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Email continues to be the highest-performing marketing channel available, according to the latest report from Direct Marketing Association, making it a vital tool in the quest for increased sales and business growth.
[Tweet “If you are not seeing the email channel as a money making machine, you have the wrong strategy ~ Hans Smellinckx”]
But how do you know what makes your emails effective enough to engage the customers you already have and bring in new ones?
Read on for simple tips that will help you take your email marketing to the next level:
1. Be Consistent
“A vital component of marketing is consistency,” says Chron. “Consistent email marketing is important to your business sales for a variety of reasons, including educating your customers and prospects, boosting sales while saving time and money and relationship building.”
Create or find a professional template that suits your business and use it every time you email your subscribers. Additionally, you’ll want to develop a consistent schedule for your marketing emails. In doing so, your customers will come to learn when and what to expect.
2. Be Professional
“Writing your thoughts down and not proofreading them before you hit Send can destroy any hope you had at professionalism,” said Ed McMasters, director of marketing and communications at Flottman Company. Typos, stylistic errors, and other mistakes can not only make you appear unprofessional, but incompetent as well.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose a recognizable, standard font such as Arial, Verdana or Georgia. No matter how professionally written your email is, it doesn’t do you any good if it’s not recognized by your subscriber’s email system. Using a highly stylistic or uncommon font might cause customers to view your business in a less than professional light.
[Tweet “A bad email reputation is like a hangover–hard to get rid of and it makes everything else hurt. ~ Chris Marriott”]
Bottom Line: Email messages are an important part of marketing your business, so make sure they’re attractive, grammatically correct, and professional.
3. Be concise
It’s best to keep your emails as concise as possible. Why? According to information found on Business News Daily, “Recipients will only read the first line or two before deciding whether to keep or delete [an email].”
If your email is too wordy, try editing it down to make it more succinct, suggests Business News Daily. “Be sure you are saying what you need to say sufficiently.”
[Tweet “An email without clarity is like an annoying mime: Just say what you want or get out the way! ~ Jordie van Rijn”]
4. Stay in Touch
According to a 2016 survey by Marketing Sherpa, 61% of the 2,057 respondents surveyed said they would like to receive promotional email “at least weekly”, while 15% would like to receive promotional emails every day. The same study found that 91% of the respondents don’t mind receiving promotional emails at all.
After analyzing over two billion emails from companies with 25,000 subscribers or less, Campaign Monitor was able to identify what they refer to as the “email frequency sweet spot”—the point at which you can get the most people to see your emails without burning out your subscriber list. So what’s the magic frequency formula? Sending emails every two weeks.
Keep in mind, though, that despite the above results, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in sending frequency. HubSpot’s Corey Wainright suggests that because every brand’s email marketing campaign goals and subscriber lists are not the same, you need to test as you go to determine your own sending frequency sweet spot.
5. Segment and Personalize
As HubSpot points out, emails that are highly segmented tend to have higher performance levels (open rate and clickthrough rate) than emails that aren’t personalized. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association found that segmented and targeted emails generated 58% of all revenue for the marketers they surveyed, and 36% of revenues were a result of emails sent to specific target selections.
“The more segmented your email list, the better able you are to personalize the subject line and provide relevant content to that email recipient,” says HubSpot.
Don’t just insert the first name of your targeted individuals into your marketing messages and send out a blanket email across all segments. Instead, make each subject line speak to the different needs of your segmented list.
6. Create email copy that parallel’s your subject line
“When readers don’t get what they’re actually promised in the subject line, click-through rates plummet,” says HubSpot. Keep in mind, too, that in the long run, your email open rates will also suffer.
[Tweet “What your email subject line promises, the email message should deliver.”]
7. Keep the focus on your subscriber
When writing your copy, slant it towards the reader, not yourself, suggests HubSpot. To accomplish this, you’ll want to write in the second person, using pronouns such as “you,” “your,” and “yours.”
That doesn’t mean you can’t use the words “we”, “our” and “we’re”. But if those words outnumber your “you” pronouns, you need to rework your copy to keep the focus on the customer, not your brand.
8. Highlight benefits, not features
Does your recipient recognize the value of your email? According to HubSpot, many emails only explain the feature they are offering, not the benefit.
If your goal is to sell men’s shorts, for example, you need to identify what makes the shorts worthwhile. If they’re very versatile, you could explain how a man can lounge around the house in them, then head into the city with minimal effort in changing his outfit. Now you’ve translated the benefit of those shorts and given the recipient a compelling reason to buy them.
9. Include a strong call to action
Your email should have an easily identifiable call-to-action. Why? “People scan their emails, says HubSpot. “If there’s one thing you want your recipient to pick up on, it’s your call-to-action.”
Use compelling, actionable text to hook readers. Skip words like “submit”, “enter” and “click here” and use more striking verbs such as “get”, “read”, and “try”.
To create a killer calls-to-action, think of it from the email recipient’s point of view. In other words, what’s in it for them? Will it help them get their dream job? Lose weight? Save money? Look at the example below. While it’s actually a website CTA, it’s a good example of an effective CTA. If you were searching for your dream job, wouldn’t you click on it?
It’s also important to A/B test your calls to action to see how they’re performing. Your call to action may be the sexiest thing out there, but if no one is clicking on it, what good does it do you?
Obviously, we can’t cover every email marketing tip out there. But the simple tips above can help you breathe new life into your email marketing efforts so you, too, can reap the benefits of the highest-performing marketing channel at your disposal.
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Also published on Medium.