Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
In this in-depth email marketing guide you will learn about the best email marketing practices that can help ensure your campaign’s success.
Email marketing isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for several decades now. While this is true, it has evolved and changed significantly over the past few years.
Consumer inboxes are full of messages from marketers and businesses vying for their attention these days. Along with that, modern buyers are much more aware of the more traditional email marketing tactics, which means they expect more personalization and value than ever before.
If your email marketing strategies aren’t evolving to meet modern demands, there’s a good chance your open rates are somewhat disappointing. Combine this with high unsubscribe rates and no conversions, and you may wonder why you are still putting time and effort into this strategy.
While it can be frustrating, you can use solutions and tips to help you improve your email marketing efforts. From using a comprehensive email verification guide to completely overhauling your current strategy, here are some great ideas to make email marketing work for you.
Alter Your Email Format
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all email marketing plan. Based on what you want to accomplish and what action you want readers to take, you can use several kinds of marketing emails. Some of the most common examples include:
Onboarding or Welcome Emails
A welcome email is the first communication your business or brand has with a new customer. It will usually be one part of a larger sequence of emails used to onboard someone. The goal here is to help prospects and customers learn about your brand and learn how they can get the most value from the services or products you offer.
You can look at a newsletter as a digest of the most important things you want your readers to know. You should create a distilled list of your very best updates, videos and blow content, which will help your readers overcome their biggest pain points or problems.
A promotional campaign email is typically something exclusive or a one-time offer you present to your customers. It can include a limited-time discount or something free they can claim. The goal is to make your customers act fast because the deal or discount is only available for a limited time.
With this email, you have something triggered by your customer’s actions or behavior on your website. It may include a series of actions that meet set criteria, downloading, or filling out a form.
A triggered email is slightly different from a transactional email. While both are automated, emails like tracking updates and receipts are thought to be transactional and have a customer service focus, rather than being a marketing email.
Drip or Nurture Campaigns
A nurture sequence, or drip campaign, is a series of emails that help drive a customer through your buying journey or take a specific action. The campaigns typically include other emails but will typically work together to achieve a single goal.
Based on your intended outcome, each type of email can help you improve your overall ROI (return on investment). However, this is only the case if you follow email marketing best practices.
If you fail to do this, your email marketing efforts may become a significant drain on your resources and turn off prospects and customers. It may also be a one-way ticket to have people unsubscribe if not used effectively.
Email Marketing Best Practices
Now that you know the types of emails to send, it’s time to learn about the best practices that can help ensure your campaign’s success.
Avoid Purchasing Lists
You should never purchase an email marketing list. While this may be tempting and sound like an easy win, it’s not a good idea. The risks of purchasing an email marketing list significantly outweigh the benefits.
There is the risk of violating the CANSPAM act and GDPR, among others. You may also irreversibly hurt overall your email deliverability, because people who don’t know who you are will mark your messages as spam. You may even get kicked off the email marketing platform you are using.
You will gain so much more by putting work into gaining quality subscribers who want to hear about your business and brand, rather than forcing it on those who are not interested. You can also use email verification tools to ensure that only legitimate email addresses are used when people sign up.
Keep Your Email Lists Clean
No one wants to continue receiving emails from a business they have not interacted with for several years. Even consumers who try to unsubscribe to most may still receive these emails, which means they will be deleted as soon as they come in.
If this is happening to your email list, it means you aren’t keeping it clean. Unfortunately, if the trend continues, it can have several consequences for your brand. One of the biggest issues is that your deliverability may start to decline. Also, most email marketing platforms charge based on the number of contacts you send to. If you are not keeping your database clean, you are wasting money.
Consider it like this – every time someone mistypes their email or leaves their job, you pay to send an email that will not see any interaction. Luckily, there are more than a few tools you can use to validate your email list and keep it clean.
Test Out Different Subject Lines
Once your database is clean, the subject line you use plays an important role in whether the email is opened and read. If the email is not opened, it means it’s game over when it comes to getting a reader to take the desired action.
You will find several techniques to improve open rates for your subject lines. One of the most important is to keep things short. Up to 77% of email opens occur on mobile devices. If your subject is too long, it’s going to be cut off and the receiver will not see the entire message.
Each audience is unique. You must test various subject lines and lengths to find out what works best for your brand.
Use a Real Person as the Sender
Just like the subject line is important, the sender name is, too. If someone receives an email from a generic sender, such as “contact” or “info,” it gives the impression that the sender is a spammer.
Every email your business sends out needs to come from an actual person or department in the business. They should also be relevant, in some way, to your email’s subject.
Keep Essential Information Above the Fold
If the content you put above the fold in your email isn’t perfect, it is very likely the receiver will not keep reading.
The term “above-the-fold” refers to the top part of the email. It is usually around 350 px wide by 650 px high. It’s the space visible on most email platforms without the user having to scroll down. The job is to grab the reader’s attention in this section.
If you are sending a promotional email, include a compelling headline, appealing image, and strong CTA (call to action) above the fold.
Keep Text Scannable and Concise
A strong subject line is just a starting point for encouraging readers to open an email. It doesn’t matter what you are sending, if someone opens your email and is met with a wall of text, they aren’t going to read it.
Instead of writing a lot, keep your text short and to the point. If you have a lot to say, make sure you break up larger paragraphs into two or three sentences. This is going to help encourage your audience to keep reading.
Don’t Make Promises You Won’t Keep
This should be understood as a general rule, but it’s important to reiterate here. Never create an email making promises that you will not be able to deliver on.
Email marketing allows you to contact prospects and customers directly. It’s your opportunity to start building a positive relationship with your customer base. If you have marketing emails with false promises or embellishments, you aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Try to focus your content on what you can actually deliver to customers that no one else can. This is going to encourage customers to learn more about what you offer. If you make a promise and a customer discovers you can’t or won’t keep it, chances are they will leave and never return. Even worse, they may go to your competition.
Getting Your Email Marketing Efforts Right
Email marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require time and effort. Use the tips and information here to give yourself the best chance possible of sending effective and successful emails.
Remember, just because email marketing is one of the more affordable options you have, it does not mean that it doesn’t require careful planning and consideration. You also have to learn what to do and what to avoid to ensure the best results are achieved. Being informed is the best way to ensure that you get the desired results with your email marketing campaigns.
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