Email is perhaps one of the most prolific forms of online marketing to date. It’s one of those platforms that has transcended time and has gone beyond the concept of being a “fad.” Unfortunately, not everyone has the strongest email marketing campaign. It’s a wasted opportunity if you don’t have one.
Using some of the best email marketing tips, you have potential to vastly increase sales and leads. This is especially true if you add in personalization in some form.
I’ll go over a bit of that in a moment.
Why is Email So Important?
It’s believed that about 4.3 billion people worldwide will use email as a form of communication by 2022. That’s nearly half of the population on Earth itself. This is more than enough reason to set up the best email marketing campaign you can.
On average, the return on the investment for email is about 3800%! This means you stand to make about $3800 for every $100 you put into the campaign. This often comes in the form of additional sales, leads and even ad revenue.
Email is one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions. It’s a way to engage a very large number of people each month while using less money than you’d spend at a restaurant for a nice meal. In fact, many medium-sized businesses will spend anywhere from $9 to $1000 each month.
Of course this depends on your own campaigns, target audience, industry and what you offer. There are a lot of variables to consider when setting up an email campaign that will ultimately adjust your overall budget.
16 Email Marketing Tips to Help You Succeed
Almost anyone can send an email to a customer. However, an effective email is one that can engage the recipient. And that’s what you need to focus on…grabbing the reader’s attention and making him or her act.
The more receptive someone is to your message, the more likely you can meet or even surpass that illustrious 3800% return on investment.
Let’s put it this way, would you invest $1000 if it could make you $38,000 over a short period of time?
Here are some of the most effective email marketing tips and techniques I’ve collected from experts all over the world. While some may require a bit of extra work, the pay-off is often well worth the effort.
1. Add Personalization to Messages
Perhaps the first step to creating effective email marketing tactics is to personalize the message. In most cases, this starts with using the recipient’s actual name. This immediately connects the individual to the content.
The purpose behind personalization is to make the message feel more like it’s coming from a good friend than an email generating bot. As a result, a lot of companies will use data such as purchase history, geographic location and even browsing history.
This data opens additional doors such as providing coupons in email specifically for products or services a person is interested in purchasing.
2. Use a “Real” Email Address when Sending Messages
In the beginning days of email, a lot of companies would message customers with something like, “firstname.lastname@example.org” or even “email@example.com.” While these tell the recipient where the message is coming from, the addresses lack a personal connection.
Using a name from a “real” email address removes the sense of a faceless business or corporation. The recipient feels as though the sender actually puts in the effort to create the message in the first place.
Using a real email address also promotes trust between the brand and the customer. And a lack of trust often results in a lack of sales.
3. Optimize for Mobile Devices
About 47% of people use a mobile device to check email on a regular basis. This means you need to optimize messages for smaller screens and responsiveness. Otherwise, the email may look unprofessional and detract from what you’re trying to accomplish.
Mobile email also means your message reaches your target audience in less time. It’s a way to reach customers regardless of where they are.
Test the message on a smaller screen to make sure it looks as it is intended. There is a massive difference between the appearance of content on something like a 22-inch widescreen monitor and a five-inch smartphone.
4. Optimize for Plain Text
Not all email clients are accepting of HTML elements. This often plays as a security risk, and many people will purposely turn off HTML-rich capabilities. For instance, Mozilla Thunderbird denies HTML elements like images pulled from a server.
Optimize your email to engage the audience effectively in plain text. Too many campaigns are heavy in images with very little actual content. These messages are often ignored because the user doesn’t want to authorize HTML.
This is especially true if you haven’t done anything to earn the recipient’s trust.
5. Know the Importance of the First Few Lines of Text
Like content on a website, the first couple of lines of your email marketing tactics are vastly important for retaining the reader. Some applications, such as those used in mobile devices, will show the first bit of content from a message before the reader opens it.
By engaging the reader as quickly as possible, you increase the likelihood he or she will open the email.
Email is technically content, and many of the same strategies in writing blog posts or website articles transition over quite nicely.
6. Offer Valuable Information to the Reader
When creating an email, offer the most high-quality content possible. For many, this is more important than creating content on a website. If someone doesn’t like the material, he or she can either unsubscribe or add you to the spam folder.
A reader should not feel that it is a waste of time to read your message.
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll want to fit in as many details as possible. Offer a teaser of what is to come when someone takes action. For example, a taste of some juicy information can be followed by a link to your website for more.
7. Segment Your Messages
Not everyone is going to benefit from the same information from your email marketing campaign. If you blast generic content to everyone, you’ll less likely engage certain customers. That’s when segmenting your lists becomes important.
Let’s say you have a computer parts store that also sells goods for gaming consoles. Do you think everyone on the email list is going to interact with computer-based messages? Some are going to prefer one category of product over another.
When you segment your email campaigns, you target specific users based on their interests. This is in addition to adding personalization. It reduces the number of messages that go out while increasing the open rate of those segmented recipients.
