Email Marketing, once the darling of the marketing world, is now seen as a pariah almost. The bringer of spam, and now looking so uncool when compared to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Yet, I would contest that when done right email marketing can be extremely effective at taking your business to the next level.
To support this view, Campaign Monitor did an excellent post listing 70 key facts related to email marketing that I believe will convince all the email doubters to reconsider their opinion of email as a marketing tool. Here are a couple of my favourites.
[Tweet “Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages”]
[Tweet “You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.”]
Apart from these facts do also consider that based on the excellent report done by The Radicati Group it is estimated that by 2019 there will 2.9 billion worldwide users of email.
OK, so now that we know some serious facts that show that email is still a very relevant and potent tool in your marketing strategy how should you go about planning and implementing an email campaign that will give you the best open rates and responses?
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The following are 10 tips for emaiI marketing success that I believe will improve your email marketing if it is not currently rewarding your efforts.
10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success
1 Create A Plan
As the saying goes “Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail”. No matter what medium, action, or strategy you want to conduct, you have to create a plan and capture a number of key pieces of information to allow you formulate the best approach to achieve success.
First, who are you targeting? You must create buyer personas so that you can drill down and have a real picture as to who you want to target and communicate with.
The central core purpose of doing this is to ensure that the email communication you create will have the most interest and relevance for them which increases the chance that your email will be opened.
Secondly, you have to set yourself objectives and goals. What is the email campaign suppose to achieve? If you want to generate leads as opposed to raising awareness, the email strategy developed will be very different, so really identifying and agreeing this upfront will be vital.
Thirdly, how much money are you going to allocate to email so that you can budget your spend accordingly, and also ensure the budget allowed does not impede the ability to achieve the objectives set.
To finish off your plan you must detail how you are going to send out your emails, and then measure the effectiveness of your campaign. You may decide to use an internal system, or look at something like Campaign Monitor, and utilise open rates and clicks on a call to action link to a specific landing page. Whatever route you decide, ensure you have it clearly defined and thought out before sending any emails.
2 Be Relevant
It is vital that you know your target audience and can identify the multiple segments contained within your database. There is absolutely no point sending out the same email offering and call to actions if they will only appeal to a certain section of your target audience. Develop tailored personalised messages, offers and call to actions to the different buyer personas you have identified in your planning stage. By doing this you will increase the chances of your email been opened.
3 A Great Subject Line Is The Key
Having a great subject line is what will get your email noticed but using words such as free will only trigger the dreaded spam filter. Headlines should be targeted, relevant and personalised to the individual and should include your company name. By doing this, it will help you present a more professional and authentic look to your communication. Check out this great post by Hubspot to help you craft and excellent email subject line.
4 Ensure You Use Good Design
There is no point having great content and a great offer if the design and presentation are not clear, enticing or easy to follow for the reader. Give your target audience options for both HTML and text-only versions. Use the top part of your email to give the reader the real value and offer of what you want to communicate. Keep your copy brief to avoid excessive scrolling and don’t mix and match different fonts and sizes. Personally, I love white space as I feel it really helps a reader see messages more clearly and allows for quick scanning of your message.
Include your logo on the top of your email, and make sure that calls to action are clear and are of a point size to allow for easy clicking.
5 Have A Dedicated Landing Page
There is nothing worse than having warmed up your target prospect, they click the call to action link in your email and they are brought to your home page on your website. For your email campaigns, you must ensure you are designing bespoke landing pages that clearly directs the reader on what you want them to do when they get there. When your prospect clicks on the call to action link in your email, they should be brought to a specific landing page that mirrors exactly with the email content they have just been interacting with.
All the information should be absolutely relevant based on the content that the reader was sent in the email, and all the key information should be presented in the top. Make it very easy and clear to your target audience to know what they have to do next now that they have landed. This can be done by ensuring the call to action buttons and links are prominent and clickable.
Duct Tape Marketing did a great piece on why landing pages are so important so click here to get some more ideas.
It is very important to do a few trial runs first with your email campaign before sending to prospects. Use internal teams and a group of trusted sources to pre-critique your email. Look at how your email is displayed on various browsers from laptop, tablet and mobile. Is your content activating spam filters or not displaying correctly on certain browsers.
Check that your images are downloading and that all your links, both call to action links to landing pages and unsubscribe links are working. I would also advise using a free spam checker to run your email through to check to see if any sections of your copy could potentially trigger a filter and commit your email to quarantine.
It will be important to know and monitor how your email campaign is performing to ascertain whether you need to iterate and change. Pay attention to metrics such as delivery rate, open rates and click through from call to action links to a landing page. It is also worth noting that Outlook offers no tracking metrics, so I would recommend not using this for your marketing emails. Using a specialist email marketing provider such as Campaign Monitor who have very good email marketing tools with excellent metrics will allow you track how your emails are doing.
8 Keep Testing and Iterating
The beauty about email is that by using metrics you can see what is not working and improve it. AB Test different headlines, email designs, use of imagery over text-only emails, times of the day and different days of the week. All these data parameters will offer you invaluable insights to hone your email campaign to be as responsive and as engaging as possible.
9 Keep Your Data Clean
This is a must to ensure your long term email marketing success. If people are unsubscribing it may indicate the information you are sending is not relevant, so it makes practical sense to ensure you are capturing this data. If you have a high bounce rate it means that those emails are no longer valid so it is a waste of time and effort to keep sending your emails to these addresses.
Email when used on its own can be very effective, but don’t forget to consider an integrated approach with other targeted and relevant media that are communicating the same focussed material to your target audience. Doing this can have an extremely positive effect on your response rates.
To further help you in your quest for email success see below an excellent infographic from Online Course Report that details some excellent information and insights that you can use to hone your emailing skills.
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Thanks for reading
Phillip (The Curly Marketer)