10 Essential Email Marketing Tips

Love It or Hate It, Email Marketing Is Powerful

Email newsletters, flyers and alerts used well with a high quality, opt-in list can be very powerful.

Email marketing is one of the most measurable ways of retaining and keeping in touch with your customers. Done well as part of a content marketing strategy, email marketing can be cost effective and deliver high returns (ROI).

But, as you know, email done badly is spam and can easily annoy your customers. You must follow the rules and best practice.

Here are 10 Essential Email Marketing Tips

1. Build high quality lists

The quality of your list is really important. Build your own email marketing list of customers and prospects. Use a double opt-in process, ideally, or, at least, a single opt in process.
I’m not a fan of bought lists, particularly big, untargeted lists. Using these could result in you being black-listed.

Be fully aware of the laws affecting email marketing, and comply. Recipients must be able to opt out easily from any email. This is a legal requirement.

Review your list to see who hasn’t opened or clicked on a link for the last six months. Provide them with a compelling offer to re-engage.

Speak to Christopher Lamotte for advice about your email marketing. I can create and send out your email newsletters.

Clean out bad addresses of those not opening your emails on a regular basis to increase open rates.

Up to 30% of email addresses could change every year, so plan to keep your lists clean.

List quality is much more important than list size. Define your target audience and focus your efforts.

When designing your sign up forms, keep requests for details to a minimum. Real Marketing often recommends just asking for first names and email addresses.

However, you can also give subscribers options on format, frequency and content.  Let them decide the email format (text or HTML), contact frequency and content preferences.

2. Don’t use boring content

It is essential that you create inspiring, creative content with stories, photographs and even embedded videos. The content must be relevant and valued by your recipients. Be brief and don’t waffle. Too many email newsletters have poor quality content.

Share content which is valued by your audience. Answer their questions, address their pain points and fix their problems.

Emails don’t need to be long either; many of the most effective emails have 1 to 3 articles. Long emails aren’t read.

It’s often effective to provide a paragraph or two which links to a longer piece on your website. This allows you to use emails to drive traffic to your website.

Don’t send too many emails too often. Quality content sent less often is more likely to achieve good response rates.

If you don’t have the time or just struggle with creating good content, consider employing a copywriter. Real Marketing creates a lot of email newsletters for clients.

3. Test the subject line

Your email has to stand out in a crowded Inbox. Subject lines must be impactful and not use spammy terms (or they’ll end up in Clutter or Spam folders). You only have seconds to make your case. Decide whether to put your company name in the “from” line for fast recognition.

Consider using teaser text and HTML colours and layout rather than an image so readers can get an immediate “preview” of your email even if images are disabled.

Put the important content (the offer, call to action, newsletter contents etc) at the top of the email for immediate viewing.

4. Always test your emails

Send out test emails to ensure links, photos, the unsubscribe process works.  Test for correct rendering by sending tests to the main email account providers. Design the header of your email to provide the desired outcome regardless of email client.

Use an Alt Tag that communicates your header image well.

Test your content against spam filters and see how many of your emails are blocked. Avoiding clutter and spam folders can be challenging but that should be your objective.

I always send out at least 2 test emails.

5. Segment your email lists

Use your understanding of your subscribers to divide your list into segments with different needs, and then deliver distinct, targeted messages to each of those segments.

This will result in better response and conversion rates.

6. Personalise your emails

Personalise emails to increase open and engagement rates. Personalise the greeting and, potentially, the email header.

To build relationships and improve open rates, send your email from a real person and ensure replies can go to that person.

Personalisation is also about creating content that specifically addresses the recipient’s behaviour and interests such as buying history, hobbies, geographic location, format etc.

7. Ensure articles can be shared easily in social media

Ensure subscribers can share articles they like on the social media platforms used by your customers.

You can easily add share buttons to each article or to a whole newsletter.

8. Create mobile-friendly emails

Ensure your emails use responsive design so that they can be read on mobile devices. Up to half your recipients may read them on tablets and smart phones.

Ensure that your email marketing is part of an integrated, multi-channel approach to marketing which takes into account your customers’ behaviour.

9. Have clear objectives

Have clear marketing objectives for your email marketing. Use open rates and click-through rates only as a starter. Look at levels of engagement, transactions, sales, demos initiated, pdfs opened and take up of any offers.

10. Consider ‘programmatic email marketing’

For more sophisticated email marketing, use advanced email automation, ‘programmatic email marketing’, by using triggers to send specific content to recipients based on their actions.

Speak to Christopher Lamotte for advice about your email marketing.