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Use Follow up email to increase the return on your campaigns

Do you deploy follow up emails as part of your campaign process? If not, this is a significant opportunity for you to increase the return on your campaigns.  Don’t worry, you are not alone, a surprising majority of email marketers do not send follow up campaigns. What are follow up emails?

The main types are as follows:

  1. Text only to non-openers sent 24 hours after the main send
  2. Category follow up to clickers-not-purchased 24 hours after the main send
  3. Abandoned browse emails to browse-not-purchased 48 hours after main send

The results of these emails are extremely good. In my experience the click-through rate on ‘text only to non-openers’ is often just as good, sometimes better, than the original campaign.  Why so? Well, text only emails are treated more like transactional emails by recipients, webmail providers and spam filters. They land in a different place in our consciousness and in the inbox. You will find a text only email is more likely to be in Gmail’s primary folder, rather than the promotions tab. Text only emails do not feel as salesy, and if well written and pertinent, can hold the attention for longer because less open to skim reading than an image-led email. Text only emails look great on mobile phones.

 

An objection to sending text only follow ups, that I sometimes hear is: ‘we don’t want to bombard our recipients with email’. My view is that if they haven’t opened the first email, they will not remember it from yesterday, so they won’t feel bombarded. The first campaign email either went to the wrong place (spam folder, promotions tab) for them, or they skim read the subject line and rejected it, or they simply didn’t have time to read yesterday’s promotional email. The proof is in the stats. If people felt bombarded, they would unsubscribe from the follow up email or spam complaints would increase. In my experience there is not a higher unsub rate on text only follow ups neither does the spam complaint rate rise.

 

These emails are simple to send. Any ESP will allow you to segment on non-openers. Crafting a two paragraph text email with CTAs and a couple of links, should be natural for any marketer.

 

Category follow up to clickers-not-purchased is also a very successful email. You segment by category or product clicked, and send an email with more detailed information on that topic. Will recipients feel bombarded? Not if they’ve clicked through, that means they are engaged, actively interested in the topic and will welcome further email on that subject. The proof is in the statistics: open rates of 50% + and no rise in Unsub or spam complaints.

This superb campaign tool is very rarely used and is such a surefire winner. Why don’t email marketers send these? Generally email marketers find the content creation process for one email campaign to be a lot of work: you need to come up with campaign strategy, brief a designer, commission the design to be coded up in HTML, test the HTML in Litmus for rendering and spam score, send the email to your boss for sign off, send out and then gather reports and present. Now if you have to do this for 4 emails in one campaign (the original, plus follow ups) you have more than doubled your work. And you have a small team and plenty of other tasks to complete by the end of the week.

 

This is where Kickdynamic can help: using Kickdynamic Content Automation saves you massive amounts of time. The process of creating your first campaign email is much easier, it takes minutes not hours to set up the HTML and images. They are all pre-approved, the HTML is pretested, so your process has slimmed down from 4 days to a matter of hours. This gives you time to work on the follow up emails. Kickdynamic Content Automation allows you to send one HTML email that automatically picks up category clicked from the previous email and selects the best images for that category at the time of open. So it will always show the best offers, with products in stock. This approach is now being taken by UK retailers, such as Holland and Barrett and Asda.

 

Check out the Holland & Barrett case study here.

 

You can sit back with the extra time on your hands and watch your results climb.