Let’s Talk About Email Marketing
Ahhh…one of my favorite subjects: email marketing. Many feel email marketing is somewhat like a chore. However, I greatly dislike the word chore! Instead, let’s use the word opportunity. Email marketing can be a great opportunity to earn the interest and trust of your desired audience IF used correctly.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few things you should always keep in mind when exploring how email marketing works. Do your homework and understand the expectations of this marketing tool. As with anything else, it’s not a standalone silver bullet, but when it’s strategically integrated into a comprehensive marketing program, it can work very effectively. So how do you make it work for you? Here are few tips:
First, let’s talk about the most important aspect of any email
The Subject Line
Subject lines are inevitably what entices someone to open your email or dump it (dun dun dunnnn). No pressure, right? The secret to the successful subject line technique is to simply describe the content of the email itself. If it’s a limited edition sale… say so. If it’s a company newsletter… say so. If it’s a new product release… say so. See the trend?
Over the top subject lines that are too creative or too salesy usually get chucked in the trash. To us creatives, this might be a slap in the face, but research has proven simplicity trumps creative sales terms in email marketing! And you can hardly argue proven statistical data.
Here’s a fun tip for subject lines. Some email programs, such as MailChimp, will allow you to add emojis to your subject line. I personally love this feature (and not just because I have an Emoji calendar on my desk)! Emojis are a great way to break up the monotony of text in an inbox. However, choose emojis carefully, as some devices may not support them equally. And again, make the emoji relevant to the content in your email.
The Preheader Line: A Hidden Gem
Preheaders are lines of text that appear immediately after the subject line in an inbox. This is, yet again, another chance to clarify what is in the email you are sending. Don’t avoid this important step in the setup process! If you neglect to add this text into your email, your email program will pull the first area of live text as your preheader. This is not always a good thing. Be sure to manually set this feature so you have complete control over what is used to entice a reader to open your email.
Another factor leading to higher open rates is having a clean email list. Make sure the recipients in your list have opted into your mailing list in one way or another. Email recipients are bombarded with spam emails they did not ask to receive. Don’t add to their frustration! Good marketers keep good business ethics and only blast recipients they have obtained permission from. A clean email list means you have a quality list of prospects who want to hear from you.
It doesn’t get much better than someone saying, “Yes, please talk to me!” Use this to your advantage and engage with this audience to effectively manage higher quality email campaigns yielding higher returns.
Some subscribers may have images disabled in their inbox (shame on them!). We know, as marketers, good imagery and branding set you apart from the masses. Fortunately, in this scenario, you can still entice a reader to open your email even if they have images turned off!
Always be sure to add alt text to your images when loading them to your email platform. These short lines of text enable you to describe the contents of the email without imagery. Again, this is another tool you can use to better your email open and click through rates. Use it wisely.
Create Quality Content
You MUST do this. Please, please, please plan good quality content to be a major part of your email marketing program. You can have a massive email list, perfectly crafted subject lines and gorgeous, jaw dropping images, but if the content inside your email doesn’t matter or appeal to your audience, you’re wasting time and energy. Sound cut throat? Well, it kind of is…
If you get a subscriber to open your email, you better offer content that is of interest to them and worth their time. Consumers and prospects don’t have to time to sort through the hundreds of emails they get daily. If your email is one of the lucky ones they chose to open (per your perfectly crafted subject line) make sure your content works. Sound daunting? Create a calendar of ideas that will help you plan ahead for content creation. Study your open rates and see which emails have high click through rates. Keep a record of what works and doesn’t work. And yes, you can have your promotional agenda but always try to understand and address what the target cares about first!
And Lastly, Show Respect
Knowing your limits will help you earn the trust and respect of your audience. If you see your perfectly crafted email list start to dwindle in subscribers, perhaps you are sending too many emails. Brand awareness is crucial for brands to stay afloat in this convoluted marketing world; however, don’t wear your audience out by blasting them too many times. Test your list and start slow. If subscribers don’t start leaving in high numbers, gradually up the number of times you email them. However, again, remember email marketing is not a silver bullet. Use your other marketing tools to help spread your message and stay in front of your target audience.
You’re Ready to Begin!
There’s so much that can be discussed about email marketing and seriously, I could ramble on and on; however, the tips above should be enough to get you going in a positive direction with your email marketing program. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to us. Ciao for now!
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