Typically, emails are viewed as a traditional means of communication in comparison to other digital advancements and trends such as social media, text messaging and mobile applications.
However, the fact remains that email is still widely used by every tech-savvy person, which is why email marketing continues to be one of the most viable options as far as marketing virtually is concerned.
Let’s look at a few interesting email marketing statistics:
- 44% of email recipients made, at least, one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
- 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email.
- Email marketing spend grows 10% year over year.
- 82% of consumers open emails from companies.
- There are 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013. By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion.
- For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.
Smart marketers understand the importance of email marketing and continue to use it as an integral part of their digital marketing campaign. The best thing about using email is that it shows up at the digital doorstep of customers. It is easy to personalize and cheaper than other commonly-used marketing tactics. These factors make email marketing ideal for small businesses.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a means to engage prospects as well as current customers. Marketers send emails with the intention of conveying information about their brand, offerings, and promotions.
Once prospects become customers, marketers can stay in touch with them through email marketing, which goes a long way in providing them with valuable information, earning their trust and loyalty, keeping your business at the top of their mind, and converting them into evangelists.
By using certain best practices, your digital marketing team should be able to use email marketing as a tool to generate more leads and customers. Mentioned ahead are a few of them:
#1 Personalization Is Crucial
Personalization is important to get the attention and strike a chord with your readers.
Marketers can use to their advantage and increase their open rate by including the customers’ name in the subject itself to create affinity.
Using their name lets the customers know that they’re viewed as real people with needs and expectations, rather than just a prospective sale.
#2 Get Them with the Subject and the Opening Line
The first impression is the last, so ensure that you create a dashing one.
Aim for brevity in the subject line. Let it be a teaser for the content that is to follow. Create the maximum impact with the opening line or the first line by providing the most important information. This will help because marketers tend to have a limited amount of time to communicate value to the reader before the reader moves to the next email.
Also, the first line appears as preview text on most email platforms. Craft it carefully and keep it interesting so that your audience gets the message even if they move on from it.
Try and keep the subject line as crisp as possible. According to Madhu Gulati, president of ShowMeLeads, marketers should aim to keep the subject lines between six to ten words. Remember, the subject should serve as a teaser for what’s to come. The meaty content can be made available on your website.
Create your subject line carefully and be sure to get the key message across. If readers find it interesting, they will click through. Your focus should be on making sure that every word you use plays its part in communicating your message.
#3 Time It Right
Picture this – you spend hours on crafting a subject line, creating content and targeting users, only to realize that your customers aren’t even opening your emails, but instantly deleting them. Tragic!
Cone of the tricks to getting your emails opened is timing them right. While there is no fixed formula for determining this, here are two tips to help you get there:
- Send your emails in the middle of the week. The highest volume of opens occurs on Thursdays, with Tuesday and Wednesday close behind. Avoid Mondays and weekends.
- Send emails in the early afternoon. Open rates are at their highest in early afternoon, around 1:30 PM.
#4 Be Clear, Genuine and Add Value
There is a difference between getting prospects to open your email, and getting them to understand your content. If the content is incoherent and ambiguous, rest assured that it will not be understood, irrespective of wording the subject line and timing the email correctly.
Be authentic with your content, and make it valuable, conversational (ask questions, request feedback) and clear. Be respectful and use tact to make your point. Don’t degrade your brand’s reputation by bombarding inboxes with something readers may consider spam. Show genuine interest.
#5 Optimize for Mobile
Did you know that 74% of smartphone owners use their devices to check their email? In order to tap and cater to mobile users, you will need to make links clickable and use a responsive sending program. Through the links, direct users to pages on your website and keep the HTML code simple for quick loading.
#6 Keep Testing, Analyzing and Measuring Results
Constant testing and analyzing are important if you want to isolate a poorly-drafted email in a test than use it and miss out on potential revenue.
It makes sense to use A/B testing to sharpen your email marketing campaign. Doing so will help you figure out which subject lines get the best open rates. Further, use a variety of opening/first lines to study user response to preview texts. Do this with capitalizations as well.
All aspects of your email marketing campaign should be analyzed, modified, perfected, and measured through testing.
#7 Make Content Shareable
One secret ingredient that can make your email marketing campaign successful is the ‘Share’ button. Placing it strategically is a great way to expand customer base, increase subscriptions and make content go viral.
You can place the ‘Share’ button prominently in your email. As an incentive, offer a promo code or a freebie to new subscribers and to those who share.
Even if you have nothing to offer, still go ahead, dress up the button and place it. Don’t hesitate in asking your reader to get the word out through forwarding and sharing.
If done well, email marketing can prove to be a real boon to digital marketers. It is multi-faceted and requires attention to detail and precision. The above best practices should help you get your email marketing wheels spinning and you grinning. If you would like to add something valuable and informative to the above post, feel free to mention it in your comments.