Do you get any emails that you love? Or do you curse and unsubscribe every time another pointless, self-serving, and sales-driven email enters your inbox?
The claim that email marketing isn’t dead is oh so true. According to Pew Research, “92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it on an average day.” But that doesn’t mean us marketers can blast out emails with no strategy and think they’re going to make an impact. Just like everything else in business, email requires a well-thought-out plan. Make sure your next email gets opened, read, and clicked with some of our favorite tips.
1. Make Each Email Count
You’re only as good as your last email. If people opened your previous email and didn’t feel it was worth their time, you can bet future open rates will go down. Resist the urge to send an email just because your content calendar tells you. Make sure you have something valuable to say.
2. Get to the Point
Be clear, concise, and to the point in your subject line. We love a good catchy subject line, but if you feel like you have to trick your reader into opening your email with an overly-clever pun, then you should probably rethink the content of that email.
3. Don’t Restrict Yourself to a Certain Length
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re all busy and don’t have time to read anymore. On the other hand, if your email truly offers value in a way that’s easy and pleasant to read, your subscribers will keep reading. Don’t feel like you have to cram everything you need to say into some expert’s “best practice” of how many words make up the optimal length.
4. Personalize, But Don’t Be A Creep About It
One of our favorite email authorities, Ann Handley, recommends you craft your emails as if you’re writing to one person, preferably someone you know and like. We’ve found that, in some cases, it’s also great to autofill the person’s name into the email. However, don’t go too far and say their name multiple times. You’ll end up sounding like a telemarketer reading a script. On that same note, under no circumstance should you decide you know a person’s nickname and address them as such. Assuming too much familiarity is creepy, especially when you get the nickname wrong.
5. Understand Your Goal
Before you send out that next email, be sure you understand what you want to happen when your reader opens it. Is it purely informational and about building a relationship? Then your click rate might not matter. Or, are you hoping to make a sale? In a study by McKinsey they found that, “Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.” That doesn’t mean you should try and close the deal in every email. Take the time to build a relationship and offer value. Or in other words, don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date.
6. Build Your Subscriber List
A targeted subscriber list is worth it’s weight in cryptocurrency. But it takes time and effort. If email marketing is part of your business development strategy, look for every opportunity you can to let people know and encourage them to sign up. If you have an event, bring a tablet people can use to access a subscription landing page. If your business creates resources such as white papers or case studies, ask for someone’s email before they can download them. Post on social media about it, add a pop up form to your website, etc.
Lastly, it’s tempting to buy a list, especially if you’re a small business just starting your marketing efforts, but proceed with caution. Email is powerful in that it’s one of the few channels where a person, not an algorithm, determines what they see. Don’t take away that power by adding someone to your list without permission.
Want help building and implementing your email strategy? Schedule a free 30-minute strategy call. We’d love to learn more about your business challenges and determine if we can help.