First thing’s first, you may be saying to yourself, “Isn’t email marketing a thing of the past?” In the words of Cher Horowitz, “AS IF!” While it’s true email newsletters have been around for decades, they definitely have not gone out of style – here’s why.
Why Email Marketing?
- High ROI – Email marketing typically has a significantly higher ROI than many other marketing channels (like social media).
- Direct Line to Clients – The #1 thing that makes email marketing more effective is that you have a direct line to your audience. People also check their email every day and expect marketing messages in their inboxes.
- Preferred by Consumers – One study found that 86% of consumers prefer to get email-based marketing messages over Facebook ads, TV commercials and display ads.
- Quality Traffic – Email marketing not only increases click-through rates for your landing pages but it helps make sure that traffic is relevant. The people interacting with your emails are currently in your marketing funnel, so they’ve already shown interest in your company.
Now that we know the “why,” let’s move on to the “how.” Below, we’ve outlined best practices and tips to help give your email marketing a jumpstart.
Building Your Email List
- A Compliant List is ALWAYS Best Practice – Make sure you have a legitimate subscriber list. That means no address book dumps, no purchased emails, and no “fishbowl” business card information.
- Make Opting-In Easy – Provide multiple opportunities for subscribers to opt-in for your newsletter. This includes, but is not limited to, adding a newsletter sign-up form to your website, incorporating an opt-in on your contact form and including a line in your email signature.
- A “Thank You” Goes a Long Way – Send a welcome letter to new subscribers thanking them and outlining what they can expect from your campaigns. You can also use this opportunity to ask why they signed up and what content they are most interested in receiving.
Design & Content
- Design for Inboxes, Not the Web – In email marketing, templates are created for inboxes, not the web. Newsletter design has come a long way, but it is important to remember the ultimate goal is getting in readers’ inboxes. This can’t be done with big files for images, videos, etc.
- A Simple Design is the Best Design – Overall, you want to make sure your template is on brand, mobile-friendly, loads quickly and clearly conveys information.
- What is Your Newsletter About? – Email campaigns can be created for a variety of reasons, some examples include: sharing company news and updates, summarizing published stories or blogs, announcing events, obtaining new leads and retaining current clients
- Keep It Short & Sweet – Content for newsletters shouldn’t be a dissertation. It is best to keep it to the point so you don’t lose your subscriber’s interest.
- Important Must-Haves! – Each campaign should include:
- A clear CTA – this is essential for getting conversions. Try to avoid including too many as you may deter or confuse a subscriber.
- A clear and simple way to unsubscribe. If someone has to hunt for the link, they will give up and mark it as spam, which can affect your deliverability.
Campaign Sending Rhythm & Tools
- Commit to a Sending Rhythm – It is important to commit to a sending rhythm for your campaigns. You constantly want to be nurturing your subscribers, so plan to send regularly as opposed to sporadically.
- What IS the Best Sending Rhythm? – There is no one size fits all for sending frequency. It should be whatever works best for your business. For example, it could be weekly, monthly or quarterly. Just make sure it is a realistic goal you can stick to and is in line with your subscribers’ expectations.
- Don’t Forget to Test! – Always test an email before sending it out. This gives you the chance to catch any mistakes and see what the finished product will look like in inboxes. A/B testing can also be used to determine what email subject line, content or send time will produce the best results.
- Analyze Campaign Reports & Turn That Data into Action – Evaluating campaign reports can help decipher which links are getting the most traffic and what is resonating with your subscribers. This information can be used to help produce future content ideas, segment your subscriber list based on interests, and decipher the best time to send your letter – all of which can assist in increasing your overall deliverability.
Follow these guidelines, and it’ll be nothing but happy sending for your firm!
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