Email campaigns are an essential part of today’s marketing mix. Whether you have a robust list of subscribers and loyal customers eager to engage, or you’re just starting out, consider these tips to improve your current email strategy, and boost your conversion rates.
I. DETERMINE YOUR MESSAGING AND EMAIL TYPE
There are many opportunities to share email marketing with your customer base, but it is important to recognize what message you are sharing to keep the email concise, to the point and relevant for that customer.
For example, a welcome email might help introduce your company to a new subscriber, offer first-time user promotions, or relevant links to your site for them to learn more on their own time. These emails can offer stunning results - like a 91.43% open rate (Hive) and a 26.9% click-though rate (Campaign Monitor).
On the other hand, an educational or training email might be used to engage with existing customers or long-time subscribers with case studies or a step-by-step guide to using their products and services. 47% of leads will read 3-5 pieces of content before making a purchase decision (Designrr), so it's important to provide this information regularly.
II. CONSIDER YOUR SUBJECT LINE
There are many ways to craft an “Open Me” subject line. Improve your open-rates, and potentially your click-through rates by testing various subject-line strategies.
Blogger Neil Patel suggests a casual, friendly tone that mimics a personal email from a friend. He also notes that curiosity - or using a teaser - in your subject line creates an immediate need to read further. Take the following two examples:
Subject: Who dominated the red carpet at the Oscars?
Subject: Lady Gaga dominated the red carpet at the Oscars.
It's easy to see why a compelling question, and not a statement peaks curiosity to open.
When it comes to subject lines, emojis are also a huge success. By replacing or complementing words with a small image, marketers have found a new way to connect with customers (Campaign Monitor). A report from Experian showed 56% of marketers using emojis had a higher unique open rate.
Test out a few different subject line options through A/B Testing (sending two slightly varied versions of the same email) to see which performs better for your audience and improves your conversion funnel (The Daily Egg).
III. RESPECT YOUR CUSTOMERS' INBOX
An email is like a guest in your customers’ inbox – use common-sense manners for maximum engagement, and a lasting relationship. Build email lists with customers or prospects who have given permission to be emailed, and follow-up with great content on a regular basis. (Keep the "regular basis" consistent - if you promise a daily newsletter, send one each day. If you typically provide monthly updates, don't send two emails per week.)
Tailor messages to the proper segmented list. Are you looking to increase transactions with regular clients, or providing useful product comparisons for a novice buyer? By minding your manners and not bombarding a brand-new subscriber with a sales pitch, you've shown basic email etiquette that will help move them through the sales funnel over time.
"You’re not running an email list just for the fun of it—you’re there to engage customers and make sales. But transitioning from an email list that provides tons of free value into a list that pitches a product for money can be a tricky switch to make." - Neil Patel Blog
"Going dark" for long periods of time is another habit to avoid. By setting up an autoresponder system through your email provider, you can schedule a welcome email and follow-up emails to any new leads with a few simple clicks. This autopilot system keeps engagement and information flowing in a non-invasive manner, and accelerates growth (Opt-In Monster).
Lastly, abide by the CAN-SPAM laws. This law that establishes the rules for commercial email and messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law (HubSpot).
IV. ADD VIDEO LINKS, IMAGERY AND GRAPHICS WHEN RELEVANT
Show, don’t just tell. While everyone sends emails for customers to read, they don’t always share something interesting to view or watch.
Not all email providers allow for embedded videos, but you can usually provide a still image that links to your YouTube or Vimeo page. Videos allow us to tell a story or generate excitement for an upcoming event. According to a report from Wistia, emails with a video receive a 300% higher click-through rate than those without (Constant Contact).
Images and design dictate the tone of email marketing, and when appropriate can prompt customers to spend more time reading, and click-through to offers or additional content. Another essential type of image for conversion is the CTA or Call-To-Action button. Include simple, bright CTA buttons in email campaigns to drive engagement.
Infographics can also play an vital role in email campaigns. These informational graphics help convey a simple message, or valuable fact. For example, the graphic below shows that Vivid Impact offers the following valuable services to clients:
V. UTILIZE EMAIL MARKETING AS PART OF YOUR OVERALL CONTENT STRATEGY
Just as you’ve determined what type of message to send, and to what audience, remember your overall brand content strategy when creating an email campaign.
What is content strategy? An article on Forbes explains that content strategy looks at what types of content you’ll create, where it will be distributed, which part of your website it will link back to, and ways of measuring success. Content marketing allows businesses to promote value-added selling, maximizes opportunities for social sharing and increases traffic and organic search engine optimization (SEO).
How can email marketing fit into your current content strategy? Offer pertinent and useful information to your customers and subscribers. Provide them direction and guide them on their journey as a customer no matter where they fall in the sales life-cycle stage.
For example, B2B marketers might provide case studies and research or results-driven data to their clients. This gives them the right tools to justify their purchase decisions to their organization.
"Buyers, especially B2B buyers, want to know what others are doing with your product, not what they might do to improve productivity or other outcomes." -Harvard Business Review
Finally, track and analyze how your customers and segmented email lists interact with the information provided. Optimize your future email campaigns from this data, and adapt as your audience changes.
Vivid Impact now offers Email Marketing Services. Our team can help plan your email strategy, design and distribute to lists and track campaign results.