By April Maguire
Last Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Putting these email marketing best practices to use in your business will help your email campaigns produce more sales and customers.
Image source: iStock.com
Experts predict that there will be 4.2 billion email users by 2022. Hence, business owners who don’t take advantage of email marketing are missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow their organizations. Email marketing is the practice of using email to promote your products. However, email also enables you to keep in touch with current and prospective customers, provide brand information, and highlight sales and specials. Widely regarded as one of the most effective digital marketing strategies, email marketing has a 4000 percent ROI in the right hands.
So, how do you ensure your marketing emails achieve optimal results? The key to success is to follow these email marketing best practices:
Get Permission to Email
Don’t waste time sending promotional messages to customers who aren’t interested in your company.Sending unwanted messages is one of the biggest email marketing mistakes you can make. Before marketing your services to clients, it’s best to make sure they want to hear from you. Current estimates reveal that spam accounts for 45 percent of all emails sent, and marketers need to take steps to ensure they aren’t contributing to the problem. For best results, only send email correspondence to subscribers who have opted in to receive your emails and refrain from using paid marketing lists. Every few months, you should remove inactive contacts who haven’t clicked on your links or purchased your goods; keeping these subscribers around impacts engagement metrics and can lead to spam complaints. Additionally, companies should ensure all their emails have an easy-to-spot Unsubscribe link at the bottom. That way, customers who would rather not receive your messages can quickly opt out.
If you want to succeed in the email marketing game, you need to increase the size of your subscriber list. Achieve this goal by giving people good reasons to sign up for your content. For example, you could offer a free shipping promo or 10 percent off discount to customers who sign up for your newsletter. Additionally, you can incentivize subscribers by providing them with free content like white papers and ebooks. Just make sure the content you’re offering is desirable enough that subscribers want to stick around and receive more messages in the weeks to come.
If you want to keep your subscribers engaged, you need to provide them with relevant, engaging content on a regular basis. Fortunately, email reporting makes it simple to see what content appeals to your client base. Not only can you see which messages and newsletters have the highest open rates, but you can also determine which content generates the most clicks and conversions.
Get personal to give your subscribers a reason to open your email instead of the one from your competition. It sounds simple, but using the recipient’s name in the subject line can go a long way toward convincing them to open your email. Just make sure you have the correct name and spelling, as you don’t want to risk alienating the customers you’re hoping to impress. Additionally, marketers should ensure that the content of their messages appeals to customers’ unique needs and wants. Consider segmenting your mailing list based on previous purchases or clicks. You can even offer discounts and deals to appeal to specific clients.
Practice What You Promise
One of the top reasons customers unsubscribe from email lists is that their expectations aren’t being met with regard to message frequency or substance. Maybe they’re receiving daily messages when they only wanted to hear from a company once a week. Or perhaps the content is irrelevant, uninteresting, or otherwise lacking in value. Give yourself the best shot at email marketing success by telling customers what to expect in the initial follow-up message. Considered one of the most effective forms of email marketing, welcome messages attract 320 percent more revenue than the content that follows. For best results, send this message immediately after signup and let customers know how often they should expect to hear from you. The idea is to follow through on your promise so clients know they can rely on you.
With a large number of customers checking their email on smartphones and other devices, companies need to ensure their marketing messages are mobile friendly. Fortunately, many of the mailing services now offer mobile-friendly email marketing templates that businesses can use when creating content. Additionally, marketers should pay attention to the fact that the best email subject lines are short and to the point. Longer lines get cut off on mobile screens, making them difficult to read and understand. Finally, you should consider limiting the use of images, as these often fail to display properly on mobile devices. Instead, use text to convey a message that’s persuasive and concise.
You can’t expect your email marketing campaign to generate the desired results if you don’t decide what success means to you. Including a clear call-to-action is the best way to ensure subscribers know what step you want them to take. For example, you may want customers to click through to your website, make a purchase, sign up for a special event, or start a free trial. Be sure your CTA is easy to find, so readers don’t have to hunt for tiny text on their mobile phones. You may even want to include urgent language to prompt customers to action. Rather than asking them to buy a new product, invite them to buy today and earn 20 percent off.
Companies that want to make the most of their email marketing efforts should pay close attention to metrics. While open and click-through rates are generally regarded as the most useful pieces of information, companies should also look at the number of bounces and unsubscribes they’re receiving. If a large percentage of your client base is opting out, then there’s a good chance you aren’t providing valuable content. Moreover, marketers can gain valuable information from the metrics surrounding website and foot traffic, coupon redemptions, and event signups.
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, and content manager. Currently, she operates the freelance writing business April Maguire Ink and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.