The Following is a Guest Contributed Post by Seamas Egan, Director of Marketing and Sales, Campaigner
On February 16, this Chinese New Year will celebrate the eleventh zodiac sign: the dog. Known as man’s best friend, dogs are America’s most popular companion animal — just as email is the most popular communications channel for business. As we approach the Lunar New Year email marketers can learn from these four tips to push their programs forward in 2018.
1) Understand Subscriber Preferences and Plan Accordingly
In Chinese astrology zodiac signs are paired with a rotating natural element, like fire and water. This year is considered the Year of the Earth Dog and people born this year are predicted to be communicative, serious and responsible at work. In order to emulate the Earth dog in campaigns email marketers should learn what content is most useful to their subscribers and take feedback into account while planning campaigns ahead of time.
As email marketers continue to add new subscribers to their lists it is important to adapt programs to meet the changing interests of these new consumers. To ensure they’re communicating content that consumers wish to receive, marketers should send a yearly survey asking them to rank what content they find most valuable, how often they wish to receive emails, and what products and services they are most interested in. This gives marketers better insight about subscribers and helps them develop planning calendars with deadlines and messaging that will resonate and ensure a regular communication frequency.
2) Learn From the Dog’s Lucky Times
There are zodiac beliefs that people born during a specific time of day will be more successful. Similarly, email marketers know that certain times of day are better than others for sending content to receptive readers, and that they can use this information to optimize their open and click through rates.
Marketers should note popular times to reach subscribers when developing their next campaign. For example, a recent Deloitte survey found that 40 percent of people check their email within five minutes of waking up. However it’s important that email marketers also trust their instincts and not send emails at inappropriate times, like 1 a.m. They should utilize tools like A/B split testing to determine the best time to reach subscribers and automate campaigns to hit their inboxes accordingly.
3) Don’t Pair Dogs With Roosters and Sheep
Chinese belief holds that certain character traits associated with the zodiac signs mesh well with others, but this is not the case for all. For example, dogs are considered adventurous by nature and rabbits are seen as curious — traits that complement each other and are believed to be an ideal connection. On the other hand, roosters are known to strut and be the center of attention, while dogs prefer to seek out intimate and loyal connections, traits that clash and can lead to trouble.
Similarly some subscribers are more responsive to specific content than others. Marketers can use segmentation and A/B split testing to match certain subscriber segments with the email content they’ll be most receptive to. A Campaigner survey found that the majority of millennials are interested in coupons, so marketers should segment their audience by demographics and pair millennial recipients with coupons when possible. Email marketers can also utilize A/B split testing to determine what content is most compatible for subscribers. By looking at how open and click-through rates differ for specific variables, marketers will be able to determine what content, subject line and even color palettes pique the interest of each subscriber group.
4) Treat Loyal Subscribers
As a symbol of good luck and best wishes in the New Year, it is customary to give friends and family a red envelope called a hongbao, which are typically filled with money. The act of receiving a red envelope is to invoke happiness and prosperity for the year to come.
Marketers should similarly reward loyal subscribers with special discounts and promotions to strengthen their relationship. Offering coupons to subscribers not only wishes subscribers luck in the New Year, it also helps marketers see an increase in ROI. Shopify found that merchants with coupons are 8 times more likely to make a sale. In order to capitalize on this year’s Chinese New Year celebration, marketers should offer discount codes that reflect the holiday with themed words such as loyal, lucky and fortune. Consider making these discount codes scannable so customers can use them in stores, and ensure they can be used online as well as offline.
As we enter the Year of the Dog, email marketers can align their stars to maximize the success of their programs. By developing a marketing planning calendar, sending at optimal times, and utilizing tools like segmentation and A/B split testing, marketers can create a strategy and content that builds brand loyalty and captures the interest of their subscribers. They should continue to experiment and develop content that can increase ROI, building good fortune for the new year ahead.