Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools your business can use. With well-earned opted-in subscribers, email marketing has perhaps the largest opportunity to be a return on your investment in turning subscribers into engaged customers.
But where do you begin?
Terms like click-through rate, conversion rate, or A/B split testing may sound daunting at first. We’ve done the legwork for you and identified email marketing best practices to kick your email marketing into high-gear!
First things, first: define your audience.
Think about who is on your email list. You may want to segment them into different categories such as ages 18-34, repeat customers, or customers you haven’t heard from in a while. You can use a tool like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to create email segments. You should promote your email sign-up on places like your website, blog, and landing pages.
Subject Lines, the most important part of your email.
You’ll want to create emails that people read, click through and encourage further engagement with your brand. First, you’ll want to persuade subscribers to open your email with a compelling subject line. The subject line is perhaps the most important component as it determines whether or not your email will be clicked on and opened. You may find success with a longer subject line, or subject lines with keywords. Use A/B Splits to test subject lines out and adjust accordingly. Try using action verbs and give readers a taste of what’s inside (while providing value). Don’t overdo the caps or emojis, readers will find this spammy. We all receive dozens of emails a day, what’s going to make you open an email?
Create compelling call-to-actions (referred to as CTAs). In the body of the email you’ll want to include CTAs – this could be in the form of links to your latest offering, a flash sale, your blog, or an option to download your latest ebook, and more. Make sure to provide context to your CTA – to earn clicks try answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” Call to actions allow for consumers to continue down the consumer journey and hopefully to a conversion.
Whether you use a template, hire a designer, or have a developer on hand to code your email, your email design should align with your branding, especially that found on your website. It should be obvious who the email is coming from, the transition from email to landing page or website should be seamless.
Create an email checklist before you send any email: do you have the right image to text ratio? “Image only” emails go into spam, images may be turned off by users, and images may take more time to load. Try 80% images and 20% text as a good rule of thumb.
Do you have a text version available to support your HTML email? Having both versions ensures that however people choose to view emails in their browser that they are able to do so. Did you proofread the copy? Did you test to see how your email appears on different browsers or mobile devices?
Email Performance and Insights
The best way to evaluate the success of your email marketing campaign is to review your engagement after each email send. You should look for key engagement indicators including how many people opened your email, how many people clicked on a link in your email (and what links they clicked on), and who unsubscribed. These are valuable insights to determine if your subscribers are finding your emails useful. Watch these metrics over time to determine how often you should be sending an email – if engagement drops off when you send an email every week, try stepping down to once every other week or once a month, even. You don’t want to fatigue your audience.
Another tried and true tip when it comes to email marketing is to A/B test your email. Put simply: this means changing your subject line, design, subject matter, or CTAs one element at a time, then sending your email to a significant sample size. Why this is important: you can make more informed future email marketing decisions about what gets your recipients to open and click on your content.
Make sure the unsubscribe option is obvious in your emails. Yes, you want everyone to love every email you send but sometimes this just isn’t the case – and it’s better than ending up in the spam folder.
Finanlly, send email that is valuable to your users and that will ultimately strengthen your relationship with them…that will keep your customers coming back for more!
Need help getting started? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll invigorate your email marketing!