Is Your Email Marketing Breaking Through or Just Broken?
Many marketers tend to fall in love with shiny new objects, so it was no surprise to me that when social media really started hitting its stride there were a lot of articles about the death of email marketing.
Fortunately, that has not been the case, since email marketing is one of the best and least expensive ways for small firms and solos to nurture relationships with clients and prospects on an ongoing basis.
Yet the fact remains that everyone is inundated with too many emails, making a marketer’s job that much harder to cut through the clutter. Here are 11 steps you should be taking with your email marketing to optimize your chances of having your email opened and read:
1. Have a targeted list. This is especially important if you have more than one practice area. Your list must be targeted so you can create content that speaks directly to the interests of your audience. You must also be sure your list is clean (using a service like Constant Contact is crucial to help you do this) and that recipients have opted in to receive your emails.
2. Be real. Not just in your content, but with the email address you use as a “reply to.” Don’t use generics like “email@example.com”.
3. Your subject line needs to kill. Spend time on your subject line to really entice that recipient to open your email.
4. Set expectations. When someone signs up to receive your e-newsletter or other email, make sure you have an auto-response email programmed that tells them what they can expect and how often you’ll be emailing them.
5. Grab attention with a good pre-header. We’ve all seen those pre-headers in e-newsletters that instruct us to open the email in a web browser if we can’t see it properly. That is a waste of valuable real estate! Instead, give the reader a compelling reason to keep reading.
6. Include CTAs early. Every email communication needs a Call-To-Action that lets the reader know what you want them to do. Place this near the top of your email so they don’t have to scroll to get to it.
7. Optimize for mobile. Almost 40% of emails are now opened on a mobile device, and that number is only going up. Be sure your email is optimized for mobile – again, using an email service like Constant Contact will do that for you.
8. Make it personal. Use the recipient’s name in the subject line and greeting. Studies show that open rates are 14% higher with personalization.
9. Cede control. Allow your recipients to opt-out of your emails easily. It’s a waste to be marketing to someone who doesn’t want to do business with you.
10. Analyze, monitor and test. The behavior of your email recipients will give you important insight into when and what content they prefer, so you can replicate your success.
11. Share. Adding social share buttons to your email marketing communication not only makes it more likely that your messaging will be spread to a greater audience, research shows that emails with social sharing buttons enjoy a 115% higher click-through-rate than those that do not.