Data protection laws and audience demand for quality content have put a permanent end to the days of sending generic emails to vast lists of unknown individuals – and we couldn’t be happier about that.
There are huge opportunities for businesses who adopt email marketing. Grabbing audience attention is more difficult than ever, so reaching them in a location that maintains their attention (their inbox) is a great way to communicate with those who matter to your business. The DMA suggests that those who execute successful email campaigns could expect to see a $42 return on every $1 spent.
But with inboxes filled daily with substandard attempts to market businesses and sell products, if you want to get great results from email marketing, you really need to know what you are doing.
In this guide, we run you through some of the best ways to ensure that your email campaigns get delivered, get opened and are acted upon. Earning you the results you need to take your business to the next level.
The first hurdle you need to get over when executing successful email marketing campaigns is ensuring your emails are physically reaching those you want to reach. After all, the best crafted, most visually pleasing and well-executed email will return no results if it never gets read.
When collecting emails it can be easy to try and grow your list in any which way you can. But taking the time to assess who truly matters to your business and who will benefit from your content will drastically improve your results. A small list of real potential customers is far more valuable than a large list of random individuals.
Collecting emails from the right people is a straight forward process. You need to figure out who your most valuable customers are, where they ‘hang out’ online, encourage them to engage with your brand and then present them with a high-performing contact form to get them signed up for your list.
Once you have built a list, maintaining good list hygiene is also crucial. This simply means reviewing your list regularly and cleaning out any emails that are no longer relevant or active.
From a technical point of view, you can also ensure increased deliverability by authenticating your domain and maintaining proper IP allocation. Doing this helps email providers identify the authenticity of your emails and helps them deliver them to users’ inboxes rather than their spam folders.
Improving Your Open Rates
Once you have ensured that your emails are being delivered to the right people, you need to encourage them to open and engage with your content.
Getting your emails opened relies on a number of factors. Arguably the most important factor of all is creating a great email subject line. Think of your subject line as a mini-advert for your email, it needs to intrigue and compel the reader to open and read your email. If your email subject fails to do this, the likelihood is you will be moved straight into the trash.
Keeping your content relevant is also a key part of improving your open rates. By delivering consistently valuable content to your audience they will come to recognise and trust emails sent by your brand, drastically increasing the likelihood that the email will get opened.
You can also ensure open rate success by finding the best times to send your emails. Although there is plenty of general wisdom online surrounding the ‘best times to send’ your emails, the real answer will depend on many factors associated with those who make up your lists such as their location and habits.
To find the best time to send your emails you will need to test various times and rely on your own data. If your audience varies based on key information such as location, segmenting your data and sending email campaigns to different segments at different times of day can drastically improve open rates.
High numbers of unsubscribes can kill a once healthy and profitable email list. Taking action to nurture your list will help you limit potential unsubscribes and ensure continued success. Knowing why people unsubscribe from emails lists will help you adjust your processes and content to mitigate list shrinkage.
Over-sending emails is one reason people unsubscribe from lists. Constantly sending emails is likely to frustrate recipients and result in your brand name becoming known as a pest. This is especially true when you fail to add real and considerable value to each and every email. A better strategy is to send fewer emails, with higher levels of value in each.
We mentioned how segmenting your content can increase open rates, but it can also help you reduce the number of unsubscribes to your list. By segmenting your audience you can tailor your emails to better suit the recipient’s interests. If your audience spans internationally, you may even choose to translate geographical segments based on their given language.
It is important to note that unsubscribes aren’t the end of the world. If you are delivering valuable content and people are unsubscribing, they are unlikely to be that interested in what you are offering and unlikely to ever be a paying customer. It is better to focus on serving those who can actually benefit from what you have to offer.
Get Technical with E-Marketing
Spending some time improving the technical aspects of your emails can also help improve performance.
With some studies showing that upwards of 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device, ensuring your campaigns are mobile-friendly is crucial in ensuring success. Most email marketing platform will automate the transfer of content into a mobile-friendly format, but don’t offer any automation when it comes to ensuring the content flows and makes sense. Take some time to test your email on a number of mobile devices to ensure it delivers the desired impact.
Reducing your files sizes will also make your emails faster to view. Large file sizes can often lead to a delay or errors in loading, which in turn will result in an email being closed before its contents are digested. Getting the fine line between quality and file size can be tricky, but achievable with the right level of expertise.
Finally, introducing link tracking into your emails will help you monitor success and identify areas of improvement. By knowing the recipient’s journey you can easily find the best ways to convert and spot which steps of the process are seeing the greatest drop-off rates.
Better Email Marketing
In the hands of those who know how, email marketing remains a powerful tool. By following the steps we have outlined in this article, you will give yourself the best possible chance in achieving marketing success.
Guest Author Bio: Owain is a content writer, marketer and agency owner. He is the founder of MAKE IT MANA marketing agency and Editor of Better Business Tools online magazine. When he isn’t supporting clients with their marketing needs he is writing content and contributing to industry thought leadership in the marketing space.