For the past few years email marketing has been making a particularly strong case for being the most cost-effective form of marketing with huge ROIs (return on investment). So how do companies large and small take advantage of this relatively new form of marketing? These seven simple tips should help point you in the right direction:
1. Have great content
The content is the personality of your email and it should be the first consideration of any campaign. Get everyone's ideas, put your best people on the job and better still hire a content strategist or copywriter to help you. Video content is also an engaging way to communicate your message but remember to link through to where your subscribers actually view the video. Great content is what sets great emails apart from the mediocre. Design is important but no matter how good it is, it won't make up for lousy content.
2. Use your company name in the 'subject' or 'from' line
Please include your company name somewhere in 'from' or 'subject'. Feel free to add that personal touch and have it come from an individual, but in that case make sure the company name appears in the subject. All your efforts producing great content could be lost if the recipient doesn't recognise who the email has come from and deletes it.
3. In the subject line, say what is in your email (amazing but true!)
You want a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with your database of subscribers, so treat them like you would your close friends. Tell them what is in the email so they can decide whether or not to invest a few minutes of their day reading it. If they're not interested or too busy, maybe they'll read the next one. There is a nasty misconception that getting people to open your email at any cost is acceptable. Remember trickery is what spammers do.
4. AVOID CAPS, exclamations!!!!! and 'free'
All of these scream SPAM. Ask yourself, how often do you get emails like that from your friends? People won't trust you if your emails try too hard. You can't force anyone to open your emails despite how loud you scream, so focus on good content and the open rates will follow.
5. Use clear calls to action
Ok so you've done the hard work and constructed a brilliant email, used a good subject line and it's been opened -- well done! Now you need to guide the reader through the email and make it easy for them to take action. You need a call to action. Depending on what options your readers have, calls to action could look like: Read more>> Make a reservation>> Buy tickets>> Download whitepaper>> Forward to a friend>>. Whatever they are for your email campaign, please make them very clear and easy to follow!
6. Put your key message 'above the fold'
Whatever your key message is, make sure it appears above the fold -- i.e. visible without having to scroll down. And please also ensure it works with images disabled. Your message will be lost if it just appears as a red cross because the reader has disabled the images.
7. Always check your stats
Finally, always measure the success of your email campaign. The beauty of electronic media is that you can tell exactly who's done what. If open rates are down, try different subject lines; if click throughs are high, you've got clear calls to action. If unsubscribers are low, you must have some great content!
Always look to improve and have fun with your email marketing. Good luck!