Email marketing can be either an under-utilized or an over-done form of marketing, depending on the business using it. It can be overdone when the sender confuses email marketing email blasts that invade upon consumer’s inboxes. But it can also be under-utilized because so few business owners have grasped the success of a targeted and honed-in email campaign.
These extremes are important to note because there is a similar perspective on the receiving end of marketing. When you open an email from a company you shop with, is it a useful resource? A relational conversation? Or is it more SPAM hitting your inbox?
This difference is easier to recognize when you open your mailbox at home. The relational side of physical mail has almost completely disappeared, leaving you with over-done SPAM that fills your recycle bin.
To find a nice balance between these two extremes, below are a few best practices.
1. Make a subject and check it twice: Make sure your subject lines are short and catch attention of the user while simultaneously conveying the crux of your email. Curiosity killed the cat, but you need to be sure to deliver on the curiosity created so you don’t damage the relationship with your customers.
2. Correctly format your emails: Ensure your format is mobile friendly, which means that text emails often work best. Keep your emails short and to the point. An email should not take more than 40 seconds to read.
3. VALUE - VALUE – VALUE: Always deliver something VALUABLE. Those short, salesy, empty email messages are easily identified as click-bait messages.
4. Send at the best time of day: Study your target audience, testing out different times and see which one gets you best results. All industries are a little bit different.
5. Create a valuable follow-up series: Don’t end the conversation at the first piece of value. Follow up with your engaged audience in a planned sequence to continue providing value that leads back to your product.
6. Tell a compelling story: At the same time you are providing value for your customer, tell a compelling story during your sequence in which your readers can recognize themselves.
7. Limit the number of calls to actions (CTAs): Do not put more than one CTA and one or two helpful links. This guides the reader in the direction you’ve identified, and it avoids confusion for the reader.
8. Segment your audience (automatically if you can): Create buyer profiles to divide your contacts into different buckets as data is collected. This will optimize your lists for different interests and cross-selling promotions.
9. Make your follow-up messages evergreen: If you leave dates, special events, or other limiting factors out of your follow up, your emails are as valuable today as they are five or ten years from now.
10. Avoid negative keywords: Avoid words such as don’t, never, won’t or no in your email subject lines. It gives a negative connotation to your email.
11. Clean your contact lists every three months: Clean out email addresses that have not opened a message in 2 months (on the condition that you have an evergreen follow-up series in place) and bring them back in once they have shown that they have time to engage. This will lead to increased open and click rates and decreased wasted spend.
12. Be honest: People are not dumb and will often disengage if they feel you are being disingenuous. Convey your message in simple, factual terms and build a trustworthy rapport with your audience.
If you can follow even a few of these tips, you are well on your way to a successful email campaign. Email marketing is used by everyone, so stand out by being the one your audience wants to hear from.