Email marketing is one of the single most powerful tools in any digital toolkit. It’s an affordable and effective way to get in touch with tons of consumers quickly and personally.
In this day and age of spam, it can be hard to get email marketing right. Effective email marketing can generate leads and cultivate relationships with consumers in a way that no other tactic can. On the other hand, email can actually be a detriment to your business if poorly done.
So, how exactly do you succeed with email marketing? It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and skill – and a little luck, too. Here are a few rules to keep in mind when developing your email marketing campaigns.
1. Put Content Above All Else
It won’t matter how great your product or company is if your official emails are littered with typos or boring language. Every single detail of your email content matters.
The content of each email should be valuable and engaging for your audience. Don’t ever send out irrelevant information or messages without a clear call to action.
Every part of an email sends signals to your audience about how they should view your business. The tone of the subject line, the size and color of the text, the specific diction used, and even the time of day it’s sent are all important aspects to consider.
There’s an art to crafting marketing emails. Be sure to take the time to learn all that you can, or consider hiring a pro to write and design your emails for you.
2. Test Before Sending
Images that fail to load and broken links can mean the difference between failure and success. If the content won’t properly appear to your audience, how can you expect your message to get across ?
That’s why it’s good to manually test emails before sending them. Send them to your own email to ensure everything appears as it should. Fire them up in different web, desktop, and mobile clients. Links should be clear and working, pictures shouldn’t take forever to load, and text should be scalable according to screen resolution.
Furthermore, you should also get an outside opinion on your emails – or at least try to view them from your audience’s perspective. If you were a recipient of this email, would you want to open it? Is it interesting or engaging to you?
The process of testing before sending is usually focused on technical quality assurance, but don’t forget to take a step back and review your work from a purely emotional perspective.
3. Don’t Forget to Track Metrics
How will you know if your email campaign is successful if you aren’t keeping track of success metrics?
At the very least, you should be tracking open and click-through rates. These tell you how often your audience is viewing each email and then clicking on your call-to-action links. Unfortunately, it can be hard to glean more complex data from these numbers, but they’re still useful on their own.
If your open rate is very low, then it means recipients aren’t even giving your email the time of day. Perhaps your emails are being marked as spam or your subject lines are just boring. It’s good to do a little multivariate testing or reevaluating your email lists to see where changes need to be made.
If your open rate is decent but the click-through rate is low, your call-to-action might be weak. Make sure links are clearly identifiable. Make sure readers know where the link will lead – no one will click on a link when they’re unclear about its destination.