Sending out successful email campaigns is an important way to market your business and help it succeed.
Of course, that’s no longer a trade secret, as every business and nonprofit organization is now competing for attention in the inbox. That makes for a lot of split-second decisions, with people deciding whether to open or delete emails they receive almost instantly.
How can you stand out in an overcrowded inbox? Here are six easy tips that will help you do so, and reach the most people possible.
1. Target Your Audience
When sending an email campaign, you always want to ask: Who am I trying to reach with this information? Not every message needs to go to your entire recipient list. Some campaigns are suited more for just a targeted list of specific recipients.
For example, maybe you own a pet store, and you’re sending a message for dog owners. Segment your list accordingly, or else you’ll be sending to the cat and fish owners unnecessarily.
Of course, you can’t segment your list if you don’t know more information about your customers. So either ask some basic questions when people sign up to hear from you, or think about sending your subscribers a survey to learn more about them and determine their interest level in your products or services.
By segmenting your list, and sending information that’s relevant to those smaller groups of people, your entire audience will be more likely to open and read your emails.
2. Create a Great Subject Line
The subject line is one of the most important factors in creating a successful email. People often decide whether to read or delete email messages based solely on the subject line. And sometimes, the subject line is the only part of the email they’ll ever see. The point is: You need to grab the reader’s attention quickly and effectively.
There are multiple theories about what, exactly, makes for a good subject line. It could come down to the content of the email itself: Sometimes one that’s actionable and includes a verb (e.g.: “Get more organized with these simple tips”) will be most appropriate, and other times, a subject line that’s fun and teases the content inside the message will be better. Regardless, make your subject line about the recipient, not about you. There’s a difference between “Come to our event” and “You are invited.”
3. Include Relevant Content
Don’t treat your email campaign like you would a blender, including so many ingredients that you can’t even identify what’s in the mix. Rather, just feature the kind of information and content your readers want, need, and enjoy.
Your email is a chance to make a connection, so when thinking about what to include, put yourself in your readers’ shoes. They don’t want a sales pitch, they want to know how the product you’re promoting will help them. They want to know how to make their shopping experience with you even better. They want to get to know the people who can help them.
Not sure what your subscribers want to hear from you? Ask them in a survey!
4. Keep It Short, and Stick to the Point
Whatever you decide to include in your campaign, remember that no one wants to scroll through a long, wordy email — especially if they’re reading the message on a mobile device. Try to keep your campaign short and to the point.
Focus on just a couple things, and stay on topic when writing the content. Try to avoid unnecessary articles and images. The purpose of your email is simply to get the recipient to take action, not to deliver a master’s thesis. If you want people to visit a page on your website, direct them there, give them incentive for doing so, and don’t over-complicate the message.
5. Test Your Email
Much of your audience may be viewing your email on their phone or tablet, and what looks good on your desktop won’t necessarily look good on those devices. So before hitting Send, make sure your email looks good no matter how your recipients view it.
You can do this by running it through a delivery analysis test. By running a delivery analysis on your email, you’ll be able to see just how it looks on a phone, tablet, or computer. It will also let you check the links in your email to make sure they’re all working correctly.
This is an important step to make sure your email looks great, works the way you expect it to, and will get your audience’s attention.
6. Send at the Perfect Time
Let’s get this out of the way now: There is no one perfect time for everyone — or, for that matter, for every campaign. Try to consider the most practical time that will work best for you.
One way to do this is to look at your reporting data and see when your subscribers are typically opening your emails. If it’s at night, then send your next campaign at night. If it’s in the morning, send your next campaign then. Or, if you aren’t seeing a high open rate, maybe change the time of your next campaign. Use the data at your disposal and plan accordingly.
The Bottom Line
If you’re just starting out with email marketing, it’s alright if you’re not an expert right away. Remember: A little practice will make perfect. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be an email pro in no time!
What best practices do you need help with? Share your questions in the comments section below, and look for answers in a future blog post!