Some Email Marketing Best Practices
To reach your business targets, you need to know about email marketing best practices. Adhering to these will make your email marketing process work effectively.
Email is one of the most cost effective ways of marketing online, so you should make sure that you get excellent results out of the email you send. Whether it’s building up relationships with your customers or keeping your buyers’ attention post purchase, best practices can optimize the marketing of your service or product.
Email Marketing Best Practices – Know More
Let’s take a look at some best practices for email marketing
1) Create an eye-catching subject line
Keeping in mind that you’re not the only entity occupying their inbox, the first step in ensuring that they click open instead of deleting or marking it spam is to have an eye-catching subject line. The most effective way to catch your reader’s eye is to use the subject line to give a darned good reason to open it.
AWeber conducted a case study in 2011 that showed that a clear subject line gets 541% more clicks than a clever one. To keep your subject line clear, you should use words that express persuasion (bonus, gift, sale, party), a time limit (hours, days, weekend, deadline) or purpose (weekly updates, newsletter, hot sheets, whitepaper).
What you absolutely do not want to do is nag. That’s a deal-killer for me and a great many others. Some people recommend the tough guy approach to reengaging less responsive readers. I suppose that might work in certain niches, but I advise against it. If it would get you punched in the face if you said it in person, it will probably get someone to unsubscribe and possibly report you as a spammer online.
Another thing to consider in an eye-catching email subject line is whether or not it fits nicely in the small screen. Somebody sent me an email that said something to the effect of
“This software sucks money like an industrial shopvac…”
Problem was, I received it on my smart phone and all I saw in the GMail app was
“This software sucks…”
Hardly a rousing affiliate endorsement. Needless to say, I didn’t open it to find out how badly that software sucked.
2) Let’s not get too personal
One of the great features of an autoresponder service like AWeber is the ability to gather personal information about your subscribers. You can get birth dates in order to offer special deals as birthday promos. You can put the subscriber’s name in the subject line and/or body of your message to make it feel more personal. This can be a real plus when you have a close, cozy relationship with your list. It can look fake as heck when you have a large, impersonal, mass-market list.
A study by MailerMailer showed that personalized emails were opened only 5.2% of the time, while those without personalization were opened at a rate of about 11.5%. The thing that actually trumps personalization these days is localization. Big chains that made reference to regional stores got open rates of up to 79.9%. Fortunately, this is one of the basic elements of information that you get with your email subscriber list.
The problem is that it may give you an IP address and approximate location, but it is only an approximate location. I have also had any number of emails enticing me with whatever in not-my-current-address. Trying to get me to go shopping or dating or whatever in Albrightsville or Selinsgrove is a non-starter! While they may only be a nanosecond away on fiber optic, they’re actually an hour’s drive away and well outside of my normal circle of shopping locales. Again, those sorts of gaffes lead to unsubscribing.
3) Get playful
Many email platforms and programs have upgraded their services to allow for some of the advanced interactive features available from your autoresponder service. While not all email services accommodate the advanced features, they have been shown to increase reader engagement.
Another way of getting playful with your emails is the concept of gamification. As with video games, forcing a certain set of actions and rewarding successful execution of those steps creates a habit. Creating a habit of opening your emails where the email becomes the reward is the holy grail of email marketing. Marketers experiment with actual rewards (bonus products, freebies, coupons) and virtual awards (participation badges, award levels, honorary titles) as a way to keep readers opening and reading their emails.
Another technique of gamification is to make your emails fit together like an installment story. Back in the days of Dickens, he would publish a chapter each month until the novel was complete. Nobody is expecting you to be a master of literature like Charles Dickens, but you might consider creating a master story line for your emails. That way, when they’ve gone through a whole conceptual arc, they have the equivalent of an ebook right in their inbox. That sort of coherent content schedule is an attention keeper.
4) Break it up, shake it up
Making emails easy to scan makes them easy to read.
- Use headers to summarize and simplify reading
- Use images to signify content
- Use interactive features in a smart way to engage readers
- Use big blocks of text
- Put in doodads just to have doodads
- Misuse personalization to be too stalkerific
Well, what’s an autoresponder without the auto? Setting a plan like the one described in the video is easier using some of the automation features available through your autoresponder service. Here are some automation tools available right out of the box with AWeber:
- Campaigns – Use campaigns like building blocks for variable results. Instead of having one monolithic, one-size-fits-all stream of generic emails, you can use multiple campaigns based on specific topics. Doing it this way, you can have people who need to clear more beginner hurdles get to a particular campaign later in the sequence than an experienced practitioner who might actually start their journey with that campaign topic.
- Automation Rules – This gives you the ability to add or remove subscribers from a list when subscribing to or unsubscribing from a list.
- Tagging – Use tags to define segments of your audience who are interested in a given topic so you can send messages exclusively to them
For those who want a lot more power in their automation, AW Pro Tools has partnered with AWeber to bring a ton of power in automating your email marketing.