5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

content strategy, email marketing, online marketing

December 13, 2012 by

The inbox is very powerful because most are now connected to smartphones and as we all know we’re a bunch of smart phone addicts. An email notification appearing is a quick moment to grab their attention. Chirp goes the phone, unlock the screen - don’t let them down! Lack luster subject lines are like getting text messages from someone who can’t tell you’re just not that interested. Give them a spark!

1. Test Your Subject Line

One quick way is by signing up for a free account at MailChimp.com and using their subject line reseacher service and by test we mean have two options not just assuming you know the right way. Most people know they should A/B test but when it comes to implementation they often go with what they think is best instead of letting the results speak for themselves.

It tests words against all open rates for every campaign that’s been sent using the service. Remember, a best practice is to keep the subject line 60 characters and under.

2. A/B Test Campaigns

The researcher tool above is just a starting point. To know what works the best for your lists is to test with a version A of the email content and then to also create a version B (note: that this is more successful with larger lists). Attempting different content strategies, like adding an image of a product offering versus writing out product names may do better, or worse. Don’t create an e-mail for yourself. Let the data decide. Then do it again and keep comparing the best performing to a new design to keep your emails fresh and engaging and avoid the auto delete because mentality of “I’ve seen this same email 100 times”.

3. Have A Reply To Address Connected To Your Campaign

How helpful would it be if your subscribers had an idea and could reply to a live person to receive a quick response? Having a “do not reply” email account sending your campaigns is like shouting down from castle walls, and not caring to hear what the feedback is from your email. Opening this channel of communication allows you to collect a form of market research.

4. Write Content Using the 80/20 Rule

Yes, we know you have something to sell and your boss is monitoring your performance based on transaction data, but give me a reason to care. Share content that contributing authors wrote or write about a new product relevant to your industry 80 percent of the time for e-newsletters. If your strategy is more focused on the sales cycle, you’ll want to deliver the right message at the right time, or risk a higher rate of unsubscribes. This is where having a calendar of emails comes into to play because it will help you avoid over-selling and alienating your list.

5. Segment Your Lists

There are many marketing automation services out there that will allow you to send trigger emails based on when a person completes a desired action and aid in lead nurturing, but sometimes all you need is a email provider and some smart data. Many email provides often supplies a preference center so subscribers can tell you what they care about and allow you to better target them - and all you have to do is ask. If you don’t have a preference center option create your forms to collect information about region, birthday month or industry to help you position your campaign to a more relevant audience.

And, remember to check your click through rates over time. People may store your email for weeks after your send just waiting for that idle moment where people nervously browse their inbox as to not look awkwardly around the room. They find your email and continue on to complete an online purchase or fill out a contact form for more information. Each subscriber list is unique, and it’s important to remember what works for one case study may not apply to your business.

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