We are always striving for better performance and when it comes to effective email marketing our advice would be begin with best practices – but make no assumptions. If your objective is to turn inundated audiences into engaged buyers, the more informed you can be the better your campaigns can perform.
When you consider that 66 percent of consumers made an online purchase as the result of a marketing email, you also want to know how that email managed to skip the spam folder, avoid the mass-message delete and make it to the recipient with enough influence to incite a click.
Yes, testing is a must but luckily there are enough email marketers out there willing to share their learnings which gives us a good place to start and a few basic rules that can help the success of your email campaigns too:
1. Follow CAN-SPAM rules
These rules govern commercial email and require your business to include a physical postal address, clear “From” and “To” fields and an obvious way to unsubscribe in every email you send. CAN-SPAM rules also prevent selling or transferring of email lists.
2. Segment subscribers
As part of your overall marketing strategy, you should develop clear buyer personas that identify various segments of your target audience. These buyer personas can be used to segment email subscribers and send email content that is even more relevant to each group’s needs.
3. Always personalize your email messages
Just adding the recipient’s name has been proven to increase an email’s click-through rate from 5.8 percent to 7 percent. Along with catching your subscribers’ attention, this helps give your recipients the feeling that the email was written specifically for them.
4. Make the subject clear
A short, easily-understandable subject line is your best strategy for getting subscribers to open your email message. Whenever possible, use action verbs and tell your audience the exact value they will get from reading the email.
5. Use one call to action (CTA) per email
It may be tempting to put as many offers as possible into each email you send, but multiple CTAs can distract your readers and result in no action at all. Instead, each email should concentrate on sending one message, with one matching call to action.
6. Customize the email preview text
Most popular email clients, including Gmail, show some of your email’s text along with the subject. Instead of letting it be automatically pulled from the email body, you can increase interest and open rates by customizing this content to clarify what you are offering.
7. Make the sender an actual person
Even if it’s coming from a business, emails that are sent by a real person in that business see a higher open rate than those that come from a generic company email address.
8. Send an email to new leads right away
The best time to email potential customers is when they are already thinking about your business and offer, including right after they sign up for your email list. An automated email workflow makes it easy to send an email to new contacts within 24 hours of subscribing.
9. Optimize email design for mobile
Most of your customers are not going to wait until they are at a computer to check and read their emails. Up to 55 percent of email messages are opened on a mobile device first. If your email is not designed for mobile viewing, it will likely be discarded.
10. Do not assume – A/B Test and Test Again
To develop more effective email campaigns it is essential to know which elements are working and which are not. By split testing elements of your email you can gain a better insights into your customers and how to improve your email performance.
And remember to Send emails consistently
Depending on your target audience and the content you are sharing, you may send an email once a day, every other day, once a week or less often. The right frequency depends on a variety of factors, but more important than the frequency is having a consistent email schedule so your subscribers know when to expect your messages.
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