Even though other ways to reach consumers may be more popular, email outreach remains one of the most profitable marketing efforts. However, that is no guarantee of success. Email campaigns can and do fail. They can come off as intrusive and irrelevant. Getting people to open marketing emails is challenging. Still, this is a great way to keep an audience engaged. It’s just a matter of following these sixteen Golden rules.
Your Subject Line is Probably the Most Important Thing
For the most part, people don’t wait eagerly for promotional emails. You aren’t their best friend or family member. It’s not very likely that they’ll eagerly open your email, just because it’s from you. At least not at first. Instead, you have to write a compelling subject line.
Use a tool analyze your email headline. Use action words. Give the reader a clear benefit to opening the email. Keep it short enough so that it works as preview text.
Write Long but Easy to Read Emails
Many brands use short and to the point emails. There are definitely reasons to do that. Long emails can be a turn off, but only in some cases. Sure, people will zone out or just click away if they are presented with a wall of text. Still, if you provide them with content that is well-written and relevant, they will open and read your long emails. There are other benefits to longer emails:
- You can include multiple calls to action.
- You increase the chance of readers finding something that appeals them
- You can share more relevant information
Use Formatting Tricks to Increase Readability
No matter how long your emails are, you should employ formatting tips and professional help to improve readability. Use plenty of white space. Add bullet points for readability and to appeal to the ‘skimmers’. Most importantly, remember that your readers are likely using a mobile device, and plan your emails accordingly.
No Reply Screams Spam
Don’t send emails with a no-reply or similar return address. What does that tell your readers? We expect you to accept our emails, but we won’t accept yours? Not only that, but it indicates an unwillingness to respond to or even hear from customers in response to your emails. That can do a serious number on your credibility.
Also, don’t you want your customers to respond? Even if they aren’t buying your products yet, the interaction still brings the opportunity to create a positive impression.
Recycle Emails That Work
There are plenty of email marketing tools that will help you track opens, click through rates, and other metrics. This means it’s pretty easy to identify the emails that really perform well. If these emails contain valid and up to date information, don’t hesitate to polish them up just a bit and recycle them.
Consider changing the email subject line, and personalizing it a bit more for those who didn’t click through or open the email the first time. You might create some engagement by getting people to take a second look.
Segment Your Recipients for Their Sake and Yours
Segment your audience and personalize the emails that you send to each group. You’ll prove to your recipients that you care about meeting their needs with the email content you send to them. You’ll get better responses, and you won’t irritate recipients with offers and information that doesn’t apply to them.
One thing you can do is simply segment your list into people who have purchased products from you, and those who haven’t. You can appeal to your non-buying audience with content that teaches them about your brand, and encourages them to learn more about them. Then, engage seasoned buyers with how to information, and product recommendations based on their previous purchases.
Make Your Call to Action Clear
The call to action is the one point in your email that you should be clearly and unabashedly promotional. Make it clear that you want them to click that link or button, fill out the form, or take whatever action you want. Highlight the button and text. Don’t leave any doubt as to what the reader should do next.
Create FOMO With Limited Offers
People love to read about special offers via email. Unfortunately, if they don’t feel a sense of urgency, they may not act. Eventually, they might just forget about it altogether. Don’t let this happen. Use limited time offers to flip the fomo switch. People are more likely to act if they know the clock is ticking.
Get Out of Spam Folders by Encouraging a Response
Many email providers like Google will send marketing emails into a ‘promotions’ or other folder. There are even email apps and utilities that will archive these emails only to be seen when the user goes looking for them. That’s problematic is you’re emails are time sensitive, or if you just want to be sure people open and read the emails you send.
There’s a simple trick that can fix this problem. Get your readers to send you a response. The simple act of responding to an email can signal email providers and tools that your correspondence is welcome, and that the recipient is interested in engaging with you.
Just ask a simple question.
- What do you think?
- Which of our upcoming events is exciting for you?
- Send us your answer to our trivia question.
It might even be worthwhile to provide an incentive for readers to respond.
Give Previews to Make Your Audience Look Forward to More
Let readers know what they can expect in upcoming emails. This will ensure that they are looking forward to your next installment. In fact, you can even create an email schedule to provide to subscribers. It might look something like this:
- Monday: How-tos and Tips
- Tuesday: Meet our Team
- Wednesday: Special Deals and Offers For Subscribers
- Thursday: Your tips and insights
- Friday: Customer Success Stories
Send as Many Emails as You Need
Some people believe that marketing emails should be few and far between, maybe one a week or just monthly. Others believe that you should send emails on a daily basis in hopes that you play and win a numbers game. As it turns out, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Determining the number of emails you should send out is something that depends on a number of factors.
It’s all about relevance. If you have important content and up to date offers to share on a daily basis, go ahead and send out daily emails. If not, send emails less frequently.
Provide a Contextual Link in Each Email
Ideally, every email recipient answers your call to action. If not, all is not lost. There are other ways to engage customers, drive traffic to your site, and boost SEO. Try to include at least one relevant link to a page on your website. This will increase traffic to your website, and improve the ranking of that page. By linking content, you also add more credibility to your emails.
Focus on The Readability Factor
You can format your emails to improve visual readability. You should also write your emails for contextual readability. Marketing emails should be an enjoyable, and unchallenging read. Avoid jargon and big words. The best email content is written at a middle school level.
Use a tool like Readable.IO to gauge the grade level and other information about your content. You can use those insights to tweak your email for your intended audience.
Start Emailing Before You Get a Big List of Subscribers
There’s no need to wait until your subscriber list is significant to start sending out emails. Even if you only have a few subscribers, the best time to start engaging them is now. By engaging a few people with great email content, you can turn their interest into leads. Even better, those customers could be the source of valuable referrals and recommendations.
Keep Your List Maintained
Your subscriber list is only as useful as your ability to keep it updated. This means deleting out customers that haven’t shown any interest in engaging with your brand, and re-segmenting those who need to be. It’s all so imperative that you have a mechanism in place to deal with people who choose to unsubscribe.
Seek Out a Personal Connection
Some of the best marketing emails are those that make a personal connection with readers. Write emails in a casual conversational style. Use the second person point of view. Share your thoughts and experiences. Give your opinions. If your readers see you as an interesting person, they’ll be more likely to relate to your brand, and look forward to your email content.
Email marketing has the potential to be very profitable. You can reach out to customers with regular content delivered right to their inboxes. The key is ensuring your campaigns are engaging rather than annoying. Follow these 16 golden rules to keep your email marketing efforts on the right track.
Author Bio: Steven Mehler is a writer at Top Writers Review. He has a degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Digital Marketing. He writes on topics such as content marketing, technology, and big data. In his spare time, Steven enjoys sci-fi movies, NHL, and restoring his vintage Plymouth ‘Cuda.
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