Plateau: To reach a state or level of little or no growth or decline, especially to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off.
It’s the beginning of the month, and you log into your CRM database to report your latest email marketing metrics. You’re greeted by a graph that shows this month’s performance was roughly the same as last month’s…and the month before that. You navigate a few pages to discover you’re not growing your email database efficiently enough to offset churn. In a word, your program has plateaued.
Discovering your email program has reached a plateau is many marketers’ nightmare. It can lead to long team meetings guaranteed to eat valuable time-not improve results. The good news is there are better, unexpected ways to improve your email marketing:
Study Your Inbox
From the most effective keywords in subject lines to the average email deliverability rate, email marketers are inundated with industry statistics each day. The flood of numbers can have a mind-numbing effect, causing marketers to overthink their strategies. Sometimes, all it really takes to improve email marketing is to study your personal inbox.
“Look through your own email inbox this week,” suggests Sonia Simone, Copy Blogger Media CMO and co-founder. “What kind of commercial messages spur your interest? What kinds of subject headers get you to click through? Pay attention to what makes you feel good about a business…and what leaves you cold.”
Read (A Lot)
Success in any profession can be closely tied to keeping up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. To improve your email marketing, make a habit of reading and analyzing industry blogs, whitepapers and eBooks every day.
“I firmly believe that, if you want to be a great writer, you should read amazing content by readers you admire,” says HubSpot’s Ginny Soskey about blogging. “To make sure I’m at the top of my writing game, I read. A lot. Like, a lot a lot.”
The same is true for email marketers. If you want to improve your email marketing, you need a steady diet of amazing content by marketers you admire.
Learn from the Industry’s Best
When deciding where to attend college, prospective students understand their future career success is directly connected to the instruction they receive. Therefore, they (or more likely, their parents) often browse faculty databases to get a feel for professors’ careers.
It’s no different for email marketers: To be the best, you must learn from the best. That means everything from pursuing opportunities with respected industry organizations to interviewing industry thought leaders when creating blogs or other resources. It even means subscribing to their email marketing programs to monitor strategies they’re implementing.
Really Attend Industry Events
When it comes to ideas for improving email marketing, attending industry events is usually at the top of the list. But any Tom, Dick or Harry can attend an industry event-to improve your email marketing, you need to plan to take home more than the gift bag.
Always have your laptop, iPad or pen and paper handy to jot down innovative strategies and groundbreaking insights. Can’t make it to this year’s must-attend event in person? Many conferences stream keynotes, panels and more online. What’s more, conference attendees often publish blogs outlining helpful event happenings in the days and weeks following the event.
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Photo Credit: Jean-Claude MORAND