Email Marketing: How To Do It Right

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Email marketing is a great way to talk to your customers and tell them what you’ve got going on in your business: You can build your relationship by speaking directly to them, through their inbox, at a time that is convenient to them. But, it’s important to understand that the average person receives something like 121 emails each day demanding part of their attention (doesn’t it feel like some days it’s 121 emails every minute?). So, you need to do something special if you want your emails to be opened, valued, and engaged with. Here are 11 ways to make your email campaigns successful.

Email Marketing with SharpspringHow do you build a successful email marketing campaign?

People-first marketing.

Write your email content as if you are communicating with real people – because you are. By subscribing, your customers have asked to hear more about your business, and this is your opportunity to share valuable insights. They want to know more about your brand, or you wouldn’t have permission to email them in the first place. So, stop thinking about email marketing and consider your emails a way of talking to your customers or readers.

 Don’t spam, opt-in.

Sending emails to someone without their permission isn’t ok (and if you have customers in the EU, GDPR compliance has made it a big deal). But, if that recipient dings you as a spam-sender, you may be looking at trouble ahead with the CAN-SPAM Act and your email marketing service provider. Violations can cost you your subscribers, access to your email marketing platform, and some serious money.

Get to the point and be visual.

Remember you are talking to busy people who are may not be 100% focused on what you have to say, so make sure your content is simple, short and easy to read – even on mobile. In 2017, more than half of emails were opened on a mobile device (that’s up from 29% 2012). Eye-catching graphics and beautiful pictures can “say” the 1000 words you don’t have room to spell out. Almost 80% of mobile email opens happen on iOS, so take the time to make sure what you’re sending looks great on that platform.

Less is more – when it comes to calls to action.

To support those succinctly written email campaign messages, stick to a single call to action: they can increase clicks by 371%. You’re already competing for your customers’ attention, don’t make it difficult for them to figure out what to do with your email. One button is less confusing for your audience, and they won’t get distracted reading too much content that requires looking at lots of clickable links.

Keep your subject lines simple – but test what works best.

Clear, direct subject lines can be more successful than clever ones when it comes to converting your customer. The difference between “Save $100 on Your Order Today!” and “We’ve got 100 Ways to Save You Money Today!” may be small, but do you know which one will better resonate with your customers? If not, it’s time to A/B test both to see which creates more conversions. And don’t forget to test your subject lines for common spam words to keep them from getting lost in your recipient’s inbox.

Be useful and helpful.

Not all of your emails should sell something. In fact, that can be a turn-off to your customer. Instead, share ways to use their recent purchase (extra points for using video) or get started using your services. Inspire your customer with genuine testimonials or endorsements from those who’ve had success thanks to your products or services. In our monthly newsletter, we share interesting industry news. One of our clients lists all the awareness holidays in their focus area. Another celebrates the joy of sillier holidays like National Wine Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day or Bow Tie Day (more bonus points for videos here!).

When it comes to email, find your niche and have some fun informing and entertaining your audience. Click To Tweet

Use an email marketing service provider.

There are multiple options out there at every size and price point for your business. Choosing one won’t be easy. Black Bear Design works closely with SharpSpring for email marketing automation, but we have clients who also work in MailChimp and Constant Contact. Whichever service you choose, keep backups of your distribution lists in case you outgrow what they have to offer.

Be realistic with your email marketing goals.

Average open rates for email marketing campaigns range between about 15% and 25% meaning that about 75% of your subscribers are ignoring your emails. Ouch. But that’s the reality of the very competitive digital universe. Set goals that are SMART, realistic, and based on the data you’ve collected over previous campaigns. New to creating email marketing campaigns? Do your industry research to see what you can expect.

Get individual.

Write your email content as if it’s going to one person. If you’ve successfully developed your customer personas, you know If you’re trying to convert a busy CEO, job candidate, or soccer mom. No matter who you are talking to, empathize with their situation and explain how your services can solve their problem.

Know the best time to send your email.

The day and time of your email distribution matters when it comes to your click-thru-rate and email opens. If it’s something you want your audience to take action on (“order today” or “register now”), it needs to be sent early in the day. Are Mondays better for your customers or would Thursdays be better? An email marketing expert can tell you industry standards and testing can answer this question for your specific audience.

Get inspired by the best.

Subscribe to other email lists. Look at what your competitors are doing and those outside your industry who really understand how to speak to their customers using email marketing. What are they doing well? Get motivated and modify the ideas to better match your business.

Email is a powerful tool in your digital marketing toolbox. As Atlanta email marketing experts, Black Bear Design is here to help you design, write, and execute outstanding emails as part of your digital marketing strategy. Please contact us today to get started on creating your next email campaign.

One response to “Email Marketing: How To Do It Right”

  1. What are the best ways to develop opt-in lists, quickly? Other than trade show sign-ups.

    Is it acceptable to buy an email list, and send an initial cold-call (“non-opt-in”) email to introduce your company and ask the recipient to opt-in at that point? Does this sort of strategy work?

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Or, examples of programs that worked for you?

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