The A to Z of Successful Email marketing
Many people must have been surprised by the fact that Email marketing has withstood the test of Digital Marketing, especially the new wave of Social Media. The new and emerging ways of marketing are becoming more popular and effective by the day, but still, they haven’t been able to beat the good old Email marketing.
It is the cheapest yet the most powerful mode of marketing. But that doesn’t mean everyone will find success with it by default. Every day, about 100 to 200 billion emails are sent worldwide. To stand out in this gigantic crowd and get noticed in your recipients’ inbox, every aspect needs to be taken care of in the right way for maximum impact.
Following tips are concerned with the general preparation and pre-work of email marketing which will lay a solid base for when you will write the actual mail.
Targeting the right audience: The receivers of your email are different in many aspects like behavior, likes, preferences, etc. You should know all these demographics about the audience, it is a very important step if you want to do a successful email marketing. You can know this by trial & error, Google Analytics or Facebook Insights. With this knowledge, you can send right emails to the right people in your subscriber list for sure success.
Make it valuable: Your email must provide value to the recipients, else it will be ignored and affect the open rate. People look for anything that is useful for them, always. The emails must have quality content in them and sending quality emails consistently is one more point to note for a successful email campaign. Don’t just mail them when you need anything. Be helpful and friendly.
Smart design of the email: User-friendly design matters in every email campaign. People are attracted towards anything that is visually appealing. But don’t overdo it as most of them keep images disable in their emails. Give most of the info via text, which should be brief. Images should supplement the text and not vice versa.
Mobile-friendly emails: This point is similar to the above one because almost 60% of the email users open their mails from their mobile devices, says a study by Adestra. This number is only going to grow in the future. Hence, make sure your emails are optimized for the mobile platform and you are using a responsive template for the mails. Check some more mobile email stats from Campaignmonitor.
Email types: Different emails serve different purposes. There are three basic types of emails that are usually sent. Promotional emails talk about your sales and offers. Transactional emails are usually triggered by the subscribers’ reactions, like welcome messages, signup or purchase confirmations, acknowledgments, etc. Relational emails are those that give subscribers what was promised. It can be a free gift, weekly newsletter, any other information, etc.
The next few tips are regarding the email body construction and related elements. The main email itself must be compelling enough for the people to open, read and take some action as said in it. This will greatly help in conversions and successful sales.
Craft an enticing subject line: that is the first thing people will notice about your email even before they open it. By looking at the subject, people will decide whether to open it or delete. Hence, carefully and in limited words (about 60-70 characters) write such a subject line that will capture their attention and pique their interest. It should truthfully explain the purpose of your email. Avoid sensational and shocking words in it. You can do A/B testing with it till you are satisfied and confident.
Use real names: The recipients should see a real person’s name when they see your email. That increases their chances of opening the mail. People naturally hate it or freak out when they see formal, company and professional name in the subject line.
Use numbers & stats: A subject line that contains digits is recommended because numbers stop wandering eyes. Hence, they are also recommended in the email body. Numbers give a stable statement. ‘Save 50rs’ is any day better than ‘Save some money’.
Write short and enticing copy: People don’t have the time to read a big essay from a stranger. Long written emails will never be read even half, and people won’t open mails from the same sender again. Use Bullet lines over paragraphs. Explain your email intention in short, precise and attractive words. Give the most important information and the one that will benefit the recipients. It should pique their curiosity sufficiently. Don’t show any dullness and selfishness by any means in the mail. Don’t follow any set formula, they quickly bore the people.
- For anything more than that, you can provide links. Do editing and proofreading of the email more than once. Structure your email body in a proper format which the reader will understand. You can ask questions, it makes the email more conversational and interacting.
Power words: There are certain words which have the maximum impact. Such emotional and sensory words motivate the audience to open the mail or take some action. You can use them strategically in your email.
