Unless you’ve been living on a desert island without an internet connection you will doubtless have been on the receiving end of an email marketing campaign at some point in the last couple of years. Email marketing is commonly used by many organizations to get their offers and information in front of existing and prospective customers and most marketers agree that it is one of the most cost effective of all marketing tactics.
If you are considering using email marketing for your business, this post offers some helpful tips to help you use it effectively.
Tip 1: Build A Targeted Email List
Buying an email list may seem like a good idea but it’s always best to build your own. Start by adding some content to your website and/or Facebook page that visitors and fans have to opt-in to your list to receive. This could be a simple newsletter sign-up or you may choose to offer some premium content (white papers, videos or free reports) to induce your users to hand over their name and email address. Remember, the less information you ask for and the more assurances you give about their email privacy the more likely they are to sign up.
Tip 2: Get Permission To Send Email Messages
The recommended approach is to use double opt-in to ensure you have your subscribers’ permission before starting to send them marketing messages. This means that when they enter their contact information on your site they will receive a message with a link asking them to confirm their subscription. Tell them exactly what they’re signing up for, how frequently they can expect to receive messages from you and remind them to white-list your email address to ensure your messages aren’t caught by spam filters.
This might appear to be a lot of hassle but managing your subscribers and lists is actually a breeze with email marketing software such as MailChimp or Aweber and using double opt-in is well worth it in the long run. Failing to follow best practice could mean you end up being labelled a spammer and finding your domain blacklisted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Offer people on your list an easy and obvious way to un-subscribe from your list and get into the habit of asking the reason why they want to un-subscribe so you can use that information to improve the experience for other people.
It’s also a good idea to ask your subscribers to confirm from time to time that they want to continue to receive your emails. This ensures that people who are no longer interested in your products or services are periodically weeded out, keeping your list fresh and responsive.
Tip 3: Make Your Email Content Personalised
One great way to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is to personalise your messages and give your customers options. Let them determine the number of messages they want to receive, how frequently they want to receive them, and how much information they wish to disclose. When your customers feel that they are somewhat in control of the process, they are going to be far happier to receive your information and much more likely to read your messages.
Let your readers choose the format of your content and always offer a plain text version for people whose browsers can’t cope with multimedia or rich HTML.
Tip 4: Pay Attention To Headlines
Many ISPs automatically filter out emails that include certain words and phrases in the headline so before sending your email messages it’s worth running them through an email spam checker to ensure they actually get delivered.
You also want to ensure that your headlines are sufficiently attention grabbing to persuade the recipient to open and read your emails. Try testing different headlines to see which ones perform the best.
A/B split testing involves creating a couple of very different versions of the same email (A and B) and sending “A” to fifty per cent of a small test group and “B” to the other fifty per cent. Whichever email receives the most positive response is the one that you should be using for your campaign. As well as your headlines other email elements you can test include the body content, images, layout and colours and your calls to action.
Make sure you keep your marketing emails fairly short and your language as direct as possible. This demonstrates that you respect your readers’ valuable time and makes it more likely they will read right through to the end. This is particularly important if you place vital information or links and your call to action near the end of your message.
When done correctly email marketing is a super-effective strategy for growing your customer base and revenues. Following these simple tips will ensure that your email marketing campaign gets off to a flying start.
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