Email marketing is still a leading digital method for businesses to reach their customers. Recent statistics show that 22.31 million Aussies use the internet daily, with 50% of Aussies reading emails on their mobile phone, and a significant number of those choosing email for valuable information, over social media. These numbers demonstrate the huge opportunity email marketing provides you, all at little to no cost.
Email is a convenient form of communication to promote your goods or services, attract new leads, retain loyal current buyers, and even entice back customers who have abandoned their online shopping cart. It surely beats cold calling on the phone or investing thousands for a billboard rental. However, if you want to stand out from your competitors, you're going to have to get creative!
Here are seven email marketing tips to help your emails get noticed and increase your online traffic and sales.
1. Use a Mobile Responsive Design
Approximately 50% of Australians check their email on their mobile devices, so it’s imperative that your email is optimized for mobile in order for your email to display correctly. A clunky design that is slow to load on a mobile device is likely to end up straight in the trash folder. Short CSS code snippets will help you change your email display based on screen size; make sure you keep your email easy to read with at least 14-point font.
2. Segment & Cleanse Your Email Contact List
How do you collect, store, organise and clean your email database? To grow your list of contacts, you should be asking for an email address at the point of sale, or when people sign up for your services or lead magnets. A great way to get subscribers is to offer incentives such as discount codes or provide free resources such as e-books via your e-newsletter.
Don't be fooled by email list size or those unsubscribes. Achieving an actively engaged, healthy list of recipients is the ultimate goal of every email marketer. Whether it's large or small, it doesn't matter. It's only your conversion quality that counts. By filtering out those who don't want to hear from you, you eliminate low open rates, high bounce and complaint rates. Ultimately, increasing the likelihood of email conversion with the right recipients and improving your SPAM filter rating.
Inactive lists of longer than two years old should be cleansed. It's good practice to conduct re-engagement campaigns every few months, to ensure that your subscribers are still interested. Utilise email verification services such as Kickbox or Briteverify to increase your ROI on digital campaigns. Those subscribers you lose can be retargeted and re-acquired into your marketing funnel through future social media or online ad campaign interactions.
Once you have a healthy database, you'll want to sort it into lists to suit your various demographics. Consider segmenting subscribers by their preferences, location, website activity, or even age group. Creating clever content and promotions that appeal to the interests of your audience is the best tactic to master.
3. Come Up With a Creative Subject Line
If your subject line doesn’t immediately grab the reader’s attention, there’s a good chance it’s going to go unopened! A successful subject line will be short, concise and will capture attention with a sense of urgency or even through humour. Because really, who doesn’t like to laugh? Here is a quick checklist for you to use when writing your email subject lines:
- Keep it short - allow your subscribers to read your entire subject line by keeping it under 50 characters or 5-7 words.
- Capitalise the first word only - keep your context personal and casual, like a chat between friends.
- Add an emoji to stand out - avoid using lots of exclamation points and capitalising words, unless you intend on shouting.
- Use action words - try using phrases like "Look what's arrived" instead of "here's an update".
- Create some urgency - being direct works well for conversion. Use phrases such as "available now", "hurry - it's your last chance" or "ending soon".
- Avoid the SPAM filters - always avoid the words "urgent", "free" or "limited" as they are an automatic red flag that can lower your SPAM rating.
- Personalise your subject - use tags for first names to relate. Such as "Hey Sarah, we're excited to share this with you".
- Offer a "hook" - the juiciest, value-based piece of info should be the topic of your subject line. It should draw and capture the attention of what your audience would want or relate to.
4. Triple Check Your Email Links
What is the goal of email marketing? Essentially it is to drive email recipients right to your company's website. This can be achieved by adding a strong call to action. Embed a link into the emails call to action (CTA) for consumers to easily click through. The link must transfer them directly to the product page or signup form for conversions. If the link is broken, your customer will not see your promotion, rendering your campaign a failure. Prevent this wasted opportunity by doing your homework and check that your email links work perfectly at least twice before hitting send.
5. Take Advantage of Auto Responses
Manually sending out mass emails can seem like a real chore. Don't let your email marketing campaign collapse from fatigue - instead, trust in a high-quality auto-responder program (or workflow) that will automatically send out emails to subscribers when prompted to. Program your email software to send an email every time someone registers to your site, places an order, or activates a product. Auto responses can also be used to encourage customer feedback and reviews. Other great examples of what an auto-responder can do include:
- Abandoned cart responses with suggestions for similar items or incentives to complete the transaction.
- Birthday greetings with a one-time discount voucher.
- Event reminders.
Be sure to personalise your automatic emails with the recipient’s name!
6. Send Emails on the Right Schedule
Email marketing is most effective when used in moderation. Sending out daily emails simply won't work. It won’t be long until recipients get sick of seeing your company name in their inbox and click the unsubscribe button, or even banish your emails directly to the junk folder. Instead, devise a schedule for emailing marketing promotions. Limit your emails to 1-4 times (maximum) each week. If there's a special occasion or sale, you may opt to send a few more. Research the most suitable times to send your emails, according to your industry and country (USA and Australia) for your audience to maximise your open and read rates.
7. Track Your Email Marketing Metrics
How is your email marketing campaign performing? If you can't answer that, then your marketing efforts may be going to waste. Marketing is all about measuring the metrics - you'll never learn what works and what doesn't for your unique consumers otherwise. Set up Google Analytics to track your emails just like your website traffic.
Email providers, such as Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp, also provide valuable data. Pay close attention to how people are responding to your emails. Take note of the open rate and click-through rate. Knowing and understanding these numbers will help you find and fix your email marketing weaknesses.
Overall, email marketing provides a tremendous return on investment. The average e-commerce business reaps $38 for every $1 spent on marketing emails. Email is a communication channel that should never be overlooked. Here are a few overall tips to remember:
- Send out persuasive, personalised emails with eye-catching subject lines.
- Always use clean code and a good IP address to avoid being mistaken for spam.
- Keep updating your contact list to remove inactive and disengaged email addresses, as this can damage your overall send statistics and red flag you as a SPAM with email providers.
- Use A/B testing to pick the right responsive email design.
Putting time into your email marketing strategy can pay off greatly with quality leads and better return on investment.
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