Despite the rise of less traditional channels, email is still one of the most powerful marketing tools for any business. In addition to delivering interesting, relevant content direct to the customer’s inbox, a well-timed email gives your brand a personal voice and a unique opportunity to stand out.
In this day and age, almost everybody has an email address, so utilizing this channel is key to maintaining a strong connection with your target audience. There are several factors to consider when crafting a winning email strategy, and this list will cover the top five.
1. Awesome content
First and foremost, the main goal of each and every email should be to provide reader value. Ideally, the recipient will consider your emails to be interesting, helpful or beneficial in some way, and the only means to achieve this is through awesome content. Email-worthy content can take many forms, from industry news, updates and trends to company-specific deals, offers or promotions.
Above all, in order to establish a good relationship with your contacts, it is crucial to ensure that your emails do not come across as too sales-y. In addition to using a variety of content types, it’s important to deliver it in the right tone; use a voice that fits your audience and steer clear of any overtly promotional language.
Ultimately, you should only send an email if you have something truly valuable to say; this way, you paint your brand in a positive light and ensure high impact in the inbox every time.
2. A powerful subject line
As the very first thing the recipient sees, the subject line undoubtedly determines whether or not they choose to read your email. With such a significant influence on open rates, this short but crucial sentence really needs to pack a punch; it should hint at the awesome content inside the email whilst enticing the reader to find out more.
There are many different ways to form an effective subject line, from highlighting benefits to posing a question or making an intriguing statement, and – as with the content itself – the style and tone should be chosen to suit your target audience.
Additionally, the reader should be able to take in the entire subject line at first glance, so try not to exceed 50 characters. Personalization is another great tool for piquing the reader’s interest, so experiment with using merge fields to include the recipient name or even location.
3. The right contacts
Winning content and captivating subject lines aside, a well-cared-for mailing list is crucial for ensuring your emails reach the right people. One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to email marketing is that quantity outweighs quality, but a long contact list is not necessarily a healthy one.
By continuing to email people who are no longer interested, you may actually be damaging your brand. Instead, focus on maintaining engaged contacts only by asking your subscribers to re-opt-in every now and again, whilst exploring different channels – such as social media – for generating new leads.
Equally important is data segmentation – splitting your groups according to certain criteria and thus being able to send out highly relevant and targeted emails. Specialized email software from Newsletter2Go can help to separate your data logically whilst greatly reducing the need for manual list management, making it easy to keep your database organized.
4. Striking design
As with designing a website, looks are just as important when it comes to sending out newsletters, and emails should be both visually appealing and easy to read. Establish a consistent color scheme that reflects your branding, and aim for a good balance of text and images – although aesthetically pleasing, too many graphics may limit your email’s performance on mobile.
A clean, organized layout also helps the reader to navigate through the email, so use relevant headings to break up the text into logical sections. Equally important is featuring call-to-action buttons in prominent places, as these will encourage the recipient to further engage with your brand; place website links and social share buttons somewhere clearly visible, such as at the top of the email or in the sidebar.
5. Good timing
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to a successful email campaign. The trick is to land in the recipient’s inbox when they are most likely to be checking it, and this varies greatly from group to group.
Finding the optimal moment is a case of understanding your audience and their day-to-day habits, and A/B testing is a simple yet effective method for seeing what time of day gets the best open rates.
Finally, it’s crucial to pay attention to the frequency of your emails; if you are emailing too often, you run the risk of annoying people – however, email too sporadically and you may be forgotten. Whilst it varies from industry to industry, emailing once a day is not advisable. Ultimately, emailing less frequently with highly valuable content is absolutely preferable to emailing regularly for promotional purposes alone.
Hope these tips can help in some way. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you can add.