Talk Benefits: Customers care more about the benefits than the features. For e.g. for a portable music player, instead of saying, ‘It has 2GB storage’, you should say, ‘Now you can store 1000 songs in your pocket!’
Personalization: It has a good ability to make people feel unique, special and not just make up the numbers. You can take their names in the mail subject and body. It helps build trust in them about you and increases their chances of doing business with you. Don’t overdo, as it will make you creepy. The word ‘You’ itself is such a persuasive word, use it often.
Call-To-Action is a must: One of the main aims of email campaigns is to increase conversions, sales and make the readers take some action, not just to read the email and move on. There should be at least one CTA with a visually appealing button in the email, mostly at the end of it. It can be linked to your site, product purchase, survey, etc. More than one CTA is fine, but only if it fits the campaign & subject.
Links & Landing pages: Inserting links is a good way to elaborate on your email subject further. Those who want to know more can be redirected to specific landing pages. It also increases the traffic to the site. Make sure the landing pages are on target.
Use images only when they are needed and are enhancing the subject matter. Images should be quality but with a small size to reduce load times. Also, give an alt-text to the images as most of the people have images disabled in their mail settings. People love anything that is free. Thus, you can include a freebie in your email like a useful pdf, discount for the early birds, etc.
Always avoid writing the subject line or email body in All-caps. It can drive away the recipient. You can use emojis but only in a limited pile, they make the email less formal and increase the open rate.
The job is not over just yet. Quite a few things need to be taken care of after you have written the actual mail. The set of instructions written below pertain to the post-email writing task, finishing touches, patch up work, etc.
Testing & Tracking
Whichever task you do regarding the email campaign, test it thoroughly. The subject line, mail body, design & layout, CTA, links, etc. You should also test the sending time, day of the week, sending emails with different segments. As a testing measure, you can also send mails to your employees or near n dear ones. Engage all the mail providers, test the emails on the mobile platform for everything.
Failure in any step will make you look unprofessional and foolish. Gather as much data from the analytics of the mail providers as you can, it will all be very useful for future campaigns; or you can take the help of external soft wares like Litmus.
Sending Time & Day
There are some optimum times of the day and days of the week when sending emails will have the maximum effect for open and click rate. Transactional emails are sent right after any transaction is made. For promotional and other relational emails, several studies have concluded that the best time to send these emails is between 8 pm to midnight.
Other good times of the day could be 6 am, 10 am or 2 pm, depending on the demographics and behavior of the recipients. For the days of the week, some studies have concluded Tuesday to Thursday as the optimum days to do email campaigns, while other studies say weekends as the best time of the week.
Spam folder & Subscription
There is no point in doing any email campaign if all the emails will be going to the spam folder of the recipient. For the people to opt-in to your mails, you can give them the option to sign-up for the email lists and optimize the emails for it. Adhere to all the rules and regulations of the CAN-SPAM Act to avoid getting banned from the email networks. To know about how spam filters work and avoiding them, read this MailChimp guide.
The email campaign should always be user-friendly. Nothing can be done forcibly, whether it is buying a product/service or just opening emails to read. Hence, people should have the option if they don’t want further emails from you. If they don’t get this option, they most likely will flag your email as spam which will cause you a lot of problems later.
Among other things, if you have an inactive subscriber list, reengage with them! Make use of every mail you got, there is just no point in having an ideally kept list. Don’t bombard the subscribers with emails too often. Hold your eagerness, there should be a good space between consequent emails; although it differs from campaign needs and user demographics. It is better to manage the email marketing schedule on a calendar to avoid any issues.
No one can become a successful email marketer in a couple of days. It takes patience, at least a few tries, experiments and time which may vary. The key is to proceed step by step and implement the above points gradually. There is no guarantee of a 100% success, still, it will considerably shoot up the open, click through, conversion rate and ROI for you. The rules of successful email marketing may also change with time and trends, so look out for that too. With each passing day, always try to improve and better your skills.