Even with the continued rise of social media marketing and alternate forms of online marketing, email marketing has proven it’s still a valuable tactic for both B2C and B2B marketers. The technology behind creating and deploying these emails hasn’t evolved dramatically as of late, but how you optimize the content of your email has become a crucial component to ensure your message is actually opened, read and acted on in the form of a click-through.
Get more from your email marketing efforts by taking the steps to optimize your emails using these top 9 tips:
1. Write concise email subject lines, with a clear benefit
We’ve all become experts at skim reading the vast number of emails in our inbox, especially when they’re promotional or marketing related, so writing concise subject lines of 50 characters or less with a “what’s in it for me” message is what you should strive for. Yes, this is easier said than done but a weak, long-winded subject line kills the chance of a successful email.
2. Connect email body back to subject line
Once you have the reader’s attention with your subject line it’s important to quickly connect the email body copy back to the subject, without burying it in the bottom third of your email. This helps your reader confirm why they decided to take the time to read your message, and by using an active voice, it sets up your call to action.
3. Provide a clear call to action
Any email can die quickly without a clear and appealing call to action (CTA). Whenever possible, use a button-like graphic rather than plain text with an embedded link, limit your email to one primary CTA, and experiment with the placement of your CTAs. Wording also plays an important factor. It’s proven that people prefer “Learn More” compared to “Click Here”.
4. Enhance your message with pleasing graphics/visuals
With the many HTML WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) email creation and editing tools now available, there’s no reason you should solely be relying on plain text emails. Yes, you still want to distribute a plain text version for those subscribers who cannot accept HTML-formatted emails, but the limited use of custom graphics can enhance your overall message and improve click-through performance. It’s also important to break-up your message with bullet points and ample white space.
5. Personalize your message
The latest email creation and editing tools also offer the ability to customize your email message with the subscriber’s name, company name and other pre-determined fields. Using these functions instantly personalizes your message and improves engagement with your subscribers.
6. Segment your email lists
Another important form of personalizing your email message is segmenting your list based on your subscriber’s interests/needs, which allows you to write a more targeted and relevant message. The key is making sure you’re gathering the right data from your subscribers so you can easily create this segmentation.
7. Humanize your from line
The from line is commonly overlooked but has a large impact on the open rate of your emails. You can try your own experiment but it’s proven the use of a personal name over your company name is more successful.
8. Incorporate social media
Many marketers continue to overlook the opportunity to make their email communications more social by incorporating icons/links to their social media profiles. This can be a great way to increase your followers and further engage with subscribers.
9. Distribute on the right days, at the right times
After taking all the right steps to craft a fully optimized email make sure you plan your distribution for the right day and at the right time. There’s many opinions on this topic but the most common recommendation, for B2B emails, is the AM hours on a Tuesday or Thursday. Once again, you can experiment for yourself but your subscribers will appreciate consistency of when they can expect to hear from you.
Adhering to these top tips are bound to make a positive impact on your email marketing results, but make sure you guide your assessment through the use of your analytics. Like any form of marketing, email creation is not a “one size fits all” approach, so test often and adjust accordingly.
To learn how the use of targeted, lead nurturing emails fits within the disciplines of Inbound Marketing, download our free Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing.