There’s no such thing as an email marketing expertise gene (as far as we know), which means building a successful email marketing strategy is a learned skill, and one that takes time to perfect.
If you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of email campaigns or plodding along in the test-and-learn phase, don’t stress: everyone has to start somewhere. To help you get off the ground and get noticed, here are some of the basic principles for making an impact with effective emails.
Write a compelling (but not spammy) subject line.
The old adage ‘first impressions count’ is perhaps nowhere more applicable than a crowded inbox. Your email’s subject line can make or break its success, so it’s critical to be engaging and eye-catching without coming off as spammy. In fact, certain trigger words like ‘deal’, ‘bargain’ and ‘free’ can actually increase the chances of your email landing in your recipient’s spam folder, so avoid the salesy tone. Here are some examples of catchy and effective subject lines:
Hi [Name], what did you think? Leave a review
Have you seen our new (product/service?)
Uh oh! Your discount code is about to expire
According to research by Adestra, the subject lines with the highest open rates were under 60 characters or over 70 characters. In other words, go long(ish) or go short, but don’t go in-between.
Ask for feedback.
We know that ratings and reviews play a big role in influencing customers’ purchasing decisions, and asking for them via email is a good way to not only gather positive feedback but also encourage subscribers to open your emails.
Most email marketing platforms enable automated personalised emails to be triggered after a customer has made a purchase from you, which means you don’t even have to lift a finger to ask for reviews and show that you value your customers’ feedback.
Send your emails at the right time.
Timing is everything, but choosing the perfect moment to send emails to your subscribers depends on their behaviours. Some customers could be more likely to open an email on a weekday morning, whereas others could be most receptive over the weekend. Testing different send times and reviewing your open rates for each will help you pinpoint the sweet spot for your business.
Enable email marketing personalisation.
Research by Campaign Monitor found that emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. Likewise, Experian found that personalised emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than generic emails. The takeaway? Personalisation is key to getting noticed, maximising open rates, and ultimately, making more sales, so it’s important to choose an EDM service that has the capability to address subscribers by name.
Re-engage lapsed subscribers.
It’s estimated that around 60% of the average email subscriber list is inactive, which means your emails are potentially reaching less than half of your subscribers. Consider offering an incentive like a discount code or special offer for those subscribers who haven’t opened any of your emails in a long time (but remember not to use trigger words that might make the email spammy). Encouraging ‘dead’ subscribers to come back to life is a good way to get noticed and turn inactivity into potential sales.
Keep testing and fine-tuning your strategy.
Like anything, practice makes perfect – so pay attention to your email marketing platform’s analytics and reporting, and you can begin to make data-driven decisions about your email marketing strategy rather than leaving it to guesswork. Less-than-ideal open rates or click-through rates aren’t a sign to give up on email marketing, but rather an opportunity to learn and improve next time.
Looking for an email marketing solution?
Pocket Office, Yellow Pages’ CRM platform, is a great email marketing tool for small businesses. Storing all your customer data in the one place, from bookings to email marketing, to invoices, it allows you to easily create, automate and analyse your marketing emails. And it’s priced for small business too, with the premium package @ $50 per month.