Rebecca Vidacovich Makes Us Fall In Love With Email Marketing

Rebecca Vidacovich, the Director of Digital Marketing at Paycom, took the stage after our chocolate break, provided by Bedre Chocolates. This was a great slot to be in for someone giving their first conference speech. We were all on a sugar high and focused. She did great! Way to go, Rebecca!

She began by reminding us that email has been around since the 1970s. She admits that it probably lost its “new and shiny” in the 1990s, but argues that it’s still important because email marketing makes money. This is why we should love email marketing. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, there is a $44 return on investment.

So, what do we need to do to enhance our businesses with email marketing?

Five different strategies to utilize when you rework your email strategy:

1. Tell a Story

Vidacovich urges us to show personality. “Don’t be boring.” She tells us there are no boring industries out there. It’s up to marketers to show that something can be fun. How can we make emails fun? She referenced three emails Paycom sent out over Halloween called HR Nightmares. Each email discussed a different problem in the industry and explained how to fix them. They utilized fun monster graphics and their strategy worked! The ad had an 84% increase in conversions. She tells us that this campaign proved the importance of “keeping it sexy” — using branding and visuals to create emotions.

2. Remember the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)

Recipients decide whether your email is attention-worthy in 0 to 3 seconds. Make your email stand out by using eye-catching subject lines. Use new, exclusive, and descriptive words, as well as characters to trigger emotions in your readers. When Paycom tested emojis, Vidacovich said their open-rates tripled. She does warn us to keep subject lines within 35 characters to be applicable for mobile-users.

3. Take the Squint Test

Does your email pass the squint test? Can you squint your eyes and tell what the email is about within 3 seconds? If you can’t, Vidacovich shares what you need to do. She tells us to use a clear call-to-action, attractive art, short sentences with large fonts, and an HTML call-to-action, just to name a few.

4. Send More Often

Communication is key to any healthy relationship. So, how do we make sure our message is getting across? How do we create enough emails to send at an increased rate? We don’t want to run out of content! She shared several types of emails and how to best utilize them for your marketing.

Here are the highlights:

  • Newsletters & digests: prioritize CTAs at the top of the email
  • Promotional emails: include a footer offer
  • Educational emails: incorporate links to track click-thrus and gauge interest
  • Interactive emails: start with simple polls
  • Lead nurturing emails: personalize based on a recipient’s location in the buyer’s journey. Market to the right person at the right time with the right message.
  • Sponsor emails: test with trusted partners in your industry. This costs money, so make sure it has a good ROI first.

5. Change the strategy

  • Add value. Every time.
  • Test everything. This includes: subject lines, segments, list quality, spam traps, delivery days/times, frequency, etc. When she says everything, she means everything.
  • Utilize a preference center. Allow people to hit the pause button, receive less emails, only receive emails on a certain topic, etc.
  • Suppress the unengaged. Contrary to popular belief, this is good for your list. Send a warning email to those who don’t open your emails. Give them a link to your preference center or give them a way to unsubscribe.

Looking Forward

Next, Vidacovich walked us through what to do in the future–how we can continue to grow our email list. First, she promotes big data collection. She recommends collecting data on our audience and using those data points to personalize emails. “Personalization is not just the first name,” she says. “It’s the whole picture.”

Create dynamic content. Populate content in your emails for each of your different buyer personas. Videos are a great starting point.

Finally, she promotes omnichannel marketing. She tells us 90% of consumers want consistency across channels–from email to landing pages to social media. Consistency is key.

What takeaways should we bring back to the office?

  • Have a focused layout and direct message
  • Add value and present WIIFM
  • Use trigger words, but under 35 characters
  • Send more often

She left us with one final message. “Email is getting cooler. You should love it.” Now, thanks to her, we do!