Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns With These 5 Best Practices
E-Mail marketing is direct marketing that is designed to enhance the relationship between the sender and the recipient, in the hope of generating business interest and eventually more sales. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people who have already done business with you, or who have shown interest in your products or services. I am sharing some E-Mail Marketing Best Practices to help you get started.
Your E-Mail List is Golden – E-Mail Database-s are Valuable Business Assets
E-Mails addresses are fairly easy and inexpensive to collect. It is essential, and most basic, to keep a list of the E-Mail addresses of all customers who have done business with you. These names are golden because you have already established your credibility with them.
If you have a website, you should include a “subscribe to our newsletter” or some other way for prospects to opt-in to receive communications from you. This is called “explicit permission” to be added to your mailing list.
When you go to tradeshow events, be sure to scan the names of all visitors to your booth to send them a thank you and an invite to join your mailing list.
In the U.S., it is acceptable to send E-Mails to people who have shown “implied permission” …meaning that you can add them after they have corresponded to you by E-Mail to receive more information or to receive a quote from you. This also includes people who have handed you their business card. Note: This is provided that they have not previously”unsubscribed” from your E-Mail list.
E-Mail Marketing Tips
Here are some of my favorite E-Mail marketing tips:
- Begin with a good list. Customers, people who have opted-in, people you know are more likely to respond well. Make a list of your contact, including their names and E-Mail addresses.
- Use the receiver’s name. Try to address the recipient by their name. The open rate for e-mails with a personalized message is 18.8%, in comparison with 13.1% without any personalization in 2016. (Source: Statista 2016)
- Use a great subject line. Say exactly what the E-Mail is about. I recommend testing different subject lines.
- Use text in the opening lines, to clearly identify the purpose of your E-Mail. Don’t let your images take the entire real estate above the fold.
- Body tips: (the body of the E-Mail):
- Short: write short paragraphs, deliver information in bite-sized chunks for easy digestion, one or two sentences each
- Accurate: fact-check everything, make sure you can be quoted as an authority
- Scannable: use headlines, bolding, bullets to make the message scannable, meaning your reader can scan the E-Mail and quickly pick up the message
- Relevant: write about something that your readers will find valuable and relevant. If they bought a lawnmower from you, deliver information relevant to landscaping. Put yourself in the consumer’s mind and think about what they would be interested in. Maybe gardening tips for the customer who purchased the lawnmower.
- Tone: Don’t be afraid to show your personality. Make your E-Mails congenial and even use humor, if appropriate.
Here are a few technical suggestions:
- Keep image sizes down to 300 to 350 pixels or smaller – or they will potentially trigger being sent to the promotions inbox or worse, the SPAM folder
- Keep messages 102KB in size or smaller – to keep Gmail and other providers from truncating them, or cutting them off.
- Include an “unsubscribe” option. This is not debatable – you must do this or open yourself up to lawsuits. Here’s an example of unsolicited texting, which also falls under the same umbrella. http://legalnewsline.com/stories/511080138-american-eagle-reaches-14-5m-settlement-in-spam-text-lawsuit-blames-marketing-firm
- SPAM: For everyone, it is essential that you check your country’s SPAM laws. Here is an excellent place to do that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Mail_spam_legislation_by_country. Go to your country, and read about your country’s laws. I already mentioned that violation of anti-SPAM laws can result in huge fines.
E-Mail Marketing Software
In order to create beautiful E-Mails and look like a true professional, I suggest using an E-Mail marketing program. Some of the top E-Mail marketing software programs for 2017 include:
Constant Contact: consistently ranks as the top E-Mail marketing software
Mail Chimp: easily integrates with WordPress, Magneto, and Shopify
Aweber: one of the most popular programs in the world; access to over 700 templates and 6000 stock images
For a larger list, check out PC Magazines’ picks.
Here are a couple of great E-Mail Marketing statistics to encourage you:
- Three-quarters of companies agree that E-Mail offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016) Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
- 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional E-Mails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Return on Investment
For ten years in a row now, E-Mail marketing has been rated as bringing in the highest return on investment. According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent, E-Mail marketing brings in an average of $38. https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/
I can certainly attest to that from my own personal experience.
Another key to controlling costs and helping to get a great return on investment is to keep your list fresh. General maintenance of your E-Mail list includes deleting your bounced contacts and even removing recipients who never open your E-Mails from your list, to reduce the per send cost and help you get better returns.
Segmentation really helps deliver relevant information and brings better results than E-Mail blasts. If you know that a group of people (a segment) have common interests, you can put them in their own list and deliver information specific to their interests. Segmentation can also be done by age, by country, time or place you met (as from a tradeshow or event). For E-Commerce follow up E-Mails, segmentation can be done by past purchases, the amount spent, position in the sales funnel, website behavior, and many more variables.
In conclusion, E-Mail marketing should be done by every business owner wanting to stay connected with their customers and prospects. The E-Mail database is a golden asset that should be well maintained. E-Mail marketing software makes it easy to create stunning E-mails and deliver your message in a professional manner. An effort made in E-Mail marketing is well documented to be most effective bringing in a high Return on Investment, provided the message is relevant and valuable to its recipients.