In our last post we got started on defining the things that make up a top notch marketing email. Contrary to many beliefs, email marketing is most definitely not dead and most certainly is not just left to the spammers of the interwebs.
We’re off to a good start, but there’s still a few more best practices that we can use to craft extremely effective marketing emails – so let’s polish this puppy up:
7. Focus on the Benefits
Remember that your products or services need to solve a problem for the person in need. You need to be helpful and not just simply blasting a slew of product features at your leads. For example, Facebook doesn’t promote the fact that you can do things like attach pictures or videos to your status updates, they promote the fact that you can connect with friends. Craft your language and copy around the benefits of your business rather than the features you offer.
8. Use Calls to Action
Your readers will need a way to take action towards a next step. There are multiple ways to do this and it’s good idea to take advantage of any and all of them. You can add links directly into your body text, add links to landing pages on your images within the email, add a phone number to your signature, etc. Wherever it is that you would like people to go next after reading your email, make sure there’s a way for them to get there via a call to action.
9. Encourage Social Sharing
If your goal is to generate more leads, then adding ways for people to share your content is kind of a no-brainer. Many email delivery systems have the ability to embed social sharing icons right into your message. Just make sure that you use a proper tracking url so that you know where things are coming and going. A tracking url is essentially your landing page address with a token on the end that tells you what source the visitor came from whether it’s an email, menu link, etc.
10. Edit the Plain Text
Not everyone is going to have the ability to display images right in their email program, so you’ll want to have a plain text version. If you don’t take the time to format the plain text version of your emails into something that is digestible, those people who are stripping your email down to the bare bones are going to be dropped into ground zero of a tactical nuclear strike, trying to piece together the jumbled remains of sentences and links.
11. Optimize Your Email for Mobile Devices
According to Litmus, almost 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, which if you paid attention in third-grade math class is approximately one out of two. Or half.
That’s why it makes complete sense to ensure that your emails are formatted for mobile devices as well. Many email tools will have built in templates with a responsive feature that will automatically adjust for different screen sizes – but if you’re doing something a little more custom, keep in mind those mobile users and always preview your message for mobile before you complete the great send.
12. Evaluate Your Results
Make sure you are analyzing the data that comes back from your emails so that you can best determine what is working, what isn’t and the best course of future action. By implementing A/B testing for different elements like your subject line, offers, calls to action, etc., you can better judge which pieces of content are generating the best response. Also be sure to look at the more general statistics including delivery and open rates, click-through rates and hard/soft bounces to make sure the goods are really being delivered and not just ending up trapped in spam filters.
Email marketing is great for brand awareness, not to mention generating and converting leads and even customer retention. In order to be successful with email marketing, it’s imperative to develop and send the right content to the right people at the right time. Hopefully these twelve tips have helped paint a better picture of how email marketing fits into your online marketing strategy.