Email marketing is as strong as ever. It’s easy, inexpensive, and effective – a great combination. You can learn a lot about your customers using email marketing: which subject lines have the highest open rate, who is clicking on what links, and even what days of the week and times of day are the best to send your email. There are things to keep in mind, however, in terms of “best practices” and “really don’t do this.”
- Keep your subject line short, but compelling. It determines whether or not your email is opened.
- Get to your point pretty quickly and keep the copy as minimal as possible. Caveat: If you’re sending an email newsletter, it will be copy heavy, so break it up with some interior headlines to make it easier for your readers to take in.
- Offer something of value! This does not necessarily have to mean coupons or deals. If you are sharing information that addresses a pain point for your customers, that is valuable!
- Use strong imagery. Another caveat: Assuming your email customers have images turned off by default in their email programs, make sure enough written content displays to carry your message.
- Include a call-to-action and/or give people a way to get in touch with you.
- Test your work! In addition to proofreading, test for mobile and browser compatibility and check any links to make sure they work. Some email programs even let you test two subject lines – each version is sent to a small percentage of your mailing list, and whichever version has the highest open rate during the test period goes to the rest of your mailing list.
- Give people a way to opt out. However, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Consider offering people the choice to stick around but hear from you less often.
- Pay attention to your emails’ analytics. Use that information to help plan future moves, or sometimes even your very next move.
- Use a purchased list. Build your list organically with people who have chosen to connect with your company.
- Email just for the sake of emailing. People are too busy for that.
- Bury your message at the end of your email because you’re “leading up to it.” You need to deliver your message early, without sounding like a hard sell or a gimmick. It’s a balancing act.
- Trick people into opening with a subject line that has nothing to do with the content. No one likes to feel bamboozled, and you will watch your unsubscribe rate skyrocket!
- USE A LOT OF ALL CAPS OR EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!! This can trigger spam filters and get your emails sent to a permanent junk mail timeout.
When you’re doing it right, email marketing is an extremely valuable piece of the integrated marketing puzzle. Here are some examples of strong email campaigns to inspire you.