Top Email Marketing Best Practices You Cannot Afford To Miss
If you have Gmail, you would have noticed all emails are filtered in different categories such as primary, social and promotional.
This differentiation of emails into folders not only improves the appearance, it also provides a better more structured way for recipients to prioritise, read and administer their emails.
Now let’s zoom-in to one of these categories – Promotional. That’s where most marketing emails, especially from autoresponders, will be streaming into.
The key question here is – when you send your email broadcasts and newsletters to your subscribers, will they arrive to their (Promotional) mailbox successfully or worst … the Spam folder.
From another perspective, even if your emails are opened by your subscribers (gosh, you must have a good enticing email title there), how confident are you that your email content are good enough to get your click-through to your blog post, sales page or affiliate site.
With email marketing being one of the most critical strategies crucial for the bottom line for all online businesses and websites, one cannot leave it to chance and adopt a hit or miss mentality.
Below are some of the top email marketing tips that give you the extra edges to ensure your online success :
Mobile is the future; be mobile responsive
As from 2012, there are more internet users using their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to view websites as compared to desktop and laptop. As such, not only it is imperative for your websites to be mobile responsive, same importance applies to your emails.
All marketing emails must be properly crafted so that they appear visually appealing on the small screen-sized mobile devices. As revealed by studies, a responsive design can increase 130% in click-through of emails. In short, do not underestimate the importance of your emails going mobile responsive.
Content is king; make your readers’ reading worthwhile
Repeat – Content is king. This couldn’t be truer. Imagine yourself being a subscriber of a newsletter and all you get are truckloads of high-pressured sales-pitched marketing emails trying to sell you something all the time. I’m not sure about you but I’ll head over to the Unsubscribe link in a flash. Or worst, I’d marked them as spams (which is no good for the senders; which could be you).
So, do not do unto other what you do not desire. Make sure you spend time and effort to create emails that are worth your subscribers’ time. Don’t focus on the selling.
Focus on quality content that the subscribers want – information, tips and how-to to help solve problems they would probably encountered within your niche.
Keep your email short, simple and interesting
While this may sound simple, it’ll take you some time and effort to draft emails that are short, simple and, most importantly, interesting enough to entice the click-throughs.
One key is in the email title. I’ve seen newsletter emails that was only one word. Some email titles are so intriguing and attractive that you can’t help but to click it. Be creative in your email title.
Keep the email body short and structured it such that it is easy to read. There should be at least 2 (max 3) hyperlinks for what that matters – the click through. And I strongly recommend that the click through is to your longer blog post with even more good quality content with the actual “money” links sprinkled subtly within the post.
Analyse your Analytics
Always keep track on the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. You got to have a good autoresponder service provider or system with detailed analytics for you to monitor the open rate of your emails and, most importantly, the click through rate of the hyperlinks in your emails.
Of course, although not a result you’d wanted, the number of subscribers that unsubscribe … ouch! but this is inevitable; there are bound to have subscribers dropping your lists. This is one statistic that our aim is to keep it to a minimal.
Not to forget the bounced rate as well. Another number we’d need to keep it as low as possible.
Collectively, all these data – mail open, click through, unsubscribe, bounce rate will allow you to fine-tune and enhance your email marketing return-on-investment.
It’s your Opt-in (forms) that matters
In the first place, your subscribers become your subscribers because they have chosen to opt-in at your opt-in form so as to receive your newsletters.
This is the actual starting point of your entire email marketing funnel. As such, you must have a good autoresponder system that allow you to create visually appealing opt-in forms which you can embed anywhere onto your website.
Opt-in forms can appear in various format – as pop-ups (lightboxes), exit pops, at header, sidebar, footer, direct email with subscribe button, double opt-in, 2-step opt-in etc. A good autoresponder must be able to allow you to deploy the opt-in forms that are effective for your websites.
A good autoresponder must also have tons of visually appealing opt-in form templates for you to choose from and, of course, they must be easily customisable to suit your branding. Email templates are essential as they will help you to deploy good looking opt-in forms much faster.
Split-test and keep testing
One email marketing strategy that works for someone else’s business might not work for yours. You got to have your own effective email marketing funnel that is engineered for your particular business.
The only way to optimise your email marketing ROI is to split-test and keep testing – and this applies to split-test different type of opt-in forms, the headlines, the contents, the enticing factors (ie. free ebook download etc.), even different background or font colours.
Same split-testing must be implemented on the actual emails themselves – what titles give you higher open rate, different styles of contents that get you more click throughs, sending frequencies, various length of emails etc.
However, like I’ve always said, don’t go to the extent of “paralysis of analysis”; simply put, don’t overdo split-testing. As a matter of fact, there is really no such thing as the perfect email marketing formula. The main purpose of split-testing is … just be better.