Email marketing is a must have in today’s business environment. It’s a crucial part of your content marketing strategy and needs to coordinate with social media, blogging, web content and even your printed promotional efforts. The million dollar question is, “how do you get your customers to open and read your emails and better yet, act on your message? According to an ebook by Marketo, “to build, execute, and maintain effective email marketing campaigns, you must pay close attention to your audience, the message, and avoid the common trap of simply blasting out self-promotional messages. Here are 20 tried and true tips to for email marketing success.
1. Join an Online Email Marketing Service: Email marketing and management companies like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Snap Retail and others are fabulous resources for many reasons. They assist in email address collection and management, email subject ideas, templates and graphic design, managing historical data and analyzing email response data. These email services offer free membership to begin for basic services and as your company grows and develops to need additional email space, special templates and other management areas, different fee structures will apply.
2. Segment Your Audience: Remember that not all of your members are the same. One of the advantages of email marketing is the ability to send your message to different groups or segments of your audience. email list segmentation allows you to personalize emails and marketing campaigns by dividing the total list into smaller groups. Messages can then be tailored to each group. Research by email provider, MailChimp, indicated that segmented emails had open rates that were 14.37 percent higher than those that were not.
3. Create A Members Only Club: When you make someone feel special or exclusive to a members only club, the subscribing rate and opening rate will be higher than of a general email. For example, Apple is famous for offering subscribers to their email the opportunity to purchase their new devices online before they go on sale in their retail stores. Follow this retail giant’s lead by creating a members only club that will only email exclusive promotional information to those on the email list. Information wouldn’t have to be limited to sales and promotions. It could be news updates, tips or upcoming trends.
4. Get Inspired By Other Brands: Sometimes its hard to design a new email from scratch so repurpose and reuse material you already have at your fingertips. For example, reuse a white paper, newspaper article, interview or photos from a past event and create a new email. Another idea is to get inspiration from another company’s email and edit it to reach your audience.
5. Thank Your Audience: If your company is celebrating an anniversary, planning a grand opening or experiencing something exciting, thank your audience for their part in your success. A simple thank you goes much farther in customer loyalty than offering a promotion.
6. Add Links: Email marketing content is the perfect opportunity to get your reader to go to your website or other platform like social media. It’s called conversion. Simple call to action vebiage like, “Upgrade Your Account Now” or “Follow me on Twitter” or See More Detail here” will encourage readers to stay engaged with your business.
7. Make It Mobile Friendly: Mobile optimization sounds like a hard to understand concept but one thing is clear: It is a must in today’s business climate. People are opening emails on mobile devices of all screen types and sizes. Make sure your email works and looks great for every reader, because if it isn’t optimized, your message won’t get heard.
8. Welcome New Subscribers: New email subscribers should be welcomed with open arms and they will open their emails. Make it a point to send a special message to newcomers by welcoming them to the group. A special welcome package including a one time coupon, special how to tips and even a link to your website, social media accounts inviting them to get social is a great first impression.
9. Create Emails With Value: Readers are bombarded with email after email, day in and day out. For this reason you need t to create emails with incredible value. And by value we don’t always mean savings. Value can be the content you offer in the email. For example, a list of tips dedicated to your industry, a calendar of upcoming events they won’t want to miss, the latest updates on company policy or just a few jokes to make the reader smile can be considered valuable.
10. Measure Email Results: Most email services have reports that you can review that capture statistics. These statistics can help you evaluate your emails and the responses from each one. This includes how many were sent, who opened them who deleted them, etc. This information can offer insight to what your audience is reacting to and liking…or not liking. Measuring results assists in who your readers are, providing valuable content and making your emails worthwhile.
11. Create a Template: Every company has a look, a brand. Your email template should follow the look of your brand so each time an email arrives in a reader’s inbox they will know it is from you. Templates or layout you use time and time again are helpful to create a consistent look. Most email management services like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp offer templates with graphics you can use and edit.
12. Use Buttons For Action: Buttons, like links are one of the best ways to get a customer to do what you want. Buttons are usually part of the email management service and are useful for call to action. “Donate Now,” Volunteer Today”, “Sign Up Here” are all good button examples.
13. Send a Personalized Greeting: Making your customer feel special makes them want to do business with you. Collect birthday dates or anniversary dates and send a personalized greeting to them on their special day.
14. Talk About Trends: Everyone likes to be in the know and know what trends are hot. Touching on current events is a great way to get your readers to open your email.
15. Resend Emails: Inbox overload is a marketing crisis today, but one way to improve your chances of getting an email opened is by sending it twice. That’s right, schedule the first email in the morning and the second a few days later in the evening. Entrepreneur, Neal Taparia reported he increased his email reach by 54.7 percent just by resending the exact email at a later time.
16. Insert a Video: Emails with photos are interesting, but emails with videos are even better. Research indicates video email marketing is increasing and has a 280 percent higher rate of return than emails without video. Always add a call to action.
17. Include Social Media Links: Always include social media links to your email to reach a bigger and more organic audience. Most email management services like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact include these in most of their templates so it is easy to incorporate them into all of your emails. These links allow readers to like and share your message right from the email.
18. Create Interesting Subject Lines: The subject line is the first impression of your email and the make or break if whether your reader will open it so make it count. Subject lines should be short and sweet, catchy and designed to get your reader to act. There are online resources available by email management services like Constant Contact and Digital Marketer to help you refine your subject line expertise.
19. Test It First: Send a copy of the finished email to yourself and a colleague to proof. Check the subject line, make sure all words are spelled correctly, all your links go to the right place and your overall email looks how you intended. Review what it will look like on a personal computer and a mobile device. Proofing, the last step before sending the real thing can mean the difference between a professional email and an email flop.