E-mail marketing is a classic tactic that has been around for decades now. However, despite being an old tactic, e-mail marketing still has a great deal to offer. If you want to get the most out of your email marketing efforts, here’s what you need to know.
Ensure You Have a Healthy Subscriber List
It goes without saying that in order to effectively use email marketing, you are going to need a healthy subscriber list. A healthy subscriber list doesn’t just mean having lots of individual email addresses; it also means that those email addresses are active and the account owners are likely to react well to your marketing emails.
If you have been careful about how you have put together your mailing list, then you won’t have to worry about its quality. However, if you are coming into an existing marketing department that already has an email subscriber list, then you will have to work with what you have. There are a number of things you can do to clean up your email subscriber list, but the best way of ensuring a high-quality subscriber list is to focus on how you gather email addresses to begin with.
Make sure that the email signup form new subscribers have to fill out provides you with all the data that you need to be able to communicate with and market to them effectively.
Use Calls to Action
Calls to action are a devastatingly simple technique that can massively increase audience engagement with your work and enable you to dramatically improve your conversion rate. A call to action can be as simple as “click here to find out more”, or “contact us today to find out how we can help you”, and can be effective at encouraging your audience to take the action you specify.
Of course, not everyone is going to do something because of a call to action. However, if even a small percentage of your audience responds positively to your CTA then it is worth including. For some businesses, the extra conversions and interactions generated by a CTA can be the difference between a campaign succeeding and failing.
Deploy Personalization When Appropriate
Personalization has been on the rise for a number of years now. Even the most basic implementations of personalization, such as addressing the recipient by name, can make your marketing materials feel more organic and make your audience more receptive. If you have the data necessary to implement more advanced personalization in your emails then don’t be afraid to do so.
If you try to force personalization into your messages without much thought then you might end up alienating your audience rather than endearing yourself to them. The trick is to use personalization strategically. When it is used correctly, personalization improves engagement with your messages and makes them more receptive.
Avoid Spam Folders
Spam filters are the bane of an email marketer’s existence. Sometimes it can feel as if no matter what you do, you are fighting a losing battle to keep your marketing emails out of your recipients’ spam folders where they are bound to go unnoticed. However, while you don’t have any direct control over your recipients’ spam folders, there are a number of best practices that you can observe to reduce the chances of your emails being picked up by automatic filtering.
For example, if you use all caps in the subject of your email, an email client is much more likely to automatically mark your message as spam. Similarly, an abundance of punctuation, especially exclamation marks, can make your subject line look spammy and lead to its automatic rejection.
Make sure that your email is formatted correctly and, more importantly, has been coded correctly. Sloppy HTML code in your email is another red flag for email clients.
Every spam filter is different, so short of testing your emails with every single provider and account setting, you will never be certain whether your emails are going to pass the test or not. However, by following the most important best practices, you can ensure your emails are getting through as often as possible.
Pay Attention to the Layout of Your Emails
Your emails shouldn’t just be competently coded, but they also need to be laid out effectively. If your email immediately looks amateur or spammy, then a good chunk of your recipients will instantly send it to their trash folder without taking the time to establish exactly who has sent the message or why.
Keep your paragraphs short and make sure that any keywords and phrases you are including are worked in organically and don’t ruin the flow of your text. Including pictures is a good idea but you should be aiming to keep their presence to a minimum. They should be there to illustrate your message, not replace it.
Email marketing isn’t difficult, but it is a much more effective technique than its simple nature might imply. Make sure that you stick to all of the advice outlined above and give your marketing emails the time and investment they deserve.