At Hughes Media, we believe email marketing is the core elemental effort in social media marketing. However, successful email campaigns require careful planning and strategy. What follows are some proven steps to ensure your emails get seen, opened, and read while providing motivation for the reader to take a desired action.
Optimize Your Subject Lines
Strong subject lines are the key factor in email open success. The best subject lines contain personalized and succinct information. Placing the customer’s first name in the subject line will generate the feel of a tailor-made email for that customer. Most people are more likely to read messages specifically written for them.
Keep the subject line brief. No more than 50 characters is ideal, and use wording that would be found in a “regular” email from one friend to another. People can sniff out an obvious sales pitch.
Keep Messages Short and To The Point
Most people lead busy, over-packed lives, so they are growing more guarded of their time. Emails that can be quickly digested are most likely to be read.
Limit your message to one main point, and don’t try and cover every detail of your business in one message. By focusing your effort to one key element, you give your company the opportunity to share another point in the next message of your DRIP email campaign. This strategy provides a steady feed of information about your company over time. If information beyond the main focus is necessary, include some links to your website where readers can learn more.
Include One Clear and Unmistakable CTA Per Email
Every email should contain one Call To Action (CTA). After providing readers with the email’s topic, be sure to present them with a next step while they are engaged. Tell your readers what you want them to do, why they should do it, and how to do it. For instance, you might want them to download a free eBook, fill out a contact form, or call in for a free consultation. Make certain that the CTA is obvious and easy to find. Otherwise, you’ll miss the opportunity to build a deeper connection with your readers.
Let Visuals Speak
Because visual elements can often convey your message better than words, ensure your text-to-visual ratio provides appealing images for your readers. The graphic design, images, and charts you share often capture attention better than the most carefully selected words.
However, do ensure that all images complement and reinforce your written content to provide a cohesive message throughout your email.
Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices
In today’s environment, between 50 and 70 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. Accordingly, emails should be designed in a mobile-friendly fashion. For starters, graphics should remain simple and easily viewed on smaller screens. Create CTA buttons that are large enough to tap comfortably on mobile devices. Finally, ensure your messages include mobile-friendly fonts for easy reading.
Perform Regular Email List Hygiene
Just as your customers value their time, your time is valuable too. Keep ahead of bounced emails by maintaining up-to-date contact information for all your customers and prospects. Review email lists regularly and update or remove inaccurate information. This action will improve inbox delivery as well as response rates.
Build Your Marketing List
Not only should you remove out of date information from your existing list, but it is crucial that your marketing list continues to grow with your business goals. Employ methods to add customers to your email marketing list: add a “subscribe” button to your blog/website, ask readers to forward your emails to colleagues who would value your services, or collect subscribers in person at a register, on a sales call, or at trade shows.
Determine Optimal Frequency
Your email marketing list will be strongest when you engage your customers properly with value-added content and relevant CTAs. Too few emails leave you “out of sight, out of mind;” but emails that are too frequent will overwhelm your readers.
Customize your delivery frequency by assessing your specific business goals and marketing trends within your particular industry. For instance, retailers may need to send newsletters a few times each week, whereas doctor clinics and more service-based industries schedule their newsletters for once a month delivery.
Once you’ve determined a starting point, initiate your marketing plan and review your results. Analyze the open rates, click-through rates, responses, and unsubscribe requests to see if you need to make any adjustments in your delivery schedule.
Establish Proper Delivery Time
Because of your customers’ busy schedules, the timing of your email delivery will affect open rates as well. Some subscribers may prefer to receive emails at certain times of the day. Accommodating their schedules and sending messages within these windows of time can guarantee better results and cultivate stronger relationships with your customers.
Of course, the optimal times for delivery will vary depending on the industry, consumer behavior, and deployment times of other marketers. In general, however, emails sent between 8 p.m. and midnight stand out more and generate the highest open rates. That’s a good starting place. As with frequency above, perform regular testing to optimize delivery for your customers.
About the Author:
Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.