10 Oct Want to Greatly Improve Email Marketing? You Need These 10 Tips
Email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing tactics. With an average ROI of 4,400% – a number that hasn’t budged in years – it’s time to get serious and improve email marketing efforts.
Want to greatly improve email marketing?
These 10 tips are basically rules that we always follow when creating email marketing campaigns or newsletters for our clients. They are important, and they work to improve email marketing.
1. Segment your lists
When you segment your lists, you will see a significant improvement in your open and click-through rates. On average, segmenting a list results in a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click-through rate.
You can segment your lists in numerous ways: gender, location, purchase behavior, monthly spend, age, lifestyle, interests, job title, etc.
I’m sure you experience the effectiveness of this tactic without realizing it. I definitely benefit from it: I get emails from retailers like JCrew, COS and Everlane for women’s clothes, not men’s or children’s.
2. Scrub ‘em too
Scrubbing an email list is an activity that most companies don’t bother with, even though it can really improve email marketing effectiveness.
The idea is that if you remove people from your lists who don’t open your emails, you will greatly improve your open and click-through rates. However, you don’t want to just delete them.
You can read more about scrubbing email lists here, including what to do instead of deleting people.
3. Use A/B testing
A/B testing email subject lines is a very powerful way to increase your open rates.
Start by writing two email subject lines. When you create the email in your email marketing platform of choice (we use MailChimp), choose the A/B test option.
MailChimp will send option A to a small segment of your list and option B to another small segment. Whichever option is opened more is the “winner”. The winning subject line is then sent to the rest of the people on your list.
4. And be creative!
For the love of pizza, please don’t use “ABC Company October Newsletter” or “What’s new at ABC Company” as your email subject line. Not only is it boring, it doesn’t give the reader a reason to open the email.
I hate to break it to you, but no one cares that you landed four new clients last month or just hired your sixth employee.
Your email subject line should be creative, be focused on the reader, and provide a sneak peek at what is in the email. You can see some examples of great email subject lines (and truly horrid ones) here.
5. Make sure the “sender” is clear
If your email recipients have to guess who sent an email, guess what? Delete. Into the trash your email goes.
Unless you are a household name (like Melinda Gates or Barack Obama), the name that shows up as the email’s sender should be your company name.
You can tweak that rule – a little bit. Instead of just using “ABC Company”, you can say “Katherine Smith at ABC Company” – if most email recipients will recognize her name.
6. Properly size images
When you add a photo to an email newsletter, chances are it’s high-resolution, which means it’s a large file. If the image isn’t edited down to a manageable size, your email might not be deliverable. And even if it is delivered, it might look terrible when it’s opened.
Any email marketing platform worth its salt will guide you as you shrink the image size. The platform can also help you size images in a gallery so they appear uniform.
7. Use brand colors
The colors you use in graphics, text and call-to-action buttons should align with the colors used on your website. This is a small but important way to improve email marketing. If they click over to your website, they should immediately know they’re in the right place.
If you don’t know the hex colors used on your website, ask your website designer or developer for them. Once you have those hex numbers, you can customize the colors in your email templates.
8. Get the tone of voice right
Not only should your email look like your company, it should sound like your company too.
Are you: creative and bohemian? Buttoned up and serious? Funny and very tongue-in-cheek? Breezy and hip? Nerdy and wonky?
It really doesn’t matter what your tone of voice is, it just needs to be consistent and sound like “you”.
9. Be brief
Emails do not need to be long to be impactful. A two-sentence intro to your latest blog post and a one-sentence tip might be all your email needs to be valuable and relevant.
Not sure what to write about? I have five ideas for you here.
10. Focus on value over sales
Marketing is about building relationships first and foremost. Once people get to know you and trust you, they will buy from you. Once they buy, they will recommend you to others.
Don’t rush this process! Your emails should focus on helping, not selling.But that doesn’t mean you cannot ever ask for a sale. If you’re a retailer, you might hold quarterly sales. If you’re a service-based business, you might have one special promotion a year. Let your customers/clients know, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to destroy that relationship you’ve worked so hard to build.
Love these tips, but not sure how to improve email marketing? Get in touch – we’d love to discuss the possibilities.