Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers where they are without spending a lot of money, and with email providers such as Mail Chimp offering free accounts if you send to less than 2000 individual addresses, there is no excuse for any size of business not to give it a go!
Write a good subject line
In order to maximise your email open rate you need to write a good subject line for your email – it’s the first thing your customer will see when they are deciding which emails to read and which to junk! Keep your subject line simple, to the point and tell the reader what to expect inside. Try not to use words like “free” which might trigger spam filters. Personalising the subject line to the recipient and including your company name works well to encourage high open rates.
Personalise your emails
Always use your customers name in emails if you can – either first name or by their salutation and surname. “Dear Gemma” or “Hello Mr. Smyth” is much more personable and is much less like a generic, cold, business email. The more personal you can get, the easier it is to build trust. You’ll also have a better chance of your emails being opened and read.
Design and feel should be on brand
It is very important when designing your email campaign creative your email campaigns should match your brand’s look and feel. If you’re using a template, you might want to customise it to include your company’s colours and logo in the header.
- Logo in the upper left corner is always a strong placement.
- Make good use of the top 2 to 4 inches of your email design which is prime reading space.
- Keep your message short – keep scrolling to a minimum.
- Don’t use a lot of different fonts and colours.
- Make your call to action prominent and clear so that the reader knows what to do.
- Make both images and text clickable.
- Don’t use one big giant image as this may be mistaken for spam – always include some text.
- Make sure text is easily scannable – web readers won’t read every word.
- Don’t try to make your emails too fancy with Flash as it can be removed by anti-virus programs trying to protect email programs getting infected.
- Include an unsubscribe link in the footer of every email campaign you design.
Make sure you direct customers to the appropriate landing page
If you are promoting a competition, make sure they land on the competition page of your website, or app. If you are promoting a particular product, or are directing them to a free quote, make sure that is what they come to when they click your links. Make your call to action prominent and clear so that your audience knows what to do next and are directed to the end goal, and most importantly, make your call to action clickable.
Don’t view email marketing as just another opportunity to make your sales pitch and push a hard sales message. Instead, use your email messages to provide helpful information, highlight competitions and offers, and nurture your customer relationships. As customers come to see you as an industry expert, and see that your emails offer value of some sort, you will see a corresponding increase in sales, along with a much higher open rate and click through rate within your email campaigns.
Choose your time
Its 8.45 Monday morning and the average working person has just arrived at their work. They turn on their computer and around 50 new emails pop up. Chances are if you have sent an email campaign over the weekend it is getting deleted on Monday. The same goes for a Friday afternoon. People are getting ready for the weekend and aren’t really going to be excited about your business newsletter, or possibly won’t even be around to read it. The best times to send are Tuesday and Wednesday mid-morning or mid-afternoon, workloads have slackened, and people have time to read and take in what you are saying.
Analyse and take note
Monitor and assess each campaign for its open rate, bounce rate, click through rate, referral rate and unsubscribe rate. It’s worth taking the time to fine tune your campaigns and pay attention to what works best for your customers.