E-mail Marketing Tips to Take Your Company to the Next Level
Think that email marketing is a thing of the past? While consumers are more cautious about who they give their email addresses to these days, businesses that get their email marketing strategy down right can easily obtain customer contact information and build a stronger, better brand. So how do you accomplish this? Our two-part series on email marketing will highlight expert tips on how to take your company to the next level with a strong email marketing campaign.
Tip #1: Keep the Subscription Process Simple
Most consumers aren’t going to spend their precious time hunting through your website for a link to subscribe to your email newsletter. If you want people to sign up, you must make the process as simple as possible. Post a sign-up form in a prominent location on your website, blog, or social media pages and keep the required fields to a minimum in order to avoid losing customer interest.
Tip #2: Set Clear Expectations for Subscribers
Before providing you with their coveted email addresses, your customers will want to know what you plan to use them for. If a customer believes that signing up will mean receiving monthly coupons, but instead they receive weekly promotions, they will become irritated and you may lose their business. Be clear about what readers can expect from your newsletter and follow through with the promise through consistency.
Tip #3: Send Out a Welcome Email
Start things off right by sending an email to subscribers welcoming them to your newsletter. This will remind readers why and how they became enrolled and will reassure them that their expectations will be met. It’s also smart to extend your thanks by offering first-time subscribers a special deal or discount.
Tip #4: Make Sure That Your Newsletter Fits Your Brand
Consumers recognize brands by their general look and feel. Whether it’s specific color schemes, logos, or tone of voice, your readers need to be able to easily identify your brand by taking a quick look at your newsletter. This will make customers feel more connected to you and more trusting right from the get-go.
Tip #5: Make It Easy to Scan On-the-Fly
Chances are that your readers are very busy people. Each day, they are bombarded with numerous emails that they have to sort through in the midst of dealing with whatever life throws their way. It’s important, then, that you create email marketing content that is clear, to-the-point, and easy to scan through very quickly. Start off with a teaser to let your readers know what to expect inside. Next, break your content up into sections that make it easier to digest or create a “read more” link for longer content that subscribers can follow when they have more time.
Tip #6: Create a Customizable Experience
Segmenting your readership population into different groups and subgroups can help you offer custom content to those who want it most. Make it easy for readers to join groups for a more personalized experience. You might also segment your readers by zip code, gender, age, etc.
Tip #7: Stick to a Schedule
It’s smart to establish a publishing calendar for your newsletter so that you’re consistent with regards to how frequently you establish customer contact. Emailing too often can be annoying, whereas emailing too infrequently can cause subscribers to forget who you are or why you’re sending them an email to begin with. In either case, you may end up losing subscribers and business.
Tip #8: Conduct a Trial Run
If you’re new to the email marketing scene, it’s important that you take the time to test out your emails before you actually release them out into the world. After all, you want to impress your customers with your newsletter. Send out test versions of your emails to colleagues, family, and friends who utilize different email platforms and devices. This will give you an accurate idea of how your newsletters will appear to different users and allow you to make tweaks or changes where necessary.
Tip #9: Optimize for Mobile
The majority of Americans utilize smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets in order to read their email. This means that it’s imperative for you to design your email newsletters with mobile devices in mind. Make sure that your emails are optimized for viewing, reading, and following links.
Tip #10: Avoid Being Flagged as Spam
Bulk emails can only be sent to people who specifically requested that they be put on your mailing list. Beyond this, you’re considered to be spam. To avoid this stigma, make absolutely certain that you only send emails out to those who voluntarily gave you their information with the expectation that they would be receiving a regular newsletter from your business. Include an obvious “unsubscribe” link in the email so that readers are reminded that they did subscribe in the past and that they have the freedom to leave the group at their leisure.
Tip #11: Make It Shareable
When your readers see something they like, chances are they’ll want to share it with their family and friends. Make it easy for subscribers to do this by offering a public link to the web version of your newsletter, with shareable Facebook, Twitter, and other social media links readily available.
Tip #12: Monitor Your Stats
Pay close attention to what’s going on with your newsletter. What are your open and click rates like, and are there any identifiable patterns that make those numbers go up and down? Keeping a watchful eye on your statistics can help you improve what you’re doing and continue to benefit from what’s already working.
Tip #13: Be Human
No one wants to read an email from a robot. Your email newsletter should be designed with a human voice that speaks to your brand’s character. Being friendly and approachable with your content will also improve brand trust and loyalty.
Tip #14: If You Don’t have Anything Interesting to Say, Be Silent
Sending out a newsletter to your customers isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t actually have something interesting or useful to say. It’s very important that you take the time to plan ahead, coming up with topics, deals, news, and specials that will appeal to your readers. This is not only an essential component of holding onto your subscribers and building customer loyalty, but also to meeting your business goals.