Are you struggling to get good returns from your email marketing campaigns? Email is one of the most effective marketing strategies out there, and doing it well is not easy. But when you can get a return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent, it’s well worth the effort.
Email marketing can have a huge impact on small businesses. It has the potential to catapult you ahead of your competition, bring in new customers, open up new markets, and strengthen your existing long-term customer relationships. It’s affordable, easy to measure, allows you to reach your customers in real-time, and 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a result of email marketing.
If you want to raise your game, keep reading for effective email marketing best practices that will fine-tune your strategy and give you a path to more revenue.
1. The Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing List Management
Building a robust list is the key to email marketing. If you don’t already have a strong list, you can grow it through your other marketing channels. Encourage free downloads on your website, highlight the benefits of signing up for your newsletter, or even host in-person and online events that will make potential customers want to hear more of what you have to say. Here are a few dos and don’ts to use as a guideline in managing your email marketing list.
- Consider your reliable data sources
- Add only good email data
- Collect only relevant data fields
- Keep it clean and current
- Make sure people have opted-in and give them an option to opt out
- Segment and Tag your list
- Don’t forget SMS opt-in
- Buy a list
- Send to a borrowed list
- Send to people that have opted-out
- Spray and pray with no goals or strategy
2. The Power of Subject Lines
Keep subject lines short. Less than 50 characters is the standard, but 28-39 characters have the highest click-thru rates.
Appeal to your audience. Adding personalization goes a long way to connecting with your audience. One study showed that personalized email subject lines that included a name, catapulted open rates by 29.3% across industries.
Use emojis carefully. Emojis can help boost open rates, but too much of anything is never good! Use them sparingly, and make sure they’re relevant to the topic.
Utilize A/B Testing. A/B testing your subject lines will help you know exactly what your audience responds to. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll be able to better engage with your customers and build long-term relationships.
Don’t forget the pre-header. The pre-header is the text that follows a subject line when the email is viewed in an inbox. It’s used to provide a short summary of the email and is typically one sentence long. Hook your reader with that sentence, and you’ll see your open rates start to fly.
3. The Trick to Creating Great Email Marketing Content
Know your audience and speak to them directly. There are generally two types of marketing emails, either informative (newsletters, blogs, announcements) or promotional (sales, deals, specials, events). And finding a balance of the two is key. When creating this content, ask yourself 1) what your audience likes and 2) what your brand personality is, and find a way to connect them.
Be consistent with your brand. Whether your brand personality is fun, serious, or somewhere in between, make sure there is brand consistency in your email marketing. Utilize your brand colors, fonts, styles, logos, etc. Your email marketing is another chapter in your brand’s story. So, ensure that it makes sense as a part of the whole.
Think about your email format. Tailor the format of the email to your specific message. If it’s a newsletter, it can be more copy-heavy, If it’s an event or sale, you may want to use more images and graphics. For copy, remember that people tend to skim. Use headings, bullet points, bold lettering, or underlining. For graphics, leverage easy platforms like Canva.com. For animation and video, try gifs or YouTube and Vimeo links. And make sure you know your brand’s hex colors and fonts. Do you need a web-safe font alternative?
A few other things to consider:
- Is your email mobile-friendly? More than 50% of emails are viewed on smartphones.
- Incorporate links to drive traffic and further segment your list.
- Leverage your email content for social media posts.
4. Why Reporting Matters
The numbers don’t lie, and they’re the closest thing you’ll have to a crystal ball. You can easily track your results in platforms like Constant Contact or Mailchimp so you can make sure you are delivering the best content for your audience – and getting the best open and click-thru rates.
Reporting answers questions like:
- Is my audience engaged? (open rates)
- Are my emails inspiring people to take action? (click-thru rates)
- Are my emails reaching the right people? (bounce/spam rates)
- Am I doing anything to turn people away? (opt-out rates)
- When should I send my emails? (date/time metrics)
Metrics like open rates and click-through rates help you make informed decisions about your content. And seeing how many unique clicks there are helps you customize your content to your audience. Also, understanding your industry averages for these metrics helps you know where you stand in the grand scheme of things. Are you on track with your competitors?
5. The Best Tips for Email Marketing Delivery
Timing is key. And there’s a general rule of thumb for when to send emails. General marketing blasts should be sent on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, generally in the morning or around 2:00 pm. For specific event marketing, start your promotions three weeks out with reminders up to the morning of the event.
Utilize reporting. Take advantage of all that data from your reports, and use it to inform your delivery timing and strategy.
Leverage your list segmentation. The more targeted your emails are the better your open rates. Segment out subscribers who haven’t opened your email in a while, and resend to the ones who didn’t open.
Employ automation. Save time by scheduling your email delivery, or create drip campaigns for big events.
Include your sender info. If you are a small business, use your name as the sender and then your company name. (For example Michelle Eisenhart | Fly Pages)
Keep an eye on your frequency. Send too many emails too often and people will opt out. Send too few and people won’t remember you.
Make sure it’s mobile-friendly! Use the preview option to see what your email will look like before you send it. And send a test email to yourself first. Be sure to view in on both your desktop and phone to make sure it’s formatted correctly.
Tie your email into your full marketing calendar. Remember, email marketing is part of a complete, integrated marketing strategy.
If you need some help managing the heavy lifting and tracking your results, Fly Pages is here to help. We’ll help you set up and manage an email campaign that’s aligned with your communications and sales goals and showcases your brand’s unique personality. Reach out today for a free 30-minute consultation!