Email marketing is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing campaign. After all, who doesn’t use email? Nowadays, it propels not just customer conversions but also retention. Not to mention it’s your direct route to your audience. But just because it’s easy to send an email doesn’t mean you’ll do it right each time.
Before you start clicking away, consider the following business email best practices that are sure to give you some great footing in the digital world:
Ace that subject line.
There’s no overstating the importance of your subject line. You’ve likely heard or read tons of tips, from keeping it short and simple to avoiding filler words and all that. In any case, make your subject line catchy. The idea is to pique your subscribers’ interest, but don’t give it all away right there. Besides, a subject line is supposed to just attract their attention – enough that they actually want to read the rest.
Another way to create an effective subject line that has some level of innocent urgency. Lines like “gone by midnight” or “last-minute discounts” are classic methods of catching their eye and making them want to stop whatever they’re doing and just shop.
If you’ve had someone tell you it’s nice to use emojis, they may be right as long as your emoji fits your business. Emojis do help you emails stand out, but if you put more than one of them in a single subject line, that could be risky. Not only will it distract your readers from the real meaning of your subject line, but it can be annoying too. And don’t forget that some email servers won’t show emojis, so if you’re going to add one, make sure your subject line still makes sense without it,.
Of course, the cardinal rule of writing an email subject line holds truer than ever – keep it personal. Address your recipients with their first names, but that doesn’t mean you should stop doing that in the email body. All throughout, you’ll want to give your recipient the feeling that you took your personal time and effect to connect with them, human to human. In short, your email should feel like it was specially made from them, not a list.
Lastly, whatever subject line you decide to use, avoid too much punctuation or typing in all caps as either will make your email look spammy, both to your subscribers and to email servers. That means even if your recipient didn’t mark your email as spam, it could still end up in that cold, dark place: the spam folder.
Be a friend.
Most email users are inundated with emails from countless bands. What will make yours special enough to stand out? Be engaging. Talk to your customers or potential customers directly, and treat them like your friends. Be conversational and make them feel comfortable. Of course, you need to remain professional at the same time, and that takes a bit of experience and maybe some research, but it’s perfectly doable and it’s what you should do. And remember, use trending words to make your email more significant.
Offer a treat.
Give your subscribers a gift, and make them feel that because they are your customers, you always give them royal treatment. This will instantly give you an edge over other brands competing for their business, especially if you make your gift known in your subject line. For example, if you tell them you’re slashing a product’s price by half just because they’re your loyal customer, that will make them feel not being sold to, but given special treatment by a friend. Compare that to an offer that only says “50% discount.” You may not even click it because many other emails probably look just like that.
Obviously, reviews can bring people to your website, which is where you want them to be. More positive reviews means more trust for your brand, and therefore, more site traffic. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from your customers (but remember, say it in a personal way). Amazon does it and many other giant e-tailers. But instead of just asking for reviews, give them a treat – maybe a discount or a coupon code they can use next time they shop.
Schedule your emails.
Sending marketing emails isn’t always about writing clever copy or making offers. You also need to create a system and make it realistic. For example, if you’re thinking of holding a sale, keep your emails in sync. Otherwise, you may end up confusing your customers when your site says jewelry sale while you email them about your new scarf line. You can avoid this simply by creating a plan and following it. As soon as you’ve made a list of emails you want to send, decide when you want to send them. Pick a day that works for you but don’t discount research on email open rates (like what days of the week marketing emails are more likely to get opened). You can even do your own research. It doesn’t have to be a special project. Just take note of the days you sent emails and when you received replies. Look for patterns.
If you’re going to send emails just for its own sake, you’re better off holding it. You want people to associate your brand with value – including value content. Spend time creating content that is truly beneficial or at least interesting to your subscribers. Instead of sending something half-baked twice or thrice a week, sit down and come up something really worth a read, even if you have to cut the frequency to just once a week. Remember, quality first ALWAYS, whether it’s in the products or services you sell, or how you market them.
If you have a diverse audience, such as gym buffs, interior designers, and surfers, make sure you organize your campaign to avoid wasting both your time and theirs with the wrong emails. According to research, recipients of well-segmented email campaigns are at least 90% less likely to hit the unsubscribe button than those who get unsegmented emails. The reason is obvious: when you receive email that has value to you, there’s no reason to discard it.
If you have a business but haven’t started an email marketing campaign – or even thought of it – don’t stall and start making plans now. Come up with creative ways to grab people’s attention and lay down the technicals, such as your welcome automation, schedule, and the rest. Begin collecting email addresses from your customers, and build your list and your campaign’s success from there.