8. Follow the Customer Lifecycle
Engaging the customer from the very beginning is only the first step. The best way for email marketing to work for a small business, or any business for that matter, is to follow the customer’s lifecycle.
Steps include things like sending messages to:
- First attract the customer.
- Help the person decide what products to buy.
- Help the buyer use and maintain purchased products.
- Encourage using loyalty programs to get more benefits.
- Offer new products and services added to the business.
Don’t assume email campaigns are a one-off type of strategy. It’s all about engaging and keeping the interest of someone who has potential to buy more goods and services form you at a later date.
9. Add Social Sharing Buttons
Being interactive is a key element to increasing the effectiveness of email marketing tips and tricks. Offering more than just content has great potential for engaging a reader, this includes the use of social sharing buttons.
Not only does it give something for the reader to do, it also helps promote your business on sites like Facebook and Twitter. In essence, you morph the email marketing campaign into a social one with a simple click of the mouse.
You turn your readers into marketers by letting them share your content online.
10. Add Video to Email Campaigns
Social sharing isn’t the only way to add interactive elements. In fact, experts believe adding a video to email can boost click-through rates by up to 300%.
This is mainly because of how social video marketing has progressed with newer technology. It’s an effective way to engage an audience in today’s online world.
This doesn’t mean you should load up video directly within email. After all, this could create some extremely large email files. However, it doesn’t take much to embed a video campaign in email messages. This pulls the video content from a third-party source, like YouTube for example.
11. Don’t Be Long-Winded
Email campaigns should be short and to the point. You want to be as succinct as possible while still being able to engage the audience. In other words, remember that you’re not creating a blog post when structuring the message.
Long emails have a tendency to end up deleted or added to spam folders. If you have a lot of information to share, don’t be afraid to break it up into smaller and more frequent messages. You don’t want to saturate someone’s inbox, but breaking the content up may keep the reader’s attention.
And don’t forget, you can always add a link to your website to offer more information.
12. Use a More Natural Voice
Just like web content, people are more likely to engage with natural-voice content. It makes the email seem more personable and less robotic.
Here is a practice I often use when creating web content or email messages. Read out-loud what you write. Does it sound like something you would say in casual conversation? If not, then you may want to revamp the wording a bit.
Sure you can throw in uncommon and exotic words once in a while to pique the reader’s interest. However, you want the piece to feel more friendly and natural.
No one should have to open a dictionary to understand the point you’re trying to make.
13. Always Proofread Content
I cannot stress enough the importance of proofreading your content, especially when it comes to email. In a world full of cyber criminals who don’t use the best grammar, it’s imperative to separate yourself from those email scams.
Another important reason to go over your messages thoroughly is to appear more professional. People are more likely to trust the content of a business if good grammar is apparent.
Think of it as a first impression. If the grammar is poor and the spelling is atrocious, the recipient could form the same opinion about the business.
I’m not saying that your content has to be absolutely perfect. But be mindful of the impact from proper grammar and good spelling.
14. Base Email on Reader Preferences
Don’t be overly concerned about email averages. Sure, statistics can open your eyes to possibilities. However, most of these are based on averages. What works for one doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have the same experience.
Take the previous statistic of a 3800% return on investment rate. That is based on an average across multiple businesses and industries. Realize that half of these companies were lower than the average ROI.
What does this mean for you? It means you need to develop strategies and messages that are optimized for your own specific audience. The majority of your readers may appreciate embedded videos. On the other hand, they may not.
The best way to find the perfect email campaign for your specific business is through trial-and-error. Start with what works statistically and modify your strategy from there.
The engagement from your recipients will dictate your next steps. Never underestimate the value of good data.
15. Mind the Closing Statement
Have you ever thought about the importance of your closing statement? In reality, it plays a bigger role in response rates than you might think.
According to one study, the line, “thanks in advance” holds the highest in terms of response with 65.7%. Considering the baseline of all email samples sits at 47.5% response rate, these three words have a huge impact on readership.
It’s like the “conclusion” portion of a website article. Not everyone pays attention to it, but it influences the reader more than most people know.
16. Don’t Forget the Call to Action
And finally, don’t forget to add your call to action. This could be anything from the traditional “buy now” button or link to instructions to guide people to visit the website for more information.
The purpose of the call to action is to inspire recipients to perform some kind of task. This practice has been around for as long as marketing has…we’re talking more than a century here.
The call to action is an important piece to creating awesome email. Don’t be afraid to be creative with it, but make sure it’s obvious what you want the reader to do next.
Start Your Email Marketing Campaign Today
Professionals all over the world use email marketing to increase sales and leads. It’s an effective solution that has immense potential for improving any business regardless of size. All it takes is a strong email marketing strategy for your specific audience.
Using some of the best email services available, you can start seeing a return on your investment in a very short amount of time.