8 Must Know Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing Effectiveness
A good email marketing campaign can deliver more than just sales, done right – an email marketing campaign will give you actionable insights about your subscribers, and while knowing who opens and who doesn’t open your emails is pretty insightful, just because someone opened your newsletter; does not mean they read it fully.
Without question, email marketing is the highest Return on Investment that your business can have as an online presence, this report confirms that marketers feel comfortable with investing more money in email sales, and despite the popularity — a recent study clearly indicates that many email marketers are cutting themselves short when it comes to maximizing the potential earnings.
Email analytics is a way of tracking the amount of people who glanced, skimmed, and actually read your newsletter from top to bottom – giving you the crucial insight of knowing who are the loyal customers, and who could potentially become as such! Your favorite email marketing software should be capable of providing such reports.
Small things like that can go a very long way, so here is a roundup of the eight most important tips to keep within your email marketing strategy, not only to keep it afloat, but also to deliver better results, and make those extra sales.
Get real with your customers, you’ve got their basic data, so now you can use it to your own advantage. When sending the next campaign, make sure that you greet your subscribers/customers by their first name, it goes a long way to be personal with a particular customer/subscriber, and as a Marketing Land study suggests, it can increase the transaction rates of your campaigns up to 6 times.
The trick is to capture the attention of the recipient, and to get to the point as quickly as possible. You’re never really in the safe-zone when sending out campaigns, and one mistake can make the difference between an open and closed email. Be prompt about explaining what you’re trying to teach or sell, people don’t have time to spend all day reading a single email.
2. Be specific
Subject lines and headlines are the two first things that a user is going to see once you send them that new email, you literally get two chances of that same user to keep their attention at what you’ve got to offer, so why not make those two things count? On top of that, it’s also a good idea to make your content scannable, not everyone has the time to read a novel.
The subject line should communicate exactly what the email is about so that the recipient can prioritize the email’s importance without having to open it. For example, writing “Do you have a sec?” is vague, since the reader will have to open the email or reply to figure out what you want. Business Insider.
Here are some tips for optimizing content so that is is scannable:
- Line break – nothing’s more eye straining than a bunch of paragraphs thrown together with no space inbetween them. Line breaks are essential to separate sentences, and paragraphs.
- Subheading – use subheadings for different parts of the newsletter, let users know what each section is trying to convey.
- Bullet list – still an amazing way to capture attention, bullet lists allow users to consume content without having to read extra paragraphs.
- Be bold – meaning, make important statements stand out, who knows – it might just spark interest in someone to read the full newsletter.
3. Get to the point
An opening of an email should get straight to the point, don’t save the best for later — that’s not how email marketing works, you want to hook the user, and you want to do it straight away. If you’re offering a deal, or a new product with an early launch, write about that first. Make your openings count! Do it throughout the whole email, use lists (bulletin points), quotes, etc,. to get the message heard, without the user having to glue his eyes to the screen.
4. Design well
Email newsletter design shouldn’t be viewed much more differently than the design of a website, user experience is an ever growing and important factor and plays a big role in how a user sees your brand, or in our case – the design quality of the email.
Amongst the best practices of a well designed email newsletter you will find:
- Table of Contents – similar to bullet points, if you’re covering a lot of ground in a single newsletter, give your readers a chance to jump from section to section as soon as they open the email.
- Content length – an unwritten rule around the email marketer community is that your content should be 60%/40% – meaning 60% editorial content, and 40% promotional content.
- End goal – what is the end goal of the newsletter? The better you understand your goals within a newsletter, the easier it is to design for them. Your emails should come out as friendly, rather than pushy and demanding.
5. Be a step ahead
Just like conversion rates, email campaigns can also be tested in a variety of ways, giving you the ability to determine which styles and designs are converting really well, and which ones aren’t doing well at all. Here’s a list of things you can test indefinitely:
- Subject lines – as mentioned on point 2. about being specific, sometimes it can take a while to understand what clicks for your readers. Testing is a powerful way to test several types of subject lines at the same time.
- Email design – this is where you start to get really funky. Each campaign could potentially allow you to test one to four different email designs, depending on the volume of results you’re expecting. Also known as A/B testing.
- Email content – design is one thing, content is another, and balance has to be found between the two. On top of testing designs, test your campaigns with different headlines, call to action buttons/forms, number of images, even the length of the email.
Testing is an amazing way of learning more about your customers, and chances are your nearest competitors aren’t even considering such an option.
6. Send when necessary
Sending out newsletters for the sake of trying to acquire users who didn’t click the first time is a straight dead-end strategy. A little bit of research data can shed some light on how frequently one should send their email newsletters. In this case, we can take an example from this SmartInsight’s report; which reports that 21% of companies are still sending 4-5 emails a month to their contacts.
However, less could mean more in a lot of cases. It is once again advisable to experiment with the amount of emails that you send out each month. You could be experimenting with batches of 20-30 emails per group, strictly testing the clickthrough rates and opt-in ratio.
7. Make it actionable
The biggest favor you can do for yourself as far as email marketing strategies go, is to present the user with actionable features within the emails you send, this can include:
- Social sharing buttons, easy to see and easy to use.
- Further subscription methods, make sure you don’t link these together with images, spam filters usually catch these quickly.
- General Call-to-Action buttons – depending on the product/service you’re selling, this could mean: buy buttons, video content, something as unusual as a live chat/call button might also work, giving the user a direct shortcut to direct communication.
Quite often such techniques are left out because not everyone talks about them, but as the ability to have dynamic email marketing campaigns increase, there is no reason not to take advantage of these features.
8. Ask yourself
Is this the type of an email that I would be happy to receive, happy to interact with, and certainly happy to take action on it? This is the most important part of your email campaigns, because if you’re not satisfied with the end result, it’s clear that a lot of other people won’t be satisfied either, and we’re only looking at the very basics:
- Design – is it user-friendly? Has the email experience been optimized for responsive browsing? Are you using common design features to make your emails shine?
- Landing page – beyond the design of the email itself, your landing page for the products that you advertise should also be on point, it’s one thing to get users to click on a link inside of an email, it’s something else to have them browse your landing page and make decisions there.
A professional newsletter will acknowledge the value of the customer, and do everything with the customer in mind.
Even something as simple as a follow-up with questions regarding how a certain newsletter performed, goes to show how much the company cares for the comfort of its customers. Professionalism means different things to different markets, but if you’re selling email marketing software, people aren’t expecting to receive a newsletter that is suddenly selling fish.
Do you feel as if you are following all these pointers already? If so, then you’re doing a wonderful job at being a great email marketing mind, but chances are that you’ve got some areas that you could still improve upon, and because of that – do let us know about the results that you get from implementing these tips, looking forward to that!
About the Author: Alex Ivanovs is an expert blogger on technology, business and web development; having been working within all three fields for over a decade. His writing and insights can be found over at CodeCondo — a quickly evolving platform for designers and developers.
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