Email remains one of the most lucrative marketing channels for businesses. Unlike PPC, it’s a free source of advertising and its aimed at people who have already shown an interest in your brand by subscribing to your newsletter. Evidence shows that these people are much more inclined to buy from you because a level of trust has already been established. Email marketing, therefore, is perfect for boosting your sales – provided it is done correctly. In this post, we’ll show you six useful tips to take your email campaigns to the next level.
1. There’s more to email marketing than selling
Let’s be honest, if all you used your email list for was to try and sell your products, your subscribers would soon get fed up. Instead, you should mix up your emails or newsletters with other forms of content that will keep subscribers engaged.
Many companies use email to help with branding and customer relations; they send out company news, how – to articles, product reviews and discount vouchers or coupon codes. Of course, they also include news about new products or upcoming sales.
By providing your subscribers with a variety of content they are more likely to read the newsletters and stay subscribed. They are also more likely to visit your site and buy your products, even when that might not have been the primary purpose of the email.
2. Content still rules the roost
The key to conversion lies in the quality of the content you send to your subscribers. It needs to be well written, aimed at the needs of your readers and engaging for them to read. If you send a newsletter with excerpts of your posts, make sure the excerpts are good enough to get them to click through to your website and finish reading the whole article.
If you are just sending a marketing email, be succinct in what you say but make sure there is enough to get the reader to want to know more. If you can send rich text / HTML emails, try using images too, these are an excellent way to keep a reader engaged, especially if you are promoting a product.
With marketing emails, you should always remember to include a compelling call to action in the copy, for example, ‘Buy today and get a 10% discount,’ or ‘Subscribe now and get 6 months for half price.”
3. Send emails at the most opportune time and frequency
A lot of research has gone into analysing the best times to send emails. Mail company MailChimp, for example, has analysed billions of mail addresses as part of the Email Genome Project and now has a Send Time Optimization feature. According to a MailChimp article, the best time to send email depends upon a number of factors relating to your business and your audience, however, overall, these are the best times to send:
- Day of the week – Monday to Friday (except for mail about recreational content, when it’s the weekend)
- Time of Day – the optimal send time is 10.30am (except for content about hobbies, which is 8.00am)
With regard to frequency, there has been a reduction in the number of marketing emails sent by businesses and instead of focusing on a programmatic schedule, email marketers now decide frequency based on the behaviour of their customers and how they react to triggers within previously sent emails. The companies that do this use big data analyses to discover the behavioural patterns.
For those that lack the capacity to analyse big data, the advice is not to oversend and to refrain from sending low-quality of irrelevant emails. Most companies send marketing emails about three times a month.
4. Design your newsletter to fit your brand
Every good email marketing service (e.g. MailChimp, Aweber, etc.) provides the means for companies to create attractive newsletters to mail out to their subscribers. You can also get plugins for your website that do the same thing, such as MailPoet.
The software needed to create newsletters is usually easy to use, often using drag and drop features and text editors. You can also create automated newsletters that select the excerpts and featured images from your recent blog posts.
To get the most benefit from your newsletter design, it is important to match it to your corporate branding. Include your logo in the newsletter and use colours and fonts which are similar to those on your website. This consistency helps create trust in your users as they are more familiar with the branding when they open the post.
5. Know your spam rules
There are two sets of rules which apply when sending marketing emails: legal rules you have to comply with; and best practice you need to follow to avoid your emails being regarded as spam by mail servers.
With regard to legal rules, the email must clearly let the user know who the email is from and it should include both your business address and a working unsubscribe link. In addition, the subject line has to be relevant to the content. Importantly, you should only send marketing emails to those who have requested them.
The business address will also help your mail from being treated as spam by email servers. In addition, you should also avoid using spammy sounding phrases in the subject line which may be filtered out.
6. Test and evaluate your campaigns
One way to ensure that your next campaign works even better is to analyse your metrics. Email marketers look at four different types of data: click through rates, conversion rates, opening rates and unsubscribe rates. You should look at these rates for each email you send to try and work out which types of content are more successful than others.
In addition, many email marketing services provide analytics for your campaigns and these can help you find out the following:
- The best time and day for sending emails for your particular business
- Which emails and subject lines get opened the most
- Which emails get clicked on the most
- Which emails cause most people to unsubscribe
Besides analysing the data from your previous emails, you can also A/B split test your next campaign on a small number of subscribers prior to it going live. This way you can make sure you are sending out the best version for the campaign to the rest of your subscribers.
Email continues to be a leading generator of business income and companies can benefit significantly from improving how they communicate with their subscribers. Hopefully, the tips we have mentioned in this post will help you improve your email marketing campaigns even more.
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