There are endless ways to communicate nowadays, but emails have been used for a long time to get in touch with customers. As a consequence, email marketing is often seen as an established value that doesn’t get a lot of attention or innovation anymore. Emails are sent ‘as you are used to it’.
Without adjusting your email marketing tactics from time to time, you risk sending out emails with a low open and click-through rate. So how can your email stand out in that increasingly crowded inbox of your (potential) customer?
Maybe you aren’t effectively grabbing your reader’s attention. Or maybe your content doesn’t provide enough added value to your reader. A successful email is a combination of several success factors.
These 7 email marketing tips will allow you to optimize the response rate of your email campaigns.
1. Target your emails to the right audience
A lot of email marketing campaigns fail because they treat every recipient the same. Yet, no consumer likes to be part of a mass mailing that doesn’t take his or her interests into account.
Setting up email marketing campaigns and defining your companies’ target audience go hand in hand. By gathering data based on geographic location or customer buying habits, you can divide your database into different target groups, segments or mailing lists.
The more data you gather, the more specific, personal and relevant your emails can be. You may send the same email to fewer people, but this email will be more relevant to that specific audience. And by sending the right information to the right people, chances increase that your emails will be read more.
2. Attract your reader’s attention
Obviously, you’re not the only one sending out emails for their marketing campaigns. That’s why your (potential) customer should be given a solid reason to open your email.
A striking subject line is a first good step to attract the attention in the crowded inbox of your receiver. Even some small adjustments in the subject line can make a difference, for example using emojis or mentioning the name of your recipient.
Or you could adjust the way of formulating your message. Asking readers a question in the subject line can immediately engage them and create an instant dialogue.
Another feature that can motivate your recipient to open an email, is the preview text. This short summary text is typically displayed underneath the subject line. Since this is one of the first things your recipient sees when receiving an email in his inbox, you can draw his or her attention to the key points of your message.
3. KISS (Keep it short and simple)
Simplicity is key, especially with emails. So don’t overdo it, both in content and visually:
- Try to deliver your message in a concise way. Make your text easily scannable by using short paragraphs and highlighting the keywords in your text. If you have a lot of information to give, divide your text into bullet points or link to the article or landing page on your website for the full explanation.
- Keep your lay-out simple and make use of a design template that fits your brand. Only use images if they reinforce your message, since redundant images could distract attention from your key message.
Interested in a real life email marketing practice, keeping your email short and simple? Have a look at our case about improving email campaigns for Wolters Kluwer Opleidingen.
4. Create added value
An email marketing golden rule: don’t send emails when you have nothing to say. Your task when writing an email consists of providing content within the areas of interest of your receiver.
By using your gathered data (see tip 1), you should be able to spread content that has an added value for your audience. This includes not only relevant offers or discounts, but also content with emotional value. By creating added value without expecting something in return, you will invest in a long-term relationship with your customer.
5. Create mobile-friendly emails
When creating marketing emails, you’re probably sitting in your office behind your desktop. Keep in mind, however, that more and more people tend to read their emails on mobile devices. If your emails aren’t optimized for a mobile view, you’re potentially missing out on a considerable number of clicks.
The templates of most email marketing tools automatically make your emails ‘responsive’: easy to read on desktop and mobile, with an optimal user experience on both devices.
6. 1,2,3,… test
After being busy setting up your marketing email, chances are high that you start overlooking things. Testing is key in so many forms of digital marketing and email marketing is no exception.
Do the images look good? Do all links work properly? Test if your mail works on a variety of (mobile) devices. Involve some of your co-workers for a double check.
Apart from making sure your email works properly, you should also test what works best for your audience. A/B testing is a way to optimize the response on your emails.
By sending different versions of an email to smaller groups (varying in your subject line or call-to-actions for example) you can compare the open and click-through rate of these emails. The ‘winning’ version can then be sent to the remaining mailing list.
7. Don’t forget to evaluate
Your task as a marketer isn’t finished when sending out your marketing email. Don’t forget to track the results one or two weeks after sending:
- The amount (un)subscribers
- The bounce rate
- The open rate
- The click-through rate
- Which links get the most clicks
When combining these results with Google Analytics insights, you can track which email links lead to conversions on your website. By analysing the behaviour of your (potential) clients, you can measure the Return on Investment (ROI) on your email marketing campaign.
Email marketing tips: conclusion
Like most marketing efforts, becoming successful with email marketing is a process. It’s a combination of several success factors, where providing valuable content for your target audience is essential.
Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to email marketing, these 7 email marketing tips can be of great help in setting up successful campaigns.