Email Marketing


25 Email Marketing Tips and Tactics
  1. Always get permission - Without having permission (meaning every subscriber asked for you to email them), spam complaints will increase and people will ignore your emails — even worse, they may opt out altogether. Aside from upsetting your “newfound” subscribers, you will probably also get the boot from your email service provider for violating their policies.

  2. Set expectations at the opt-in – Tell your potential subscribers what you will send them and how often. It shouldn’t be a shock that nobody wants an inbox full of email from you.

  3. Confirm with double opt-ins – While it’s a slight barrier to get your emails, double-opt-in protects you and your email provider from incurring spam complaints. Also, it’s smart since you will be confirming that someone actually wants your emails and is willing to click a link to do it.

  4. Utilize email marketing campaigns instead of ‘newsletters’ – Newsletters are so 2001. With an email campaign, you can attract specific prospects and send them emails related to a particular topic.

  5. Make the offer at the right time – Nothing annoys email subscribers more than getting an offer at the wrong time in their inbox. Strategically and calmly earn the opportunity to make a sale by providing the helpful and relevant content that they originally signed up for.

  6. Match your email to your brand – Include your company logo and colors on all your emails for consistency. Doing this will make your emails familiar and expected.

  7. Look professional with a consistent color scheme – Colors are a major component of your brand. Determine a strong color palette and be consistent with it.

  8. Design the email and landing pages so it’s easy for mobile users – Realize that the popular iPhone has a viewable space of 320 x 356 pixels. That’s not much compared to the real estate of your computer (probably above 1024 x 768). This means you should condense the width so they can read the email without resizing the message.

  9. Make your email readable without images enabled – For privacy reasons, most email clients disable images unless the user allows it. Because of this, any images you include in the email should have descriptive text set for the Alternative attribute.

  10. Use fonts that reflect the style and tone of the email message – Choosing the right font size and family is a big deal. You wouldn’t take a business proposal seriously if they emailed you with Comic Sans. Choose a font that everyone has instead of one that looks good on your computer (e.g., Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman or Tahoma)

  11. Reinforce expectations of the email campaign – This doesn’t mean using the original IP address and convincing people your email isn’t spam. Rather, tactfully explain the basis of your email message and inform them if there are future emails they can expect from you.

  12. Personalize the emails and include more than their name – Make your emails personal and include more than their name. You’ll hopefully know why they signed up to your list and you can presume that in your copy by making it relevant.

  13. Economize your message to maintain focus – People are pressed for time. They don’t want to read more than a few paragraphs to decipher what you’re trying to say. Write what you need in the most efficient way possible. A tip I learned from an esteemed copyeditor is to write what you want, then cut the length by half. It’s remarkably helpful.

  14. Write for people, not robots – If you use “F.R.E.E.” in your email and it’s not an acronym for “Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment,” you’re doing it wrong. Just write for people and the spam filters will let it slide.

  15. Make your emails engaging and solicit feedback – As a reader, I like it when the sender asks a provoking question and solicits a response on their Facebook or simply via reply. This is good not only for the social interaction, but it will also educate you on what people think about your emails.
  16. Test your email messages on different email clients – Once you have the perfect-looking email, test how it looks on many different email readers. There are a few affordable services available that let you preview how it looks or you can simply try it yourself by setting up free email accounts on AOL, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail and downloading a copy of Mozilla Thunderbird.

  17. Make it easy to unsubscribe – When users don’t want to receive your emails, don’t bury the unsubscribe link. Make it visible because receiving an unsubscribe is much better than a spam complaint.

  18. Send emails in multipart for maximum readability – Combine the best of plain-text and HTML email by sending in Multipart. For devices that don’t support HTML, they will show the message in plain-text. Conversely, if a device supports HTML, they will show it in HTML.

  19. Use a pre-header to take advantage of email previews – Pre-headers are simply the first line of text in an email located at the top. Email services like Gmail display the pre-header directly after the subject line, and it’s a good idea to summarize the email right there.

  20. Try a plain-text format if you use HTML – Mix up your email routine once in a while and use a plain-text email if you typically send in HTML. People frequently perceive plain-text emails are more intimate and personal from the sender, so use it sparingly.

  21. Respect your subscribers’ time and interests – Don’t hammer their inbox with useless emails. Plan out your emails and respect subscribers’ interests so they don’t receive more than a couple messages per month.

