Technology is changing everyday, but email marketing is still one of the best ways brands communicate with and provide value for their customers. We all know how important social media, affiliate, mobile, search engine, pay per click marketing and content marketing can be, but email marketing still offers one of the top return on investment (ROI). Just like everything else, it’s best used when holistically combined with the rest of the marketing mix. Email marketing is not going anywhere and I think it has a bright future as long as you follow these golden rules.
Email marketing is great when used with the segmenting, targeting, and positioning (or STP) approach. For a full explanation of STP, there are lots of great resources available, but here is a short description of how STP relates to email marketing.
There are three steps to this approach:
- Segment: Divide your email list into comprehensive and mutually exclusive segments.
- Target: Decide what email has the most to offer each segment.
- Position: Determine the value your offer provides to the targeted segment.
- Test Email Delivery Times
Ignore the common times to email because every company's customer segment is different. What works well for some companies might not work well for yours. Test out different times and then select time slots that consistently lead to higher open rates.
- Create Consistency and Urgency
Once you test out your email to figure out the best time and day, it’s important to stick to a schedule so your audience knows when to expect your email every week. To create urgency, which encourages subscribers to open your email as soon as they see it, try different subject line formats. Some good ones to try are straight to the point, funny, controversial, mysterious, ask questions, are personalized and make it seem as though the reader is missing out if they don’t read the email.
- Have a Clear and Focused Subject
Be specific and communicate the value of your offer or opportunity. Mailchimp found that shorter subject lines which can be scanned more quickly, allow users to easily figure out if they are interested. A good rule of thumb is to keep your subject line under 50 characters. Check out Hubspot’s 18 of the Best Email Subject Lines You’ve Ever Read for ideas.
- Optimize your Emails for Mobile
Studies have shown that as high as 75 percent of all emails are opened first on a mobile device, so it’s crucial that your emails are prepared for that.
- Add Videos in your Emails
Research shows video email marketing is on the rise and has a higher open rate than traditional emails. Insert a video to capture your audience's attention and motivate them to click. Salesforce does an awesome job of describing why video in your email is the perfect marketing combo.
- Use multiple Click Through Rates (CTR)
Don’t be misled by people who inform you not to have too many CTR’s in your email. There should be multiple CTR’s throughout your email copy. A good place to start is your title, image and at the end of your email. Read more buttons are great too.
- Don’t trigger Spam Filters
This may seem like email marketing 101 to most, but you would be surprised at how many people still do this. More than 100 billion emails are flagged as spam every day. An easy way to avoid this is to not use spammy keywords, such as free, buy now, winning, etc.
- Using customer behavior to increase open rate
Brands gather customer data in other ways besides surveys. Many companies are now using customer behaviour in order to better segment and target their customer base.
- Use Targeted Keywords
Sometimes, readers don’t have time to read your email when it is received. A memorable keyword will allow him/her to easily find your email later.
- Scale Down Promotional Emails
Avoid overly promotional words that could seem spammy as well as ALL CAPS or excessive exclamation points.
Brands that do email marketing well tend to have strategies before tactics. Use the above tactics to create the shortest path to improving your email marketing ROI and boost your email marketing to be the best in the industry. You should absolutely use your own personal judgement when using these tactics so everything can be tailored for your audience but this is a great place to start. Please share any tips that you may have and feel free to reach out anytime as you start your own company's email campaigns.