Email marketing is a well known and relevant tool to use a part of your content marketing strategy. It is a highly effective channel for converting leads into paying customers. Growing your email list and getting permission to send emails to your target audience is the first step to your success in email marketing. The emails you are sending afterward create value and increase your profit over time. In this article, we will cover 10 tips you can implement to optimize your email marketing campaigns:
Tip #1: Define Your Email Marketing Goals
The first thing you need to do is to ask the question: “What are my goals by doing email marketing?”
There is no way around doing this. If you don’t have a plan with email marketing, it is pointless and you will never make it work optimally.
It is really important to consider how your email marketing campaigns fit into your marketing strategy. Here are some examples of how you can use email marketing for your business:
- Emails are great for creating trust and educating your leads. If you send quality campaigns with real value, your leads will start to trust you. Trust is key if you want to turn your leads into paying customers.
- Stay in your potential customer’s mind. By sending newsletters on a regular basis, your leads will be reminded of your business. If you’ve built a professional and trustworthy relationship with your leads, there is a good chance that when they need something you offer, they will buy from you.
- Email marketing can also be used to educate your existing customers in using your product or services. If you sell something that people don’t know how to use, they will probably demand a refund!
When you have figured out the purpose of your email marketing campaigns it is much easier to identify your target audience. You can then start to optimize your campaigns to support your goals. Without well-defined goals you can’t work strategically with your target audience or your content.
Tip #2: The balance between providing value and promoting sales
So your list is growing and it is tempting to start sending all your good offers to your leads right after they sign up. This approach does not work.
There are a few things to consider before sending emails to your leads. First of all, you need to think about how far your leads have come into your sales funnel. If you do a solid marketing effort chances are that the leads you generate know a little bit about your business. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are ready to buy anything from you.
As a rule of thumb 90% of the emails you send out should be content that adds value to your leads and only 10% should be promoting your products or services. By doing this you will give your leads a chance to find out what your business is all about without chasing them away.
Email marketing is a pretty intimate marketing tool. Your leads invite you to communicate with them like they would with friends, family, and colleagues.
That is why it’s important that what you write on your opt-in page correlates to the content your leads receive from you. If you don’t follow your own guidelines, the trust is gone in no time and people will unsubscribe from your email list.
According to GDPR, you can only send exactly the content your leads sign up for. So take your time to describe exactly what people can expect from you on your opt-in pages. This way you won’t violate any laws!
Tip #4: Write Engaging Subject Lines
Even though people opt-in to receive emails from you, that doesn’t mean that they will actually open and read them. Opening rates may vary a lot and according to Mailchimp, the average opening rate of newsletters is 20.81%. This means that roughly 4 out of 5 people won’t open your emails.
In our own email campaigns, we have opening rates between 30 and 40%. Based on our experience with email marketing, the key to getting these results is to have engaging subject lines. This is where you have to convince your leads to spend a minute to open and read your email. So how to write an engaging subject line?
- First of all, you want to make it clear what your recipient will gain from reading your content. You could start your subject line with phrases like: “Learn everything about..”, “Get the best..” or “Don’t miss out on..”
- Personalize your email campaigns as much as possible. When people opt-in to receive emails you should capture their name as well. This can be used in your email template to make it look like the email was sent personally to the recipient.
- Be specific and use a maximum of 50 characters. When people look through their inboxes they want to know what’s up immediately. That’s why you should keep your subject lines short and specific. You should also avoid using expressions that can be hard to understand.
- Use A/B split testing. You should test different versions of your subject lines on a smaller group before sending your emails to the rest of your leads. This way you will find out what version gets the best opening rate.
Important note: Don’t use clickbait in your subject lines. People often associate this with something bad. As a result, using clickbait in your subject lines will most likely give you terrible click-through rates.
Tip #5: Add A Call To Action To Your Emails
When you create emails for your campaigns it is important to ask yourself this question: What do you want your recipients to do when they read your emails?
You need to “push” your leads in the right direction and make it very clear what they should do with a call to action. This applies no matter what the purpose of the email is. it could be:
- Read a blog post on our website
- Fill in a form to receive a physical or digital product
- Get a discount or special offer
If you don’t include a call to action in your emails your leads might just read them and delete them. This will definitely hurt your conversions and be a huge waste of your time.
Tip #6: Keep Your Emails Simple
In regular website development, there are standards that you can follow to make your website look similar on all devices. When it comes to designing emails it’s not that simple, unfortunately.
The HTML templates that you create are interpreted and shown differently according to the email client and device your recipients use. So we highly recommend testing your templates on multiple devices and in different email clients. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to optimize a simple layout for multiple devices.
Keeping the text in your emails short and precise will also make your message more clear to the recipients.
Tip #7: Write ALT-texts For The Images In Your Emails
Writing ALT-texts for your images is very important. An ALT-text is an alternative text that describes an image. If the image doesn’t show up, the ALT-text takes its place.
It is very important to write these texts because some email clients don’t show images by default. This means that people actively need to choose whether they want to see the images or not. If you don’t tell them what the images are about, they might not choose to see them at all.
Tip #8: Make It Easy To Unsubscribe From Your Email List
Over the years email marketing has gotten a really bad reputation. Many businesses send out marketing campaigns without the consent from the recipients. These businesses also make it very difficult to unsubscribe from their email lists.
The reason for this is that an unsubscriber means one less potential customer. In reality, they have lost the potential customer long before this point. People get angry and frustrated about being signed up to something they don’t want without being able to unsubscribe.
Doing email marketing this way may even lead to being flagged as a spammer which is really bad for business.
Tip #9: Test Your Emails
The most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaign is to test the emails you send out. First of all, you need to check if they look good on multiple devices and in the most common email clients like Outlook and Gmail.
The next step is to find out what time of the day you get the most engagement on your emails. How does it affect your opening rates if you send out emails before people go to lunch? What about sending them in the evening instead?
This really comes down to your target audience and the best way to find out is by testing it!
You should also test your content and not just different subject lines. By trying out different calls to action you can find out which ones drive most clicks to whatever you are promoting.
Tip #10: Check Up On Legislations And GDPR
To make sure you’re not doing anything illegal and prevent people from getting mad at you for spamming, you should read about GDPR and general legislations.
Another rule of thumb you should use is to look at your emails from your recipients perspective. If you received these emails yourself would you consider them spam? If the answer is yes then you have to change something to succeed with email marketing.