Year of the Sheep: 5 Astrological Elements to Incorporate Into Your Email Marketing

About a month ago, on February 19, we celebrated the Chinese New Year and entered into the Year of the Sheep. The Year of the Sheep represents solidarity, harmony and calmness, highlighting those who are tender, polite and clever.

So how can marketers most effectively meet the needs and preferences of these individuals? An astrological perspective can offer a few suggestions for best practices during the 2015 Year of the Sheep.

1. Three is the Luckiest Number...For A/B Split Testing
This Chinese New Year, one of the luckiest numbers is three, which should also be a marketer's magic number when crafting subject lines. Having the perfect subject line could make or break an email campaign and is often the primary reason for achieving click-throughs and opens. As an email marketer, be sure to always put your lucky number to the test by using A/B testing with at least three different subject lines before executing on any campaign. This will allow you to select the most appealing subject for your target audience and increase campaign effectiveness. If you don't want to take the Sheep's word for it, just take a look at the numbers: At Campaigner, we've noticed that marketers who use a subject line from a winning A/B test see a minimum of a 4 percent increase in overall open rates. By combining the Sheep's lucky number and the power of A/B split testing, you'll be sure to hit the stars with your email marketing success.

2. Content vs. Promos: More Yin, Less Yang
This year falls under the Yin, of the Yin and Yang duality, and speaks to the softened character of the Sheep. Similarly, it's important for marketers to concentrate on what some deem the passive side of email campaigns: the content. Too often, email marketers concentrate heavily on promotional offers at the cost of quality content. But remember, content is king and is often the key to securing customer loyalty for each and every email your brand sends to their inbox. Make sure to establish a proper balance--you don't want your Yang overpowering your Yin--and always guide your content to a strong call-to-action. An offer or catchy video could reel in users but it's the quality of the content that turns observers into engagers.

3. Practice Flexibility Under the Sign of the Sheep
Individuals under the sign of the Sheep are known for their flexibility and ability to adapt. Likewise, when executing a comprehensive email campaign, marketers should be flexible with their customers and be prepared to pivot in multiple directions pending customer interactions. Be sure to monitor contact behavior and use the data collected to build a comprehensive workflow campaign for a variety of follow-ups. You'll have your non-openers, skimmers and engagers who falter at checkout. Be ready for any situation by setting up at least a two-part campaign to respond to each scenario. Take a lesson learned from your Sheep contacts and develop a flexible yet automated campaign strategy to cover all your bases.

4. Analyze Before Action
According to the astrology experts, the Sheep is analytical and hesitant to act impulsively--they are planners on all accounts. Likewise, before executing on an email campaign, marketers should carefully leverage and analyze all available data in order to gain deeper insight into their customer preferences. Getting to know your customers in and out is the key to developing personal and successful email campaigns. Make sure to use enough time to carefully plan the proper subject, time of day, offerings and calls-to-actions based on previous user engagement. Leverage your data to target your distribution list and send personalized messages that meet your contacts' preferences. As a best practice, review the data from the start of your fiscal first quarter and apply Sheep-insight to replicate what worked and remedy what didn't in order to succeed in the New Year.

5. Don't Be The Black Sheep, It's All About The Red
This Chinese New Year, one of the lucky colors for the Sheep is red--a color that could reap surprising benefits in your email marketing campaign. According to a Hubspot case study, a red call-to-action button was found to be more successful when compared to a green button, receiving 21 percent more clicks. For email marketers, a 20+ percent increase in clicks could mean significant website referrals and an overall increase in online purchases. So when possible, test out a red call-to-action and see if you can gain similar results. If red buttons just aren't your thing, try to add it in wherever possible. For example, UK airline BMI didn't use a red call-to-action but, instead, incorporated it into the backdrop of their limited offer message, and found a 2.5 percent increase in their conversion rate. Say goodbye to the black sheep of email marketing and take a lesson from the red.

The Year of the Sheep has only just begun and now is the perfect time to get your stars aligned for success. Though the Chinese New Year festivities are coming to an end, lessons from the Sheep are poised to benefit your email marketing throughout the entire year. By following these signs and best practices, every marketer can achieve increased user engagement and overall success.