First introduced during the 1970’s and really taking hold in the 90’s, email has become one of the most used forms of communication. Regardless of age, gender, race, and location, people from all over the world can instantly send and receive messages by using their electronic devices.
With its unparalleled convenience and ease of use, email marketing campaigns have been predominantly used to reach target customers and prospective clients. Each time we open our mailbox, most of us receive a huge amount of marketing emails from known and unknown sources. From the important websites we follow to spam messages offering various products and services, the savviest digital marketers work their email marketing efforts to ensure successful mail delivery.
But with every seven out of ten emails unopened or deleted and only 3% click-through success rate, it is actually trickier than it seems. To have success with your next email campaigns, here are 5 email marketing tips that are very useful, especially for small business owners.
Tip 1: Build Your List with an Attractive Opt-in Offer
Consumers today are smart and personal information is more valuable for them than gold. They know that asking their names, contact numbers and email addresses will only be used for marketing purposes. Unless you give them an irresistible offer, you’ll find it hard to get that email address.
One easy trick to get consumers share their email address is to give them an attractive opt-in offer. Keep in mind that just like everybody else, customers love free stuff, discounts, exclusive perks, rewards and other deals relevant to their lifestyle. Without spending too much money, and by simply stretching out your creativity, offer them something great in exchange for an income generating email list.
- Give them a free course that is useful, appropriate and most importantly content-filled. Use a combination of text, audio and graphics to make it more appealing and worth reading. Create a web link where they can download the free course after signing up using their email.
- Offer regular contests or games. Prizes can be of anything from one of your products, special discounts, free shipping, coupons or even a thank you cake or basket of goodies. Doing this will also help increase your sales as people will most likely browse your website.
Tip 2: Think Mobile and Consider Cross OS Platform
Just like you, most savvy customers don’t just rely on their laptops or computers to check email messages. According to Campaign Monitor, emails that are opened on mobile devices grew by over 30% for the past 5 years. The use of cellphones and tablets is on the rise to the point that they are now comparable to desktop and webmail clients.
Before you send emails, make sure that they are optimized for all platforms. This includes mobile handsets, tablets, convertible devices, pocket computers, digital watches and all others. When designing your emails, make sure that they are compatible with smaller screens and that vital information will be kept visible rather hidden somewhere at the bottom.
- Always use a mobile-ready email template. Ready-made templates are great because they are specifically designed to look great regardless of email platform. Use online tools to check how your email looks on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and Blackberry devices. Check out Litmus.
- Balance the image and text content. An email campaign without pictures is too boring to read. And those filled with images will be difficult and slow to open especially for underpowered mobile gadgets.
Tip 3: Choose a Subject Line that Tells the Reader What to Expect
Next to these email marketing tips is to choose a subject line that gives an overview of the actual email content. They always say that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and while this is 100% true, this doesn’t apply to email messages.
A great subject line that is relevant and interesting is more likely to be opened. But a misleading subject line with confusing thoughts and deceptive wording will be tossed straight into the trash folder. Spend time analyzing your subject line because this will help boost your email open rate. Communicate with it and use it as an introductory spiel, so that readers can expect what’s in store for them after opening the email.
- Try to limit your subject line between seven to eight words. Be sure that the entire title shows correctly and isn’t cut off, so keep it at 40 characters or even less.
- Avoid using spammy words or terms used by aggressive marketers to lure customers. By all means, do not use loud punctuations, all caps, multiple exclamation points, “buy now” words, and limit the use of “free” if you don’t want your email to be marked as spam.
- Use A/B testing to accurately check your subject line. A/B testing is imperative because it compares two subject line versions to indicate which one converts better.
Tip 4: Target Lists as Much as Possible
Continuing on these email marketing tips, always practice list segmentation before you send emails. It is a big “no-no” to send generic emails to a group of consumers with different wants and necessities. Always remember that customers will only open emails and click links if the content is relevant to their needs, otherwise they wouldn’t waste time scrolling your message.
This trick is very useful for both small and medium-size business owners who want to create a loyal following of customers. Sending the right email to the most appropriate target market is indeed a match made in heaven. Try to collect as much information as possible from your customers and create a mailing list by group, by product, requirements, wish list, etc.
- Your mailing list should contain relevant information about the purchasing behavior of your customer. Start with the basics; make sure that the profile or demographics are filled in accordingly. Include details about sex, location, age, occupation and other relevant customer information.
- Group your customers according to their predicted value. Depending on their latest purchase, the frequency of orders and assortment of products, classify them into most valuable customers, most growable customers and below zero customers.
Tip 5: Choose The Right Email Marketing Automation Platform
Finally, on these email marketing tips, always invest in a quality email automation program. For small business owners, you don’t need software with super high-end capabilities – a simple program that can do basic tasks is usually enough. As your small company grows, then that’s the right time to splurge on automation programs to accommodate bigger volumes.
Pick a program that works with your email subscribers, contact management system, or point of sales system. One platform that can easily fill all of these needs is MailChimp. There are different platforms and subscriptions available, for little to nothing monthly, helping to work with your budget and content needs alike. If the budget permits, choose to add tracking and statistic functions along with testing capabilities in the marketing platform you initiate.
- If you are not good at designing and crafting emails, make sure that the email program offers an easy-to-use workflow editor. This is the heart and soul of every automation platform. It should have a huge collection of ready-made templates and convenient functions such as drag and drop.
- To effectively combine marketing campaigns with emails, select a program with robust analytics. Check if they have metrics for sending volume, click rates, unsubscribed rates, bounce rates, location tracker, leads generated, device origin and many more.
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