Is email marketing effective? Can it actually drive traffic to your website, generate business for your company or build brand loyalty? The answer is yes, if it’s done well. Here are Jake’s top tips to ensure your emails reach the most people, send the right message and propel your subscribers to act!
What do people typically click on in your emails? What catches their eye? When do they typically read them? These are all things that you can learn about your audience through research and testing. Find a great, attention-grabbing headline and send the message when the majority of your subscribers are likely to be reading their email.
You may have read about the importance of brand identity in our April blog. Branding applies to email marketing as well. Your emails should reflect your brand, your company’s philosophy and its offerings.
Make sure your message clearly expresses the value of your offering, without making it a huge sales pitch. Include some interesting tidbits and make it fun. No one wants to read a boring, straightforward sales message.
Very few people actually read an email in its entirety. Structure it so that it’s easy to skim and has bullet points that will grab people and convey the most important information and action items quickly.
Your email has a purpose, to lead people to your website or product page. Prominently position links to your action items to drive this traffic. And make sure they work!
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Same goes for emails. Find one or two that really drive your message and will stick with your readers. However, don’t overdo it. Being bombarded with images is just as annoying as too much text. Also, not everyone can see the images you include (depending on what device they use to access email). To ensure that those people can see something other than a blank square, the code behind those pictures should have both alt and title text. Finally, add links to your website from the images.
Tell your subscribers what to expect regarding the frequency of the emails and then stick to the schedule. We’re all busy, and sometimes a mass email distribution may not seem as important as the 20 other things you have to do. Do it anyway. It will create brand loyalty if you say that you are going to do something and consistently deliver. On the flip-side, don’t send emails too frequently or you will annoy people and lose customers.
Make sure to constantly update your sender list and delete emails that bounce back. Too many undeliverable emails flags you as a potential spammer with email providers. Then, when you are ready to click send, check, double check and triple check your content. Your email reflects your company – don’t let it go out with mistakes.
If someone is going to unsubscribe from your emails, there’s nothing you can do. At least make it easy for them so they don’t leave with a bad taste in their mouths. Providing an unsubscribe option is also a requirement for compliance with U.S. anti-spam laws. If you make it difficult to opt-out of the list, recipients may file an abuse complaint, sullying your sender reputation with email providers and making it difficult to get future emails to people’s actual inboxes.
There are many online systems on the market today that can help you manage your email distributions. Unless you are sending to a very small list of close associates, you’ll probably find it more effective to use one of these tools to help you manage subscriptions, email templates, and campaigns over time.
Most email distribution systems collect data on open rates, action item clicks, and unsubscribes. Take advantage of this information to help improve performance with each message sent. For example, if you find a certain type of offer generates much higher performance, try to leverage similar offers in the future.