Apr 20, 20158m read
8 Tips For The Perfect Email Marketing Strategy
In an age of social media, tweets, likes and shares – email marketing has become a refuge from the overwhelming digital noise. Unequivocally agreed upon as a proven marketing method, email marketing is your chance to connect with your target audience in a one-on-one conversation. Email marketing is precise, targeted, and if you’re doing everything right, converting.
Just in case you missed something in your current email marketing strategy, or if you do not have an email marketing strategy at all (oh, boy!) – I picked up some tips from my favorite marketeer Neil Patel and a few others. Get ready to have an awesome email marketing strategy.
1. Get Permission & Get Whitelisted
The number one rule of email marketing and campaigning is Do Not Spam. Your subscribers are people who had asked to receive the valuable information that you are providing. You do not send emails to people who did not agree to be in your mailing list. No matter the service that you are using to send your emails, whether it’s AWeber or MailChimp, you will not be looked upon kindly if a large percentage of your subscribers mark you as spam.
Getting whitelisted is equally important. Again, it doesn’t matter if your service provider is Sendgrid or Getresponse, they cannot control whether your email falls in the inbox or in the spam folder. By getting whitelisted, you are identified as friend, not foe, and welcomed into the fold. The easiest way to get whitelisted is by having the subscriber add you to their contacts. Interesting thing that MailChimp does, is adding a Vcard to their email, so users can easily add their email information to their contact list.
Matthew Collis writes in Huffington Post about the importance of avoiding Spam triggering words, as he calls it. You can easily google spam activating words and see what words to avoid, especially in your subject line. Matthew offers these: 100 Spam trigger words and phrases to avoid.
2. Targeted Segmentation
Now that you’ve got your willing subscriber list in order, and you are considered a friend of the cause, you need to begin targeting your e-mails according to audience groups, or in other words, segmentation. Segmentation is basically the act of dividing your current audience into groups, where every email you send will focus on a certain group. You may have a product launch or update you would only want to send to existing clients. That is one list. You may have new blog posts you will only want to send to potential clients and existing clients. Here you are choosing from two lists.
According to Neil Patel, email segmentation raises email open rates by 203%. Research shows that email marketing campaigns convert better than SEO, display ads, and social media channels. Segmented email campaigns show even better opening rates, with 39% of email marketers who segment saying they see better open rates.
In “GetResponse” for example, you can automate your segmentation, not only creating different subscriber lists like most platforms offer, but choosing user actions that will add a user to a certain list, rather than another list. This is top notch segmentation and you can see great results. You can get more information here.
3. From + Subject Line
So, were done with our preparations, and now we need to get down to business, and actually put the email together. The first thing that people will see when your email lands in their inbox is who it’s from and the subject line. Since we do happen to read from left to right, the “from” is more important in this case, however the “subject” could convince us to open an email where the “from” is unclear.
The idea is basic: try to always identify yourself in full. Have the “from” say your full name, or your full company name. No shortcuts here. Neil Patel brings an example of an email from Banana Republic where the “from” was “BR Store”. Even if I love Banana Republic, I am not going to even look at this email. Spell it out for us. As a member of generation now, scanning emails becomes a profession that we are pretty good it. Also clicking “trash”. Your name has to be the full and complete name so our scan will not end up throwing you in the bin. Also, no “do-not-reply@bananarepublic”. Email marketing is about opening a dialogue, and by having such a “from” name you pretty much ended the conversation before you even started it.
Our scanning eyes passed the “from” and are now at the “subject”. Going back to my favorite guy, Neil Patel, in his article “How to write email subject lines..” – there are five elements to the email subject line:
- Arousing curiosity
- A sense of urgency
- A sense of the value given within the email
- Emotional reaction
If one of these is portrayed well in your email subject, it is very likely that it will have a high open rate.
A good example which combines the “from” and “subject” is the email campaign made by Obama during his elections – the “from” was Barack Obama, the “subject” was Hey. This pretty much aroused every element I’ve written above – why the heck would Barack Obama be writing me an email, and such an informal one at that. Trust me, this got a 100% open rate.
4. Call To Action
If you sent your newsletter without a proper call to action its sort of like you didn’t send it at all. Go back to the reason you decided to make an email campaign. Well, probably because we told you so. Beyond that is the basic idea that you would like to see growth for your website, your product, your company. Growth’s bottom line is making money. So, if you’d like to see results you need to ask your subscribers to do something besides reading your email. Ask them to take an action – “click here for more information”, “sign up to receive a free e-book”, “start your community today”. This way you are turning a subscriber to a potential customer.
CTA is a must. It can be a button, a banner, a clickable ad, or even just “read more”. Don’t send your email without one.
5. Socialize Your Email
Similar to CTA, although not a must, is social sharing buttons. When you send out an email campaign, the idea is to convert existing subscribers and to gain more subscribers. Your existing subscriber community can help with that by sharing your newsletter or email with their friends on social networks.
Do yourself a favor and add some social buttons, it’s easy and usually pretty automated, and can benefit you in the long run with new generated subscribers.
6. Email On-The-Go
I’ve written before about how Mobile usability is super important in your marketing strategy. Just like content is reigning king, mobile is quickly climbing up the ladder, soon to become reigning queen. Your audience is scanning emails on-the-go. One of my personal favorite things to do is go through my emails during my daily commute to work. I am sure most of you do the same. You want to get to work with a clear inbox, with your to do emails marked as important and anything that doesn’t have an action item gets archived or trashed. All of this is done via my mobile device, which just emphasizes the importance of your email presenting properly on mobile.
This also goes back to my earlier discussion of “from” and “subject” lines. People usually scan their email on-the-go, so if you don’t want to end up in the trash you need to up your game. Make sure your emails look awesome on mobile. No matter the device/browser.
7. Post-Email Sending Analytics
Now that you checked off all of the above, and sent your email across the water, you can begin your success evaluation. It’s important to have proper analytics of your email campaigns, with statistics of amount of emails opened, clicked, unsubscribed, and new subscribers. This way you can calculate your CTR (click through rate) – the number of click throughs divided by the number of messages delivered. Another more targeted way to calculate results is ACTR (adjusted click through rate) – dividing the number of click throughs by the number of messages opened.
Add a unique URL to your email, this could be attached to your CTA, and then you can track results using Google Analytics or your own analytics dashboard. By evaluating your success, you can see which segmented group clicked through your email more, and target your email topics better according to your segmented groups. This way you are constantly optimizing your campaigns to get the best results.
8. A/B Testing
A/B testing is important for email optimization, by testing our different variations of your email to the same segmented group, or sending out the same email to different groups. Don’t make more than one change in the email variations, because you will find it more difficult to know why one succeeded better than the other. With A/B testing you can optimize your campaign, and use the most successful email to achieve the best results. A/B testing could also be changing the time/day that the email is sent, changing the subject, and changing the images. Start with variety, so you can end up with a super targeted successful email.
Email marketing is an important element of your marketing strategy. It’s not costly, and it gives results that are far beyond your initial investment. One thing to always remember – make sure that your emails have an added value. If you got nothing up your sleeve, send nothing.