For quite some time now, rumours have been circulating about the death of email marketing. As is so often the case, it seems those stories are often exaggerated. Current reports show email remains one of the most influential and cost-effective outlets. That being said, certain measures can go a long way toward maximizing the outcome of your email marketing efforts.
1. Content is the Key to Success
Content is vital to virtually every aspect of your company from an online standpoint. This is true across the board, from your webpages to off-site elements like your social media outlets and business directory listings. Marketing emails aren’t left out of the mix, either.
Any information included in the emails you send to clients and prospects should contain useful information that’s relevant to your company or industry as a whole. Possible examples for a design firm may include eco-friendly building materials, rising design trends, and architectural innovations. Of course, these are very general themes. Don’t hesitate to focus on topics on your firm’s particular strengths, specialities, and other more specific matters pertaining to your business.
All that being said, most clients and prospects aren’t interested in hearing you drone on about your firm. They want to know more about your industry and topics applicable to their own needs. Successful marketing emails answer questions, offer helpful advice and provide education or special offers while remaining interesting to the reader.
2. Subject Lines are Essential
No matter how interesting or helpful the information in your emails happens to be, it’s essentially useless if no one reads it. You need eye-catching openers to increase the likelihood of those emails being read. This is where subject lines come into play.
Subject lines are critical and complex creatures. They should catch recipients’ attention, pique their curiosity enough to persuade them to read further, create at least some sense of urgency, and be sufficiently concise to present a clear message regarding the content to follow. Your chosen subject line should also fit into 50 characters or less because anything past that point gets cut off anyway.
Numerous reports show that including incentives in subject lines greatly increases open rates. With this in mind, you might mention free ebooks or checklists. “How to” subject lines also draw a great deal of interest.
Above all else, never leave subject lines blank. They’ll think it’s unimportant and won’t have any reason for wanting to read further.
3. Use the Right Sender Names
People are known to respond more readily to names than to generic senders’ addresses. On top of that, they’re more likely to open an email from a familiar name than one they don’t recognize. Because of this, using your first name from an email address belonging to your company is the best option, such as email@example.com.
At all costs, refrain from using the ever-popular “no-reply” phrase in your sender address. Doing so has a significant negative impact. For one, it discourages recipients from opening emails because it’s so often used for spam. Secondly, it keeps recipients from being able to heed any calls to action contained in emails and even renders them unable to add you to their address books.
Lastly, using “no-reply” in the sender’s address conflicts with CAN-SPAM regulations designed to protect people from spam emails. Having those two seemingly harmless words in your sender address has negative repercussions from numerous angles. It’s simpler and far more effective to stick with a first name and company moniker.
4. Make It Personal
Personalization applies to various aspects of marketing emails. Be sure to address recipients by name instead of using something like “Dear Valued Client” or another version of “To Whom It May Concern.” Clients and prospects most likely provide their names when they opt into your mailing lists or subscribe to your newsletters. Use that information to create personalized emails.
At the same time, consumers want to feel as though they’re receiving communique from people rather than automated systems or eager marketers even though most are savvy to the ways of technology these days. To make your approach more personable, it’s best to sign the email from a specific member of your teams.
5. Keep It Short and Simple
Research shows readers generally respond better to short bursts of text rather than emails that drone on forever. In most cases, emails containing no more than 200 words elicit higher click-through rates than lengthier ones. Consumers also respond more positively to emails containing three different fonts or less because they appear less cluttered and complicated.
6. Tailor Emails to Their Recipients
Not all email recipients are looking for the same types of services. Viewers also fall into different areas of your conversion funnel. Sending the same email to prospects who’ve just opted into your list and established clients who’ve already hired you for numerous projects wouldn’t be prudent. It would be a waste of time and resources and would most likely alienate recipients.
Make sure the emails you send match the needs and statuses of their recipients. Create different emails for each segment of your target audience. Though it may take a little extra thought and effort, it’ll be well worth the investment in the end.
7. Use Automation to Your Advantage
Automation software has certainly made the world of email marketing much simpler and more efficient. Today’s alternatives allow for ultimate customization and targeting while offering a wide range of options tailored to the unique needs of businesses and their respective industries. Still, some automation software can harm click-through rates and conversions. It’s important to be selective when choosing and utilizing such tools.
In a Nutshell
Email isn’t likely to fade away any time soon. Analysts expect the number of email users to surge to more than four billion over the next few years. This means companies that utilize email marketing stand to gain many benefits. Of course, there’s a right and wrong way to approach the matter. Incorporating these best practices into your email marketing campaigns can help ensure you reap the full benefits of this outlet.
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