your emails read the entire subject line.”

4) Write concise copy – As with subject lines, when it comes to body copy, it turns out that fewer words usually equates to a much bigger bang. “In general, I think shorter is better,” says Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs. “I think brevity always rules. I think if you could say it more simply, you should.” Her bottom line: “Don’t waste the time of your audience.”

5) Delete subscribers from your lists – Can having fewer names on your lists help you be a more successful email marketer? It may sound counterintuitive, but indeed it can. “By regularly scrubbing your email list, you are removing irrelevant leads and contacts that could be harmful to your email marketing success, writes HubSpot’s Corey Wainwright.

“List cleaning decreases instances of unsubscribes and recipients marking you as spam; it helps you better segment your emails and increase content relevancy; it improves your deliverability and sender reputation; it improves your email open rates; it saves you money if you’re charged on a per-send basis; it makes you look like a marketing superstar when your email metrics improve; and most importantly, it keeps you legally compliant.”

6) Find new uses for old content – Coming up with new ideas, along with new copy to express those ideas, can be very time consuming. But, as we discussed recently on this blog, email marketers at a loss for new ideas can often find a perfect solution lurking in their archive.

7) Have just one call to action (CTA) in your message – Although you might be tempted to include more than one CTA in your messages, don’t! “Marketers often try to add too many CTAs in one email to encourage readers to click but, the more, the merrier, doesn’t always hold true,” writes Reshu Rathi at Inc42. “A single focused CTA makes it easier for subscribers to convert rather than too many CTAs.”

8) Send fewer, more-personalized messages – Could it be that you are sending too many emails? Perhaps. “A torrent of email from the same source just makes customers’ eyes glaze over, or worse, turns the brand into a nuisance,” writes Stephan Dietrich at AdAge.

“On the other hand, if executed correctly, a campaign of fewer emails to fewer recipients can result in more purchases than the fire-hose approach. To make this less-is-more strategy work, marketers have to personalize messages in ways that go beyond slotting the customer’s name into the ‘Dear so-and-so’ line.”