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Hitting the High Note: 5 Tips to Achieve a Pitch Perfect Email Campaign

05/22/2015 03:02 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2016

Last week, Fat Amy and her Barden Bellas a cappella squad hit the big screen with the long-awaited Pitch Perfect sequel. Twice over, the Bellas have blown audiences away with their awe-inducing harmonies, undeniable charisma and capricious attitude. At the same time, they've also provided marketers with inspiration for email campaigns worthy of a standing ovation.

Behind the high notes and entertaining choreography, a cappella provides key marketing takeaways to hit the right key with customers and achieve overall success. Email marketers can not only take a cue from the Bellas on the importance of quality performance and execution, but can also learn other lessons, like taking content personalization to the next level, harmonizing email with social, testing to find the pitch perfect subject line, and more.

In tribute to the Barden Bellas and a cappella groups around the world, I have pulled together five best practices for email marketers to help keep their campaigns in tune and ensure a crescendo with both customers and ROI:

1. Take Personalization To a Higher Octave
When the Bellas realized their standard renditions of all-female classics weren't making the cut, they found the key to their comeback was to switch up their repertoire and personalize their performance for the crowd. Taking a note from the Bellas' success, effective marketing campaigns require personalization and knowing your audience. But it's more than just inserting a name into the subject line, it's about offering content and images directly targeted to your recipients' demographics or preferences. With tools like Dynamic Content, one email can render different content for specific groups by taking into account gender, age, region, purchase history, level of engagement, and more. Perhaps you reward your most engaged users with 10% off and two tickets to see Pitch Perfect 2 and the less engaged contacts receive 5% off and one ticket. Whatever offer or message you provide, tailor the content accordingly to get a standing ovation from every customer.

2. Harness The Power of Social Harmony
It's argued that if the Bellas and the Trebles could overcome their rivalry, the two groups would harmonize to produce a musical masterpiece, and though the Bellas were ultimately the stars of the show, it wouldn't have been complete without the support of the Trebles. In the same vein, there is a significant opportunity for email and social media to join forces in perfect marketing harmony, and successful email campaigns should be integrated across all channels. Make email your star and weave in social support. When pulling together a comprehensive campaign, leverage a platform that allows cross channel integrations so that you can upload, manage and execute a holistic marketing campaign across email, Facebook and Twitter through one single software. With email and social in harmony, you'll be able to drive your brand's messages through multiple points of contact and reach a wider range of users.

3. Test to Find Your Winning Tune
When building a star-studded team, the Trebles didn't select random singers blindly; they held open auditions to find members to round out their championship-winning a cappella group. Similarly, marketers should not risk sending an email campaign that is not optimized! It's crucial to test a variety of components of the email campaign to identify the winning version. Whether it's subject lines, graphics, calls-to-action or even content, every aspect of your email campaign will hit a different note with your customers. Conduct A/B split testing with at least three different variations to identify what resonates best with your audience. By testing to find the winning pieces, you can pull together a pitch-perfect campaign and take home the gold.

4. Set Up A-ca-Automation to Hit the High Note with Customers
In the Pitch Perfect-famous Riff Off competition, each a cappella group was challenged to think on their feet and perform a song based on what other groups were initiating. Similarly, as a marketer, you're constantly faced with tracking user interaction and sending targeted emails based on certain behaviors. In the instance of shopping cart abandonment, you'll want to follow up and encourage that contact to complete their purchase. If a new user opts to join your newsletter, you'll want to reach out and welcome them to your community. There are so many scenarios that just thinking about manually tracking them is exhausting. To cut down on the legwork, set up an advanced workflow or email automation system through your email marketing provider so you can set up a track of triggered emails based on a series of customized factors and user actions. By maintaining a regular cadence of communication with highly relevant and top-of-mind content, you can hit the high note with both your customers and ROI.

5. Segment The Altos From The Sopranos
Just as a good a cappella group has a mix of altos, sopranos, basses and tenors, your email marketing list has a wide variety of users as well. Though they holistically come together to make up your master list, it's important to not always lump them together. Segmenting your email list will not only pave the way for more personalized content for your recipients, but it will also bolster overall list hygiene. By creating a variety of sub segments based on factors like gender, region, age, etc., you will gain deeper insight into what types of users are making up the majority of your contacts, and where you might be lacking. An a cappella group with 70 percent altos and only 30 percent sopranos is bound to have an unbalanced tone. Similarly, if you notice that the majority of your highly engaged users are millennials, you might want to consider an extra campaign specifically tailored toward Baby Boomers to spark their engagement. Each individual in the Barden Bellas is crucial to the overall group dynamic, yet their styles remain incredibly different. Segment your email lists in the same way to identify varying styles and maintain an optimal balance.

Email marketers can glean truly valuable lessons from Fat Amy and the rest of the Bellas. By implementing these tips, marketers will be sure to shine in the glory of their successful campaigns just like the Barden Bellas shine on stage.