Email Marketing: 39 Tips For Getting The Most From Your Email Campaigns
May 30, 2017 7:03:14 AM | By Matt Benati
The modern marketer has no shortage of channels and strategies to reach customers. Yet, there’s one channel that has withstood the test of time , always managing to stay ahead and come out on top, even when many proclaimed social media would be next to reign supreme.
We’re talking about email, of course! While smart marketers understand the importance of keeping with trends in digital marketing – and there’s no denying the niche benefits of social media – none can argue with maintaining a solid email strategy at the heart of any marketing mix.
And we don’t just think it works; we know it does:
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. – McKinsey
- Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
- Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. – DMA
Interested in making your email marketing efforts even more successful – and relevant to sales? Follow these best practices outlined by myself and Ryan Vong, President and CEO of Marketo Agency, Digital Pi .
Email Strategy & Set Up
A strategy is just that: a carefully devised plan. So before you even push “send,” there are some steps you can take that will set your campaign up for success:
- Get inspired by great campaigns. Keep a folder in your inbox where you put any emails that inspire you. Look for catchy subject lines, interesting promos, and messages that stand out.
- Sound like a person and not a machine. Make it relatable, personable, and authentic. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I really enjoyed a monotone machine generated email?” Never!
- Emails should should come from a real person, or at least look like a real person. Skip sending from marketing@, sales@, info@ or any other generic department-based address.
- Build your list through trust and resist the temptation to buy names. You did not get permission, regardless of what the contract says.
- Keep your database clean by automatically updating it with fresh data.
- Be sure you have a clear and concise privacy statement that defines how you will protect your subscriber’s personal information.
- Use surveys to ask subscribers for input on how often they want to hear from you, what types of information they want to read, etc.
- Use workflows to automate important messages. These include renewal reminders, welcome email sequences, and abandoned cart reminders.
The layout and design of your email can have a big impact on the success of your campaign. Consider these factors when designing your emails:
- Use bullet points and lots of whitespace to make it easy for readers to scan your copy.
- Include a signature at the bottom with social media buttons and your photo. Readers want to feel as if they have a personal connection with you.
- Make buttons big. Your design should be user-friendly and keep in mind that many readers will be viewing your email on mobile.
- And speaking of mobile, be sure to test how your email displays on mobile. More email is read on Mobile than on desktop email clients. Stats say 54% of email is now opened on a mobile device. – Litmus ‘State of Email’
- Don’t forget to double check how your email renders without images too. If they don’t load, will your readers still understand your message?
Content & Messaging
The content you choose for your email marketing campaigns has the potential to either make or break their success. It’s not only important to attract reader’s attention — it’s important to not trigger spam filters too!
- Use power words in your subjects. People respond to emotional words like frantic, mistake, eye-opening, and hidden.
- Avoid words in your subject line that will likely trigger spam filters . These include free, winning, and clearance.
- Don’t forget preheader text. This is the ‘preview’ text that shows in your subscriber’s inboxes. Like a meta description, it should compel them to click and read.
- Keep it simple. It can be tempting to be clever or cute with your subject lines or emails, but a little bit goes a long way. Sometimes the best option is to just be succinct.
- On that note, keep emails as short as possible. People are busy and skimming. If they open an email that looks at first glance like a novel, they’ll skip it. A good rule of thumb: the more frequent the emails, the shorter they should be.
- Personalize your messages using dynamic content. This means that different content will display depending on whether your reader is male or female, a user or buyer of your solution, etc.
- Use subscriber’s first names, company names, etc. — but avoid being creepy. Don’t overuse these personalization tokens. Once is usually enough.
- Don’t be afraid to share personal or behind-the-scenes information with your subscribers. They’ve subscribed because they enjoy reading what you write. Allow them to get to know you better by sharing the occasional tidbit about your family, travels, or even your own struggles.
- Include a strong call-to-action – Besides getting subscribers to open your emails, your next goal is to get them to click on your content. Delivering an actionable, inspiring CTA helps compel them to action.
- Ask people to reply. Let them know you’re waiting to hear from them. Ask questions, engage and then be sure to reply back to those who do reach out. Remember to monitor the ReplyTo mailbox for replies and engage your customers in meaningful dialogue.
Campaign Execution & Implementation
- Conduct regular A/B tests. It really matters, and even small 5% improvements each month leads to a 60% improvement over the course of a year.
- Pay attention to other departments within your company that might also be sending emails, as this could lead to irritated prospects and hurt your sender reputation.
- As painful as the process and feedback may seem, send a test email to a group of reviewers each and every time. You can’t easily take that email back, so as the saying goes, “measure twice, cut once.”
- Segmentation matters, and number show a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. – Campaign Monitor . Sending to everyone will exhaust your list, so segment it and plan to send relevant, targeted content to each group.
Campaign Timing And Deliverability
You have a solid strategy in place and you’re ready to send, but there’s one more thing to think about for optimal engagement: when to send your campaign and ensuring delivery.
- Because user engagement directly affects your deliverability long-term, it’s important to send your campaigns at times when your recipients will open, click and engage with your content.
- Don’t attempt to send large attachments. Because many cyber attacks occur via attachments, understand that if you choose to send attachments, they may get filtered and blocked.
- Understand what factors affect deliverability, including graymail penalties, using a shared IP address, ignoring hard bounces, establishing server authentication, and responding to sender verification requests.
- Carefully watch your engagement stats to determine how often your audience wishes to be contacted.
- Authenticate your email to ensure deliverability.
Monitor Reply Emails & Leverage Data
Your reply inbox should always be monitored. Regardless of whether you’re using an automated solution like LeadGnome, or reading each reply yourself, monitoring replies is the #1 thing you can do to increase the ROI of your email campaigns.
- Capture sales trigger events to grow pipeline. For example, finding out that a lead has left the company through an auto-reply can generate four new opportunities and a 3-6 month timing advantage over competitors. Use that time to be the first in with the new lead and win the deal 74% of the time!
- While rare (typically < 0.5%), personal (or human) replies are extremely valuable. A customer has taken the time to actually reply to your email campaign — don’t miss this opportunity to start a meaningful dialogue. Maybe they want the replay to your webinar or maybe they are ready to speak with a salesperson.
- Take advantage of holidays. When people are away from the office, they often have automated reply messages that contain alternate contacts within the organization. Adding these new contacts to your database helps your sales team expand their reach.
- Respond to Sender Verification requests promptly. These require you, the sender, to do something prior to your message being delivered. If you miss the email prompt with the verification instructions, your message will never make it to the inbox, and you miss an engagement opportunity.
- Use workflows to leverage the sales intelligence mined in each reply. For example, if you receive an Out Of Office reply that lists an alternate contact for your lead, this can automatically trigger an introduction email to the new contact. Expanding reach within your target accounts increases sales velocity, getting you closer to the number of people you need to influence in order to close a deal.
- Automatically freshen your database with updated contact information and new leads. LeadGnome’s artificial intelligence is constantly scanning every reply email for fresh data it can add to your database. Continually monitoring your reply emails in this way can add up to 36% more contacts and maintain/enhance 72% of your existing leads.
- Watch opt-outs like a hawk to protect your brand. Remember “no” actually does mean “no” and promptly remove manual unsubscribes from all applicable lists.
From strategic planning to converting email marketing waste into revenue, use these best practices to boost the success of your future campaigns.
If you’d like to see how mining email replies impacts your email marketing success, check out our free eBook Transformative B2B Demand Generation today!