Having an email marketing strategy is an undeniably essential tool when it comes to the all-important task of connecting with your customers. Creating and maintaining relationships reinforces a bond between consumers and companies whether they are B2B or B2C relationships.
Around 95% of consumers check their email every single day. That is a lot of opportunities and a lot of potential relationships.
To create and foster these relationships, it’s important to follow an email marketing strategy that ensures readers return. To do this you must utilise a value-added approach and ensure your system can be modified when required.
Here are 7 best practices for email marketing that you can use with your email marketing strategy.
1. Be Subjective
Email marketing is essentially about getting a higher open rate, more subscribers, and thus more sales.
You want customers to open your email, read the content, and respond in a meaningful way. Customers, on the other hand, typically don’t want to be bothered.
Ensuring that your email marketing is engaging is the best way to get attention and produce results. That starts with having a captivating subject line, one that’s short and sweet and to the point. In most cases, subject lines of four to seven words work best. Avoid things such all caps, as that makes customers feel like they’re being yelled at.
Don’t be afraid to use emojis, depending on your industry of course. Once thought unprofessional and tacky, emojis are now proven to generate higher open rates and more interest. That’s because consumers feel like they’re connecting with someone pleasant. Emojis put a face to a brand and create camaraderie, two essential elements in the business world.
2. Get Personal
People like to talk to people, not companies. Even if your email marketing strategy is targeting other businesses, it’s best to make it personal where possible.
The best way to boost your open rates is to ensure recipients feel like they are hearing from a person, an individual with a special interest in what they are looking for. Personalizing an email marketing campaign opens the door to flexibility and dialogue, critical building blocks toward building that relationship.
Fashioning an email marketing campaign that originates from an individual is half the battle. The best campaigns guarantee emails are fixed on an individual. Using the customer’s name in a casual tone is a great way to bridge that gap. After all, “Hi Ellen” sounds a lot more inspiring than “Dear Consumer.”
3. Keep It Simple
Just as consumers don’t want to feel like they’re just another number, they also don’t want to be blasted with too much media.
Emails that are full of graphics, unwarranted links, and changing font types are invasive and distracting. Keep your marketing campaign simple, with reserved paragraphs, bullet points, bold keywords, and a typical range of colours.
Keep your content constrained. Readers want to understand your content, so veering off on random tangents will have your readers unsubscribing.
If your business is software then stick to software, if it is machine parts then stick to news, product reviews and launches. This will ensure you have a more captivated and engaged audience.
4. Use Segmentation
All customers are not created equal. It’s important to segment and test your audiences. This can be done using a tool such as a Groupmail, a tool designed for managing your email campaigns and organising your email lists and groups.
While it might seem tempting to send the same email campaign out to all readers on the list, the reality is different, people have different wants and needs.
Customers should receive emails appropriate for them. Segmenting a customer list lets things fall into distinct demographics, which allows campaign managers to be creative about their approach.
Email lists can be separated into demographics such as age and occupation or they can be segmented by location. Campaigns can even get more specific, homing in on interests or even whether a customer has visited a certain webpage.
5. Don’t Hide the Exit
As much as it seems counterproductive, make the unsubscribe option clear.
Nobody likes to hunt around for a way out, especially if irritation is intensifying. Part of an email marketing strategy is acknowledging that sometimes things don’t work out. Ensuring that customers can opt out of email campaigns creates better trust and stops your emails from entering the spam folder.
6. The Luxury of Choice
Too many email campaigns have an all-or-nothing approach, confining customers to receiving either the entire batch of correspondence or no messages at all.
While the unsubscribe button is critical, of equal importance is control over the type of correspondence customers receive. Having a checklist that lets them opt-in or out of email types is integral. Some clients want to know every piece of news about a company, while others only want emails concerning promotions, contests, or product updates.
Providing choice helps customers feel included, giving them a say in the communication exchange and that helps improve relationships.
7. Get Mobile, Stay Mobile
A reported half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, which makes optimization critical.
Make sure the campaign design is mobile responsive. Use a format that adapts to various screen sizes. Implement shorter paragraphs to break up the text, ensure there is plenty of space between blocks. Emails should contain about 50 to 125 words, give, or take.
Images should be on the small side, simply because customers get impatient while waiting for larger pictures to load on their devices.
These are 7 of the best practices that you can implement into your email marketing strategy and campaign. It’s important to follow these practices but also to continually study and learn about new practices, tools and techniques that can improve your email efforts.