Email marketing can be a valuable and effective method for communicating with your customers and also for growing your business. Some email marketing tactics are more effective than others and some mistakes can render your email efforts ineffective. Here are some useful email marketing tips for more effective emails:
1. Make the Effort to Build an In-House Email List
No one likes spam. And, with inboxes overflowing, no one has time for emails they don’t want to see and read. Although it can be tempting to purchase an email list and suddenly have thousands of contacts, it’s usually not a good idea.
Aside from potential CAN-SPAM or GDPR violations that can end up with legal action against your business, these contacts are also not interested in your business. Chances are, there are a few that may be potential customers. However, even if the email you send them is legal and even if the list of contacts is “targeted”, most of them will never see your emails due to their own spam filters or them just deleting it because it’s irrelevant.
An in-house email list that you build over time through people choosing to sign up for it will deliver much better results for your business. Not only does the opt-in approach keep your company emails operating legally, but it also results in a more engaged email list.
You may still get a few unsubscribes every now and then, which is normal. However, the engagement and results you get from your email marketing efforts will be much more meaningful – both for your customers and for your business’s bottom line.
2. Focus on Good Design and Providing Value
Once people opt-in to your email list, whether through an offer, by signing up for a newsletter, or something else, make sure you are sending something worthwhile. Before having people sign up to receive your emails, you should have an idea of what you’ll be sending them – and they should have an expectation of what to receive when they sign up.
Make sure the content you’re providing in your emails is valuable to your potential customers. In addition to good content, you also want to make sure your email is designed well too. People should be able to read it easily on their phones or whatever device on which they’re viewing it.
3. Use Good Segmentation and Personalization Practices
It’s tempting to just stick all of your contacts in one list and blast emails out to them. This can work well if it’s a standard newsletter and all of those people signed up for that. However, if you really want your emails to become more effective, segmentation and personalization can help.
Segmentation refers to separating contacts into separate lists and sending them emails based on their interests, demographics, or some other factor that ties them together as a group. This is a useful tactic when you have signups available for a variety of different types of email content.
You may have some people opting-in to a newsletter, some opting-in to coupons and deals, some opting-in to be notified when something is back in stock, and more. You may have people that signed up to receive more than one “type” of email, which is great. But, you don’t want to simply blast out all emails to all contacts, especially if the content isn’t something they’re interested in.
Personalization refers to a variety of tactics that can make an email more personal to someone or cater it more towards their interests. In this way, segmentation is one way to add some personalization to your email list. More obvious personalization tactics are things like adding a contact’s name into the content of the email or the subject line. In fact, adding the contact’s name into the subject line can help increase open rates by as much as 20%!
Adding contact names to your emails is a way to personalize them for your email recipients. But, you can also add some personalization by humanizing the sender of the emails too. Instead of just a company name, send it from a human at the company. You can also optimize your email and personalize it to your contacts’ area and preferences by using location triggers, time triggers, and more.
4. Write a Good Subject Line
Even if an email recipient knows you, they still might not open your email. The subject line of your email can be the difference between an open and getting ignored or deleted. So, spend some time writing a good one and test out some of the common tips for writing better email subject lines.
You don’t want to make it annoying, spammy, or too much like clickbait – that usually puts people off. However, you can still create a click-worthy subject line that is clear, concise, descriptive, and still entices someone to open your email.
5. Use Preheader Text
The preheader text, or preview text, is the part of your email that shows up after the subject line in your recipient’s inbox. If you don’t use it, it will be pulled automatically from the beginning of your email. What a waste of valuable space!
Instead of neglecting this space, put it to use! Spend some time crafting the preheader text of your email. Like your subject line, this should be clear, concise, and descriptive. Paired with your subject line, your preheader text can help increase open rates for your emails.
And, because it’s located right after your subject line, you can make it work in your favor to continue an offer, provide more information, etc. to complement your subject line and further increase email engagement.
6. Run Tests and Regularly Analyze Email Data
Sending too many emails is one of the big email marketing mistakes to avoid because it can overwhelm your contacts. But, how many emails are “too many” for your email list? If you already have customer data to pull from, you may already know their email preferences.
If you don’t, you may need to run some tests to figure things out. The number of emails you send should also match any expectations you set at signup. For example, if someone signed up for a monthly newsletter, they’re not expecting more than one email a month from you.
Keeping an eye on your email data and running tests is a way to continually run tests and improve. You can test the frequency of emails, time of day they’re sent, subject lines, and more to see what resonates best with your audience. You can even test things like offers or coupons within your emails or even colors!
What’s important is that you’re keeping an eye on your data to be able to identify emerging trends, both positive and negative, and make changes accordingly. If most of your list open emails at a different time than when you send them, it may be time to test sending them closer to that time. Looking at where people are clicking in your email and what they’re clicking on the most can help you improve your content and perhaps even the design as well.
7. Periodically Clean Up Your List
Over time, contact information can become outdated or inaccurate or contacts may just lose interest. Most email service providers (ESPs), like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and more, will automatically remove anyone who reports your email as spam or unsubscribes.
This type of email list attrition is normal and is often referred to as list churn. Some list churn is healthy and it happens a lot with new subscribers. On average, of new subscribers to your email list, a little under half of them will unsubscribe after the first year.
On top of what your ESP does for you, it’s generally a good idea to periodically clean up your list. If you notice some contacts that have been signed up for a while and aren’t engaging with your emails often or not engaging at all, you can send them a re-engagement email to see if they still want to be on your list or you can remove them from your list. The same goes for contact emails that are out of date or sending back autoresponders.
Email can be an effective tool for your business. It can allow you to connect with customers and potential customers, increase brand awareness, keep your brand top-of-mind, gain leads for your business, improve your bottom line, and more. With these email marketing tips, you can set the foundation for more effective emails.
But, it’s important for your website to support your marketing efforts. When your emails bring people to your website, it needs to be set up to offer them a great experience. If not, they’ll just leave before buying, calling, filling out a form, etc. Instead of letting your website kill your marketing efforts, get it working for your business!
If your site is underperforming or it’s just been a while since the last update, it’s time for redesign. Contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to talk about how we can help get your website up to date, back on track, and delivering results for your business!