Email marketing often gets a bad rap. Some people feel it is spammy and annoying. Others might believe the method has become outdated.
However, email marketing can still be a highly effective way to reach your target audience.
A recent VentureBeat Insight study showed that email marketers average an ROI of $38 for every $1 they spend. Other reports state that when customers receive marketing emails, they spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers. In addition, nearly half of email recipients (44%) made at least one purchase based on a promotional email they received.[clickToTweet tweet=”Email marketers average an ROI of $38 for every $1 they spend.” quote=”Email marketers average an ROI of $38 for every $1 they spend.”]
That being said, there is a right way and a wrong way to carry out email marketing. While one can be an amazing way to grow your business, the other can leave a sour taste in the mouths of would-be customers. These tips can help you start off on the right foot.
1. Make Your Welcome Message Count
Shortly after new contacts provide their information and subscribe to your list, they should receive an automated welcome message from you. This email is extremely important, as it sets the tone for future communications and can encourage engagement.
In fact, subscribers who receive welcome emails (which receive 4 times the open rate and 5 times the click-through rate of standard email marketing campaigns) are 33% more likely to engage.
So, what should your welcome email include? These components are musts:
- A clear, inviting subject line
- Thanks for their subscription
- A brief reminder of what the recipient signed up for
- An overview of what they can expect from your future emails
- Some type of reward (such as a free download, a coupon or a deeply discounted product)
- A call to action
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal
Personalized emails also have notably higher open and click-through rates than their impersonal counterparts do. While addressing subscribers by their first name can help them feel important and comfortable, overusing it throughout the email can verge on spammy.
In addition, sending the email from an actual person (rather than a general company email address) and including an email signature helps foster the sense of a relationship.
3. Mobile Matters
A recent Return Path study determined that 55% of email was opened on mobile devices (up from just 29% in a study five years prior). It is essential that your email templates, your landing pages and your website overall are optimized for mobile. Test, test and test some more.
4. Skip Spam Triggers
Make sure you provide an obvious and uncomplicated way for people to unsubscribe or change their subscription options. Otherwise, they are much more likely to report your messages as spam.
In addition, avoid spam trigger words, such as “congratulations,” “100% free” and –here’s a good one– “not spam.” Prospect.io has published a comprehensive list you can refer to here.
Alternatively, make use of persuasive words, such as “imagine,” “because” and “you,” which can increase compliance with calls to action and engage subscribers.
5. Segment Your List
Instead of one-size-fits-all emails, segmenting your list can help you target your audience with the most relevant messages at the ideal times.
For instance, you should tailor the email you send to a first-time customer much differently than the message you email to someone who made purchases in the past but has not returned or someone else who subscribed but has not yet made a purchase at all.
You can segment your list in countless other ways as well. Here are just a few:
- Abandoned cart
- Geographical location
- Purchase types or amounts
- Sales funnel stage
6. Keep It Clean
Just as you take great care to ensure that your website is polished and professional, make sure your emails come across as crisp, clean and well-organized.
Make your messages easy and inviting to read by using short paragraphs and bullet points. Incorporate a fair amount of white space and use high-quality images to illustrate your message.
7. Provide Value
As with any content you offer, your email messages should always offer a solution to a problem your target audience experiences. This may be in the form of products and services, but it is often delivered via insightful and helpful newsletters, blog posts and other forms of media content.
When you provide value promptly and consistently, your subscribers will look forward to hearing from you and happy to do business with you.
Writer, editor and client advocate specializing in reputation management, content marketing, technology and non-profit topics.