How to perform an Email marketing analysis on your competition?
Carrying out an email marketing analysis of your competition is one of the ways to anticipate the actions of your competitors and stay one step ahead. It is not only important to know what products they sell, but how they sell them.
This analysis will give you a global vision of all aspects, both its strengths and weaknesses. What are they doing well? What are we doing better? What can we learn? How can we improve? Once all the questions we ask ourselves have been answered, we will obtain a complete and detailed report that will help us better understand how the sector works and how your competition moves.
The actions of your competitors can give you a clue of what works best and worst in the world of email marketing and marketing automation. For example, if the emails are always launched at the same time and on a specific day of the week. If the launch of a campaign on a day designated as Mother’s Day is carried out a week before if it uses transactional emails if it carries out nurturing programs or welcome programs.
Knowing all these aspects you will not only anticipate the actions of your competitors but also achieve a better organization, planning and optimization of your email marketing strategy.
How to start preparing an email marketing competition analysis?
To start email marketers will need to select the competitors they want to analyze, visit their websites, and subscribe to their newsletter. In this way, you will begin to verify what type of emails they send and how they send them. You should start looking at all the details, if they only send promotional emails, how many emails you receive per day, if they use trigger-based emails, etc.
For this process, you can use a spreadsheet or a presentation where you can add screenshots of the emails and comments.
What points are important to perform this analysis?
The more complete the report, the easier it will be to draw conclusions.
In addition to analyzing in detail the elements that make up the email, such as content or design, it is also important to take into account how shipments are managed, the type of campaigns or how subscribers are directed.
Let’s see the most important elements that cannot be missed in your email marketing competition analysis:
Here you should observe if your competitors’ subjects are clear and direct, short or long, if they use emoticons, if they are formal or friendly and if They use customization. This will make you see if they are very different from yours and thus be able to perform A/B Test on your next shipments to check if they are more effective.
At this point it goes without saying how important your emails are to be responsive. If your competitors’ emails aren’t, you’re ahead. Examine if they use eye-catching designs, check their structure, the number of images it contains, if they use gifs, etc.
Analyze how they use personalization. If it is only with labels or also with dynamic content. Check if the personalization is based on your personal data such as name or city, or if they also use personalization according to your interests, based on your clicks, your products purchased or added to the basket, so you will know how they manage and use the information of their subscribers.
Study if they use links or buttons, what kind of words they use, where they are placed, if they are eye-catching and the amount. Don’t forget to click to see if it leads to another action. For example, if you click on a product, you receive an email with more information about the clicked product.
For the management of email marketing campaigns we cannot lose sight of the following techniques:
It is interesting to know if they complement their email marketing strategy with other channels such as paid media or social ads. For this reason, we recommend that you not only subscribe to their newsletter but also observe their entire online environment.
Type of campaigns:
Analyze all your campaigns, if they have a welcome campaign, promotional campaigns, seasonal, etc.
It is important that you interact on their website to complete this part, so you can check if they carry out transactional campaigns such as navigation abandonment, cart abandonment or birthday campaigns. This way you will be closer to knowing part of its strategy.
It is important to know if your competition’s emails are promotional, educational or both. Check if they make enough use of promotional codes and offers or, if not, they make more use of informative emails, such as industry news and news of interest, if they make resources such as free guides. Do not forget to observe what kind of language they use to know how they communicate with their subscribers.
Shipping frequency and time:
Check if the delivery days and hours are similar to yours and how often you receive emails to verify their delivery frequency. This way you will check the level of saturation that your subscribers can have.
3 critical success factors in email marketing
Email marketing has shown very favourable results in terms of the conversion rate obtained in some sectors such as eCommerce, retail, and B2B businesses, among others. A study carried out by e Consultancy among marketing professionals places it as the digital marketing tool with the best return on investment (ROI), mentioned by 73% and surpassing other valuable tools such as SEO (72%), content marketing (63%) and advertising associated with search engines (60%).
I could cite multiple investigations that show some of the benefits of sending mass emails, however, on this occasion, rather than justifying its use by companies, I want to comment on three critical factors for success in its application. Yes, because it is one thing that, in general terms, email marketing shows favorable results and another, very different thing, is that any massive email campaign that is carried out obtains these results.
As in everything, there are those who do it well and those who, on the contrary, fail in the attempt. Now, how to increase your chances of success with email marketing? Taking these three key factors into account.
As seen in the highlighted texts, email marketing involves an audience, a message or content, and finally, a delivery.
1. It all starts with a good database.
Email marketing involves an audience, for which we require a database that contains at least the email addresses of the recipients. This seems to be enough, but it definitely is not. The database must be of quality and that implies that these people have some relationship with the company, even better if they gave their consent to receive emails from our company (opt-in model).
I do not recommend the opt-out modality, where people are added voluntarily and they are the ones who must leave the list, once they start receiving messages. Even less, buy databases. The best practice is to build an organic database, starting from a relationship between the audience and our company or brand (not always limited to electronic media but using the store or physical interactions such as events). The second component, related to the content, will be very useful for this purpose.
Some additional recommendations are as follows: comply with the new privacy protection laws such as the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), design simple registration forms that do not include more than five data fields, and clean regularly the database to eliminate those contacts that do not receive the emails.
2. Content is also king in emails.
Also in email marketing, as on the Web, content is king. Most of the people who register in our database do so to receive a value in exchange, be it a special discount, preferential treatment, information, or test services, among others. This is what we call the “magnets” to capture prospects or leads, but it should not be limited to the time of registration, but must be maintained over time or we will simply lose those subscribers. A practice that helps us in this relationship definitely surveys. Knowing the interest of our audiences is extremely important to add value.
But not only the quality of the content is enough, also the form. In this sense, I refer to the format used. Avoid sending overloaded messages or with many links or calls to action. Treat your emails like a landing page: one email, one goal.
Some additional recommendations are as follows: Carefully design the subject line of your emails, as the open rate is a function of the attractiveness of these subject lines. I suggest you try different options, using the A/B testing features offered by some of the main email marketing platforms. If you personalize your emails, much better.
3. Do not trust the sending of your emails to anyone.
The return on investment (ROI) in mailings is high because, thanks to technology, it is possible to send mass mailings at low cost or even for free (much less than when sending printed information). However, it is important to invest in a good platform that guarantees us compliance with best practices in order to prevent our messages from being classified as spam. Likewise, a good email marketing platform will provide us with the necessary statistics to evaluate our efforts.
Some additional recommendations are the following: ask your registered users to include you as a contact and thus minimize the chances that your messages will be included in the spam folder. If they use Gmail, they add you to the main inbox to prevent your messages from staying in the promotional inboxes, forward your messages to those recipients who did not open your first message, making it easier for your subscribers to unsubscribe from the list and investigate possible reasons.
Remember, email marketing is a wonderful digital marketing tool, but you have to do your homework. That is, comply with the best practices related to the database of contacts, content and shipments.
Once you have enough necessary data you can share it with the rest of the team and start to see conclusions. You will see the competition’s strategy in email marketing more clearly and this can help you to achieve a competitive advantage and be one step ahead of all your competitors.