Email marketing—it isn’t sexy but it is a necessary element of modern marketing best practices. Are your email campaigns coming up little short on the number expected responses lately? Check out these sure-fire tips to get your emails read.
Email Marketing Growth Essentials
Be Personal, Yet Respectful
When formulating an email marketing campaign, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using a marketing email template, where 100 or so of your prospects receive the same message regardless of their personal interests or preferences. If you do this, don’t be surprised if your response rate is somewhere close to zero. People are busy and hardly have time for important emails, so a non-engaging and overtly adverting email from an unknown company will probably get moved pretty quickly to the virtual recycling bin.
Beyond the basics that you probably already know, such as using the prospect’s name in the email, below is a list of some less-obvious ways to add a personal touch to your marketing emails.
Stop talking about your subscribers
First, nobody really cares about this when they first get to know a company. Second, it makes the reader feel as though you view your subscribers as your list, or a collection, rather than a group of individuals with individual needs. Write the email as if you’re reaching out to just one person—it will give your emails an instant boost of personalization.
Use your name as the “from” address
Don’t hide behind the company name, put yourself out there. You can’t expect prospects to reveal more information about themselves or start interacting with your brand without revealing more about you first. Pretty basic stuff, but often forgotten.
Avoid being creepy
In a marketing email, it’s a good practice to mention information about a prospect’s hometown, such as a reference to a landmark, recent news from the area, or a sports team, but make sure the information is well-known nationally to avoid seeming like “big brother.” Don’t mention any news that it negative or controversial.
Test for SPAM
One important step to getting your emails read is getting them past your prospects’ SPAM filter. Be careful when using buzzwords and stay away from using too much punctuation—all of which can land you straight in the SPAM gutter. Words like “Help,” “Percent off,” “Free,” and “Reminder” alone or used once will not land you in a spam filter, but combined or used in excess may.
Always test your emails to gauge their SPAM ranking. Some site offering free SPAM tests include:
Know Your Prospects
This seems obvious, but when you are sending out marketing emails, audience targeting plays a key role in how successful your campaign will be.
Don’t neglect audience profiles and audience research. Use that research to build several different email templates tailored to groupings of your prospects, perhaps based on different demographics such as age, sex, and geographic location. Either way, just be sure your email is something that speaks to whoever you are reaching out to.
Adhere to Email Editorial Best Practices
Last but not least, just listen to the tried and true basics of writing an email that will be well-received. That’s not to say that testing the waters with a few off-the-wall ideas to see if they work is a bad thing, but the below is a list of the basics that always get the job done:
- Give the recipient a reason to reply or an ask
- Make the content short and succinct
- Avoid buzzwords
- Limit use of punctuation
Optimize pre-header text
The first line (pre-header) of your email message can be previewed using a preview window offered by most email software. According to an article about email optimization on Forbes.com’s tech page, 84 percent of people 18-34 use this preview window. So, in order to get your emails opened be sure to enhance the first line of your email and make the message compelling enough to convert your recipient to a reader.
Make sure it looks good on mobile
According to that same article on Forbes.com, more than 58 percent of adults own and actively use a smartphone, with roughly 48 percent of all emails being opened on a mobile device. If you want your emails opened, they better be optimized for mobile. Be sure to test this on multiple devices.
Check grammar and punctuation
Sounds simple, but many people get so caught up in optimization and messaging that they totally forget the importance of a clear and error-free message. Sloppy grammar and punctuation hurts your image and makes your brand look unpolished, which is the opposite of what your email marketing efforts are trying to achieve. Be sure to hand your email off to another set of eyes for a quick copy edit before sending your email off into the World Wide Web.
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