With all the buzz around content marketing, liquid content, social media and more, its easy to forget or put aside some of the more tried and true methods of reaching an audience in favor of leveraging the latest or newest “shiny object”.
Email campaigns are still a great low cost, high return tactic that all businesses should be using. However, there is little doubt that all emails campaigns are not created equal and failure to optimize will yield poor results.
Consider the following 23 tips to ensure your email marketing campaigns count and deliver results.
- Be concise. Copy should be short and to the point. You should keep your email’s messages limited in scope and avoid lengthy details. If a great amount of detail is needed, provide a link to your website for the additional information.
- People tend to respond to numbers more than simple text when used in headlines. Try using numbers in your subject lines i.e., “21 ways to…….. 15 surefire tips for……, 10 of the best……”
- Ensure your subject line clearly relates to the content.
- Keep your most important and compelling information above the fold. Getting this information to the recipients before they lose interest is critical to the success of your email campaign.
- Always include an opt-in link in your emails and to the extent possible, include an incentive for opting in.
- Keep the opt-in form simple. As a general rule of thumb, each additional field, or piece of information you request reduces the odds of a recipient completing the form. Ask only for the information you need to create the initial relationship.
- If you publish an email newsletter, include an html version on your website. Make the link easy to bookmark and provide a direct link in your email. Make the archive of previous newsletters easy to navigate and include an opt-in form on the archive page. Previous issues of your newsletter may be just the “spark” you need for someone to opt-in.
- Incorporate varied media – Aim to include at least one video, infographic or other visual element to your email. This helps keep your recipients engaged and also improves the shareability of your content, possibly helping you reach a broader group of potential customers.
- Use surveys. An interesting and compelling survey that includes an incentive to complete can be well worth any effort it takes to create. Email surveys can provide great insight into your customers mindset and interests for future emails.
- Segment your email. A one-size-fits-all approach will not yield near the results of a personalized, targeted campaign.
- Personalize the email. People will almost always respond in higher numbers to a personalized email.
- Always display an opt-out link and/or option and keep the process simple. If someone decides not to receive your email any longer, turn it into a positive experience and they may return. Be sure to collect information from those who opt out by asking why they are leaving. This may provide information you can use that will prevent others from opting out down the road.
- Track your results. This will provide a clear picture of what is working and what isn’t. Did a certain headline receive a better response and open rate than others? Did the subject matter in one email result in higher conversions or click-throughs than others? Good analysis of your results (delivery rate, click-through rates, open rate and subscriber opt-outs) will be beneficial in optimizing future emails.
- Look for patterns in the times and days you’re sending emails. You may find out that you get the best results when sent on specific day or time such as mornings or evenings.
- Send both an html and text version of your email to maximize the delivery rate. A significant percentage of HTML-based emails never reach the person’s inbox because they are blocked by spam filters. Often times the text version will make it through improving your overall delivery rate.
- Clearly identify yourself as the sender. Make sure your subscribers know the email is coming from you.
- Remove all undeliverable or bounced email addresses from your list.
- Include a P.S. (postscript). A persons eyes are naturally drawn to a P.S., use it to reiterate your offer or call to action.
- Optimize your email for mobile. A significant number of emails sent will be opened by the recipient on a single device and if its opened on a mobile device, it may be the only opportunity you get to put your email in front of that recipient.
- Make the body of your email skimmable. Use bold headlines that are relevant to the context of each paragraph.
- Test each message with a spam filter detection service prior to sending.
- Split test your email. Split-testing your campaign bewteen two of more groups of subscribers will give you a better understanding of what type of email copy, subject line, etc provides you with a higher conversion.
- Include social sharing options. Econsultancy reported that emails that include a single social sharing option generate 30% higher click-through rates that emails with no sharing options.
By following these steps, you can increase your email list as well as make each part of your email marketing campaign more effective.