12 Email marketing best practices for sales
Everybody may be talking about witty tweets, quick-tip videos, and memorable memes, but there is one marketing tool that remains powerful after all these years: emails.
But an effective email marketing strategy in the 2000s may not work in 2019 anymore. Chances are, sales offer sent to inboxes will be marked as spam and forever left unopened. In March 2019, spam messages accounted for 56% percent of global email traffic. The challenge is to develop email campaigns that are as appealing and informative as other marketing tools heavily consumed in this age of social media and apps.
Times have changed, and so are email marketing trends. Know what works and what does not. Here is a roundup of 12 effective email marketing tactics you should know about.
1. Truly connect with your audience
At one point in your online life, you may have received tons of offers to buy to join a matchmaking community for veterans or something that’s not even remotely connected to you or your interests. Random mass email blasts like these don’t benefit anyone.
Create an email marketing campaign that connects with your readers. You can do this by dividing your email list into more targeted groups. The Annual Email Optimizer Report by Lyris found numerous benefits of email list segmentation including increased open rates, greater email relevance, and lower opt-out or unsubscribe rates.
You may segment the readers based on age, gender, and location. This will help ensure that you’re sending the right communication to the right people.
Check out this example of a geographically segmented email by UBER for Chicago
2. Customize your blasts
Email marketing tools, like tweets and Instagram ads, should speak directly to a specific reader. There is no better way of doing this than by customizing the content of your emails.
After segmenting your email recipients, get to know them better. What appeals to them? What are they looking for when browsing for products and services? How do they define good customer service? What made them visit a website and subscribe? By familiarizing yourself with your readers, it’ll be easier to customize your emails, follow-ups, and reminders.
For instance, your millennial recipients would love to receive informative yet concise messages with appealing images. The best way to do this is via infographics, which they can also easily share with their circle.
3. Grab your audience’s attention, and keep them interested
Today’s consumers are multi-taskers. They are scrolling their news feeds and checking for work-related emails in between. You are in for a cutthroat competition for your reader’s attention.
Craft creative ways to grab their attention, and hold it until you have delivered your message. You can use witty headlines, visually-appealing images, and straightforward emails. Strictly no click-baits.
You can create urgency, tapping on today’s culture of “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Try using “You’re missing out on amazing rewards”, or “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to read this…”.
Humor never fails. The Muse has used the subject, “We like being used” while OpenTable cracked “Licking your phone never tasted so good” in one of its email campaigns.
Source: Artem Beliaikin via Pexels
4. State a clear call-to-action
So you have successfully earned the attention of your target audience. They also read your message in its entirety. Now what?
Your emails should have a clear purpose which you could achieve with a call-to-action. Do you want your readers to visit your website or subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to “Like” your Facebook page or make a purchase in your online store? Lead them to these goals with an effective CTA.
Researchers at Marketing Experiments recommend offering your visitors value at low or no costs in exchange for a click. Avoid asking too much too soon. The researchers found that tweaking commonly-used CTAs have amazing benefits. By changing “Find your solution” to “Learn more”, the clickthrough rate rose by 77%. Using “Subscribe and save” instead of “View subscription options” led to a +181% clickthrough rate increase.
To encourage a purchase, you can use these CTAs like the ones given below
- Shop now
- Save today
- Yes! I want one
- Claim your coupon
- Get 20% off now
To promote content, here are sample CTAs
- Curious? Read on
- Read the full story
- Download now
5. Limit your email blasts
Do you know that an average office worker receives 121 emails per day? That’s a lot. You wouldn’t want your message to be sent to the infamous spam folder for sending too many emails to your subscribers.
People signed up for your updates and newsletters because they are interested in your brand, products or services. They want to stay connected. But this doesn’t give you permission to bombard them with emails. Limit your messages once a week.
6. Craft catchy subject lines or headlines
Email subjects or headlines are deal-breakers. Readers can easily ignore or delete your email with a boring or clickbaity headline. MailChimp conducted an email marketing study and found that short and descriptive subject lines could entice readers.
You can include words that suggest urgency, ask a question or challenge a common notion. Use your segmented email list to craft direct and catchy headlines customized to your readers.
7. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly
A recent study suggests that the number of mobile Internet users will hit five billion in 2025. More people are browsing the web, scrolling through social media pages and checking their emails via their handheld devices. Make sure that your email promotions are mobile-optimized. To create a mobile-friendly digital asset, consider the length of texts and visuals. Some image files may not display on smartphones, and others may slow downloading time.
8. Write professional emails
How would you perceive a business that sends out emails fraught with typos and grammar errors? These mistakes will definitely reflect badly on the sender. Always prepare your messages well. Email promotion is no different from any other marketing campaign. Take the time to plan out and draft an outline. Write a copy and proofread it several times. Use a voice that is consistent with your brand.
9. Build an inclusive community
People no longer surf the internet to just get quick information online. They meet others, join groups, and essentially create a world that is as real as their offline sphere. Go the extra mile with your email marketing campaign by letting your readers in an inclusive community. You can share personal updates about your life that don’t necessarily relate to your usual promotions. Perhaps a sneak peek into your work routine or a photo of your puppy or cat? Make your audience feel at home.
Another tip is to keep the conversation going by sending email notifications to users every time someone replied to their comments or whenever a new topic of interest is opened. You can also send updates on community stats such as a list of top users, top comments and most popular topics. These can encourage your users to play a more active role in the community.
10. Giveaway rewards
Giveaway rewards keep subscribers excited for your next blasts and increases the chances of them even sharing your promotions with their network. Budget airline companies are a great example of this as they’re winning the email marketing game through amazing rewards and promos. Their email subscribers get the latest updates on promos and the chance of winning all-expenses-paid trips. Giving away rewards and gifts is a smart way of acknowledging your loyal subscribers.
11. Stay consistent
You may not hit your target email subscribers right away, but that shouldn’t put off your email marketing campaign. Run your campaigns according to schedule. If you promised a special promo to your current list, make sure you deliver on time.
You may get 50 new subscribers this week and only 10 the next, but that should be no reason for you to hold off. Stick with your schedule and the effort will pay off.
12. Run a regular assessment of your campaigns
Know what’s working and what’s not by running a regular assessment of your email marketing campaigns. Wield the power of analytics in deciding how to proceed. You can choose the appropriate metrics, based on your goals. You may measure the clickthrough rate or the rate of readers who clicked on links in an email promotion or the conversion rate or the percentage of readers who completed the desired action such as purchasing a product.
Consider using analytics tools such as EmailAnalytics, Sortd, or Todoist. EmailAnalytics provides pertinent data such as the number of emails received in all your Gmail folders, the number of emails you send every day, who you email and how the conversations proceed. Sortd primarily helps organize email inboxes. It allows you to create categories and set priorities for each. The email workflow you can make in Sortd gives info on how you are performing at each stage of the email campaign. With Todoist, you may convert your inbox into a to-do list in relation to your campaign. It allows you to identify, organize and complete tasks, and run reports on your daily performance.
For sure, email marketing isn’t dead. It just evolved over time. As an entrepreneur or a marketer, it is your task to keep abreast of trends in digital marketing. Consumers today want you to speak to them on a more personal level. Get to know them. Engage them. Reward their loyalty. Remember that your email recipients are people, so connect with them in the most natural way possible.
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