Has your email marketing felt a bit static lately? Is your readership open rate or click-through rate declining? Perhaps content seems to be lacking or ideas just aren’t flowing like they once were. For us here at Onya, let us reassure you by saying: we’ve been there.
If you’re putting minimal effort into your email campaigns, it may be time to take a step back and consider email marketing best practices. Email marketing is important because it is a key way to connect with current and potential clients. In fact, email is also 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. For ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. When you want to grow your business, acquire new customers, launch a new product, or offer a promotion, you turn to email because they are interested audiences who want to hear more.
So how do you start to refresh and grab your audience’s attention once again? Listed below are some helpful suggestions to get the juices flowing and, more importantly, increase the response from your audiences.
Reduce Massive Amounts of Text
Nobody wants to wade through large amounts of text, especially in an email. The majority of people will be reading on their mobile devices and will quickly lose interest if a 25-minute read is required. It can also be difficult to read long paragraphs on your phone so breaking things up into digestible bits will greatly enhance the user experience. Not to mention, your reader’s time is valuable, and they know that. Respect their time, and yours, by getting to the point, and quickly.
Use Responsive, Visually Appealing Layouts
Ever get an email and think, “Man, this looks so bad. Not worth my time”. Or better yet, “This email is amazing! You’ve got my attention”. Design and layout play a big role in making sure audiences see what they need to see. Email marketing services have all kinds of email templates to choose from. Be sure to scroll through their options when you’re in need of design inspiration. Using your own branding, create 2-3 templates that can be used on a consistent basis. When the time comes to send an email, it’s easier to build when you only have to swap out content and images. Remember that the type of content being shared will dictate the best layout (i.e. if you have a video, make sure the video image is embedded and towards the top of the email).
Practice Good Communication
You don’t need to be an English major to send effective messages, but you do need to practice writing clearly and concisely. When writing for consumers, you’re writing for a population with an attention span that’s less than 8 seconds. Some helpful tips for effective messaging include:
- Personalizing the subject line – The subject line is your first impression and invitation to present more information. By including personalized elements like a person’s name, you can boost open rates by 50%.
- Avoiding Spam-Heavy Words – You might be offering “luxury” experiences or giving something away for “free” but your subject line is not the place to mention it. Make it evident that your content is meaningful and that you’re not here to waste time. Here are 100+ words to also be wary of when developing email content.
- Keep It Short – As mentioned above, the longer you ramble on, the more likely readers are to bail and move to the next email. The general rule of thumb is to present the problem, present your solution, and give them something to do about it. While you might not have an actual problem at hand, it’s helpful to ask the question, give a response, and give them options.
Try Fun and Unique Topics
Not all emails have to be a sales push. In fact, the more interesting content you share with audiences, the more likely they’ll be to engage with your company. Here are some helpful topics and styles to consider:
- Surveys – This can be as simple as posing the question: What problem can I help you solve? There are a host of options to choose from and an easy way to gain feedback quickly.
- Devotionals – These are short, contemplative, and inspiring pieces to encourage your readers when they first open their email. It gives them a pause to breathe and reflect before diving into their work.
- Podcast and/or Video Highlights – Content isn’t and shouldn’t always be text. Give them links to listen to your latest discussion with the local mayor or invite them to watch a video on how to change a tire. Get them active by providing varying sets of content.
- Tips & Tricks/Professional Development – How to’s and professional development emails are resources that audiences can always refer back to. Give them sound bites of your top 5 keys to success or links to the best resources like training new hires.
- Behind the Scenes – For those who are actively involved and like working with your company, a behind-the-scenes look is always intriguing. Give them the inside scoop and provide pictures or links to a blog detailing the keys to your success.
- List Maintenance – This might seem like more of an obligatory task but in reality, it’s always good to check in with subscribers who haven’t responded in some time to find out if they still want to be on the list. You might also consider polling them to find out how you can better serve their interests or reduce frequency.
Segment Your Audience Lists
If you want to ensure you’re only sending relevant content, segmentation is key. Once a user has signed up or purchased a product, you can ask them to choose their preferences by asking what interests them and what kind of content they’d like to continue to receive. Segmented email campaigns have been shown to drive a 760% increase in revenue, giving plenty of reason to consider adding this as a tactic.
Review and Iterate
One of the greatest tools in verifying your email marketing is on target is the back-end analytics. While open rate can be telling, what’s more intriguing is the click-through rate. When testing new email formats or content types, watch to see if people are engaging the way you thought they would. If you included a video, are they watching it? If you shared an interactive poll, are they taking part? For other email templates, the look and feel might also generate more interest. Test and study 1-3 month’s worth of email campaigns and see which ones had the highest engagement. From there, it’s a matter of tweaking and iterating for maximum effectiveness.
Troubleshooting and improving your email marketing can really pay off in the long run. One business boosted its click rate by 842%, getting more leads and sales as a result. Here at Onya, we’re always looking for new ways to get in touch and share ways in which email marketing has become one of the best ways to engage with those around us. Connect with us to learn more.