Effective Email Marketing Strategies: Introduction
Do you remember those flyers that local businesses used to insert into newspapers? While it may have seemed like a rather casual marketing strategy, the companies that did it well put a lot of thought into it. Which newspaper, which day, which size of flyer, which color, what copy to write, font style, font size, and even the thickness of paper are all important factors to consider when it comes to making sure that your marketing piece will be read. While an email campaign may not seem as serious since it’s digital, in today’s world effective email marketing needs to be held with the same level of thoughtful strategy.
Think about the nature of email marketing. It is more personal, more accurate, and more focused marketing, but it still holds true that you can’t afford to swamp somebody’s email box with random emails and believe that your message will be read and acted upon. Furthermore, just because you have a strong customer base doesn’t mean you can slack off. A big contact list for a business owner can be one of the most powerful ways to increase sales, but it can also be useless. If you don’t approach the names on that list with the right strategy then you might as well delete them.
Here are some steps you can utilize in order to make sure you are running effective email marketing campaigns.
The Right Length for Subject Lines
Suppose you get an email with this subject line: “Another new gym is opening next week.” What are the chances you’ll open that email? Now consider this subject line: “Learn how to start the year off with a strong, sexy body!” The odds are swung in the favor of the second subject line just because it appeals to your curiosity, making you more likely to open the email. Use A/B testing to experiment with which subject lines get more opens that others. Two general strategies are worth consideration:
Go for utility: The reader will know exactly what they are getting when they open the email. “Open for your 30% off coupon this weekend only!”
Go for curiosity: The reader is drawn to open because they are intrigued. “Open for exclusive, limited time savings you won’t believe!”
Both emails could contain the same content, but will draw a different response. The first may not get as many opens as there is no element of surprise, but those that open it are likely going to convert at a higher percentage as they opened the email knowing what it was offering. The latter example will get more opens generally, but conversion rates will likely be lower since the reader doesn’t exactly know what the offer is and may just be curious.
Both styles can be effective, but trying to combine them usually doesn’t work too well.
Text and Images
Your email should have limited copy and great visualization of the idea that you are trying to convey. Visuals and videos are winners over text when it comes to choosing type of content. No one wants to read looonnng emails; less is truly more in our modern world. Invest in graphics that cultivate emotion in your reader leading them to respond to the featured call to action in your email. This all applies tenfold if you are appealing to a young audience.
Sending Emails at the Right Time
If you thought that sending emails during typical business hours is ideal, you’re definitely not alone. It’s entirely logical to think that most people are open to receive emails during this time. But as it turns out, the 9 to 5 time structure isn’t nearly as profitable as sending emails during the night. More specifically, 8 pm till about midnight. Statistics show that both open and click through rates increase by at least 22% after the work day is done. Depending on your location and audience, this may vary, so keep experimenting until you find your sweet spot.
Mobile Responsive Emails
Not surprisingly, at least 47% of email opens are done through mobile devices. For effective email marketing, you need to keep the design of the email mobile friendly. This can be done in several ways, such as converting to a one column template and making the call-to-action as obvious as possible, such as placing it above the fold of the email so the user will see it before having to scroll at all. A good provider, such as Mailchimp, will send responsive emails to your mailing list and even allows you to preview content on multiple screen sizes before you send.
Give Every Email Substance
Don’t bombard your contact list with unnecessary emails, as that’s a sure way of getting them labeled as spam. Try to space them out so that people will be eager to read them when they do come along. This also means that every email has to contain something of interest, even if it isn’t based on selling something. Even though it may be hard at times, you have to put yourself in the mind of your reader. If you do want to send daily, weekly or monthly emails, think through the emails that you open daily, weekly and monthly and note how they are presented to keep your interest consistently.
Use a Strong Call-To-Action
Even if you use all of these tactics, it’s not going to turn into a conversion if you don’t have a strong call-to-action that motivates the reader. Being polite and asking them to do something might work in some instances, but for the most part you want to briefly but assertively outline a benefit that comes with taking action. Provide a clear reason to buy your product or service, or to learn more about your offering.
Some Final Thoughts on Effective Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing is a proven concept, but making sure you have good analytics setup through both your website and your email marketing platform is a must. Try analyzing delivery rate, open rate, action rate, and experiment with different combinations.
If you keep these tips in mind you’ll be running highly effective email marketing campaigns you’ll definitely see high levels of responsiveness. Yes, it will take time and patience, but consider it an investment that will keep on showing returns. Every open builds loyalty within the mind of the reader if the email campaign is done well!
Midas Marketing is a digital marketing and web design firm in Portland, OR