Content might be king and social media its heir to the throne, but the marketing tool with the most power is without a doubt email marketing. Don’t believe me?
- 95 percent of people check their emails daily
- 7 in 10 email recipients use a discount offered in a promotional email within a week
- Every dollar spent on email marketing returns an average of $44.25
- The average open rate in 2013 was 29 percent, up from 26 percent in 2012
The question isn’t whether or not you should focus on email marketing (because, duh, you should), but how to write the most effective email marketing campaigns. A good starting point is to go through your 50 most recent emails and write down what you like and dislike about each one. Looking at it from a consumer’s point of view will give you a better idea of what your followers want (and don’t want) to read.
There are also some basic rules of thumb you should follow. The most successful email marketing campaigns are those that integrate all aspects of content marketing – content, social and mobile – to give the subscribers the most cohesive experience possible.
Of course, the core of your email is the content, from your subject line to the fine print at the bottom. Nearly 65 percent of consumers say they open an email solely because of its subject line.
Think of your subject line as a headline. You’ve only got a few words to make a big impression. Check out this blog post about Cosmopolitan’s headlines for inspiration.
Just because you hook them with a killer subject line doesn’t mean you can slack off on the email’s body copy. Find a healthy mix of promoting your company with providing non-branded content useful to your followers.
It’s also crucial to have a strong Call to Action. It can be anything from “Check out our latest blog post!” to “Use this discount code to save 20% on today’s purchase!”
When thinking about content, it’s also important to think about the visual elements you want to include. The growth of mobile email means email marketers have to account for followers opening their messages on multiple devices and in multiple browsers. I’ll go into more detail below.
Using social media in conjunction with your email marketing campaigns is a great way to increase engagement and spread your message to more consumers. In fact, including social media sharing buttons in an email increases the click-through rate by 158 percent.
Encourage your subscribers to share the information you include with their social media followers (look at that, there’s your CTA!) and remind your social media followers that they can receive special content if they subscribe to your list (what do you know, another CTA!).
Finally, you’ve got to optimize your emails for mobile. More than half (51 percent) of all emails are now opened on smartphones. Viewing an email on mobile is very different than viewing it on a computer or even a tablet.
This makes it more important that ever to build a simple, easy-to-load design. Include too many images or bright colors or give your subscribers tiny blocks of text they have to zoom in and scroll to see and they’ll simply delete your message. Stick with larger fonts and a clean background and you’ll be prepared for your followers to view your email on any device.
Whether you own a successful business or work in the marketing department at an international corporation, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your email marketing stats if you implement these strategies. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:
- Test your subject lines with a small group of subscribers to see what works best
- Keep it consistent, whether it’s weekly, monthly, every six weeks, etc.
- According to Marketing Chimp, emails sent on Thursday around 3 p.m. receive the highest open rates.
- NEVER, ever buy or rent email lists. Just don’t do it.