So you’re actively sending out email marketing campaigns for your business but you’re not finding a lot of engagement from your customers and it looks like only half the people that you’re sending to are opening their emails? Or maybe you’re looking to create your first email marketing campaign and you’re just not quite sure where to start? Here are ten handy tips to be aware of when writing a successful email marketing campaign:
1. Less is More – You may be tempted to use a lot of images to get your branding across to customers, however the important thing to remember is that an email is not a print mail piece and many (if not most) of your recipients will not see the images included in your email. Which means that every image you include can be wasted space and quite often most people have their image settings turned off for their emails. Our recommendation is to use well-coded html instead of image heavy design.
2. The Subject Matters - Ok, you have their permission but that doesn't mean you're automatically in. You've got one line of about 50 characters between "Open" and "Delete". The subject line should quickly let them know what the email is about & attention grabbing. Personalize it where you can. Mix it up - don't use the same subject line for all of your emails.
3. Stay Away from Spamming Your Customers - If you use email you know what a pain it is to start your day filtering through all the junk emails you receive. The only responsible way to run an email campaign these days is to use permission based lists (aka contact lists where people have actively signed up to receive information on your products / services). Depending on your site's traffic and how compelling you make the sign-up form, this could take a while but in the end it is worth it as you don't want to risk ruining your brand and therefore your customer relationships.
4. Provide a Call to Action - What's the point? Make it clear to the reader that you want them to get to your site or learn about your latest product / service. Make them want to, tell them how to, and don't forget to ask them to.
5. Keep It Short & Snappy - Most users aren't going to read the full text of your email. They're going to scan it for key points that they may be interested in. Keep your text short (very small paragraphs or bullets) and use font bolding and additional colours to highlight words or phrases that you know will be important to your customers.
6. Maximise Your Space - You don't have a lot of space in a person's inbox to convey a message, and most of your users will be viewing your email in a preview pane with the images turned off. Make sure that your html email template isn't more than 600 pixels wide and that you clearly get your value proposition and at least one link into the first 100 pixels of height.
7. Send Something Useful - Don't send an email just because it's that time of the month - give people something worth opening, thereby creating worthwhile engagement with your customers. Tell them about a new product, teach them how to do something or offer them an exclusive discount. Think about what your target audience is and what they would most likely want to read about.
8. Html vs Text – If you’re wondering how to decide if you should use an html email or a text only email, our recommendation is that you use both. But, at a minimum, if you are using an html email you must piggyback a text only version to send out to your customers as well. A number of people do opt to view email as text only, and, increasingly, people are reading text-based email only on mobile phones.
9. Mind your P's and Q's - Use a spell checker, but don't rely on it. Proof read your content for errors, and then have someone else do it. Also look for HTML errors, broken links or anything else that might irritate readers or just make you look incompetent.
10. Testing 1, 2, 3... - Track your results, pay more attention to conversion rates and revenue-per-email than to opens and click-through rates. Test a variety of subject lines. See which ones are not only getting opened but are actually generating revenue. Test different font sizes, different colours, different word totals. Find out what works for your customers, in your industry and make the most of it. Have fun with it.
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