  22. Let people re-confirm their interest after nine months – Getting permission is half the battle; retaining it is the other half. Permission typically expires after nine months, so it’s a good idea to ask people to confirm their interest in receiving your emails and offers. The best part is, you will discover the most loyal subscribers.

  23. Send emails to smaller, more targeted groups in your list –  Track which links and emails intrigue your audience. Leverage this data to identify different sub-groups to send tailored messages. You will be surprised at the increase in response rates when you do this.

  24. Use more than email to stay in touch – Email is the holy grail of marketing for small businesses, but it doesn’t end there. As the relationship with email matures, get more information on your contacts by asking for their address and even mobile number. Consider these additional means to stay in touch with your audience.

  25. Ask for and use subscribers’ feedback – There are two types of feedback: passive and active. Passive feedback is looking at which links people click on, which is an indicator of the aggregate interest in your email messages. Active feedback is when people ask you a question, suggest an idea or make a comment. Leverage this feedback to improve your email campaigns.

2 comments:

  1. Four Email Marketing Insights:

    Insight #1. Set a single goal

    Creating an email before setting the goal is like buying a plane ticket before knowing your destination. There is a good chance you won't get where you want to. This is also true if you're choosing a template from an email service provider (ESP). You always need to understand the goal of your email before you design it.

    Also, realize that emails rarely sell a product, generate a download, or achieve any other campaign-level goal. Emails sell clicks. The landing page is where readers make a final conversion. The job of the email is to get them there.

    So ask yourself, is your email supposed to:
    • Bring readers to a product landing page?
    • Attract site traffic to your blog?
    • Provide a customer's order information?
    • Bring readers to a registration page for your webinar?

    Insight #2. Give your emails a priority
    Your email should have a clear hierarchy of information. Anything that does not support the main goal should be eliminated or deemphasized -- even if it ruffles a few feathers.

    Offers are not created equal
    The goal of your email should be embodied in a clear call-to-action. It should be very obvious what you want readers to do. Do not confuse readers by giving equal emphasis to different calls-to-action, buttons or links.

    The only exception might be when your goal is to generate traffic to your website with an email newsletter.

    Even then, you should test emphasizing the strongest piece of content over the others.

    Connect subject lines with previews
    Many email browsers provide a small window to preview the top portion of an email before opening it. If readers find your subject line somewhat interesting, then they will look to the preview pane to persuade them. This makes the top of your email prime real estate.

    A common mistake is to waste this space on generic information, such as a link to view the email in a Web browser, says John Murphy, CEO, ReachMail.

    Instead, feature content in this area that directly relates to the subject line, such as an image of a product being offered, Murphy says.

    "If it's not a clickable item, or it's not giving more information about the subject line, then [readers] are going to be more likely to abandon and not engage with you."

    Insight #3. Images need a purpose
    A debate on the size and number of images to include in an email has gone on for years. The question does not have one answer for every possible product or service. It varies by industry, and it has more to do with your audience's preferences than hard-and-fast rules.

    Many companies include images in their emails. Here are a few tips on how to use them effectively.

    Images are not required
    Images can communicate much faster than words, but without a specific purpose, images are just filler. If you're sending a newsletter, for example, they might not be necessary. You can test moving them to the right side of the email, out of the reader's eye-path, or test eliminating them.

    Images do not always load
    Several popular email browsers do not load images automatically. Readers have to click to agree to view them, which places a barrier between readers and the rest of your content.

    You can assume that a portion of your audience will not see your images. By using well-placed text, alt-tags and other design techniques, you can design an email that will clearly communicate even when its images are turned off. (Note: check the 'useful links' section below for more information on this topic)

    Insight #4. Incorporate your website's design
    As prospects engage with you over time, they become familiar with the aesthetics of your brand. They know what to expect when they see your logo, colors and messaging. This is why your emails must be consistent with your brand and your website's design, Murphy says.

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  2. The time spent researching and developing eye-catching and memorable promotions that attract new subscribers is an enjoyable process for most marketers. However, equivalent effort and energy needs to go into reassuring the potential subscriber that your company is reputable and trustworthy. This is because after you have caught the consumer’s interest, and they are listening attentively, the new subscriber needs to feel safe to exchange their email address for a “special” offer.

    Setting expectations right from the start of the relationship will reduce anxiety in the registration process and enable you to collect more qualified leads. Taking the time to inform new subscribers of what you will deliver yields more long-term subscribers. Adding a “join my mailing list” box with just a space to type in their email addresses will not effectively communicate expectations.

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