First, it needs to be said that if you don’t currently have an email marketing strategy, you’re leaving money on the table. When used correctly, email marketing can provide a sizable revenue channel for any business—B2C, B2B, or otherwise. In fact, the size and profitability of an email list is an important factor in valuating websites. It’s a measurable asset.
Here are some tips that we would recommend to help get the most out of your email marketing campaigns:
1. Make it Look Good
If you don’t have a well-designed email template, get one. Text emails aren’t going to cut it anymore (although some readers may prefer text emails, so create all email campaigns in both text and HTML). Make sure the email prominently displays your logo or branding at the top so readers recognize you and don’t toss you into the spam folder. Starting with templates from your ESP (email service provider) is a good start, but add your own flair and look to it. You can typically have a nice email template created for under $200.
2. Spend Time on Subject Lines
If you want a snowball’s chance in getting your subscribers to read what you have to say, they have to open the email first. If your subject line isn’t there, it’ll never happen. Subject line writing is a true art. Try varying your subject line structure from campaign to campaign. Subject lines like, “Our December Newsletter” isn’t going to have as high an open rate as something time-sensitive, controversial, helpful, unique, or money-/time-saving. We suggest split testing your campaigns’ subject line. To do that, take a random 20% of emails from your list. Send half of those 20% an email with one subject line, and send the other half the same email with a different subject line. At the end of the day, see which email got the most opens and send that subject line to the remaining 80% of your subscriber list. This is done really easily if you have an ESP like MailChimp.
3. Get to the Point
Time is limited. Make your emails brief and direct. Don’t clutter your email with too many messages. Are you offering new products, holding a contest, and have industry news to share? Pick one. Save the rest for later, or link to your blog/website where you can explain the secondary messages in more detail. Now, company newsletters can be a little different. If your subscribers are waiting to hear what your company has been up to, then feel free to add a little more content; just make sure that each subject is categorized in a different box or header so readers can skip to what they’re interested in.
4. One Clear Call to Action
Whether you want someone to buy a new product, register for a webinar, download a whitepaper, “like” you on Facebook, your readers need to know. Just ensure there’s only one call to action. Confusing your readers with multiple buttons and links typically means none of them will happen. Your conversion and click rates will skyrocket if you tell people to do just a single thing.
5. Measure Your Success
If you’re sending out any sizable email campaign, you should have an ESP. Most, if not all, ESPs will have metrics built into them such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, etc. Pay attention to these 7-10 days after you send your campaign. Compare them to the last email campaign. Hypothesize why your click-through rate went down and why. Make adjustments on your next campaign and test that hypothesis. Your results will never get better if you’re not looking at what you’ve done and where you’ve succeeded.
If your company needs a hand getting a handle on your email marketing, please contact Whistler SEO today. We’ll be happy to assist you.