How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Email is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. It's an important touch point between customers and brands. From the awareness stage to the final decision-making phase, email is what enables your business to build a reputation in your industry.
It showcases the benefits of your products and services and establishes you as a trusted industry leader.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can apply effective marketing strategies that will help you optimize your email campaigns.
Before we go further, it's important to note that I'm operating under the assumption that you have already segmented your email audience and that the separate lists have different email workflows.
But now the big question would be:
How do you know if the emails you send are resonating with your target audience?
How do you compel your subscribers to open the emails in the first place, especially when you consider the fact that they already have thousands and even hundreds of messages that lie unopened in their inboxes?
The statistics are actually quite scary. On average, your customers are exposed to over 2,000 media messages. They will pay attention to only about 50 of them, and they will only positively remember about four. FOUR!
So what is the best way to ensure that your emails are opened by the people you're targeting?
The best way is by showing them that you understand their priorities and needs. This is something that you’re already familiar with if you've been running any content marketing campaigns for your online business.
All you have to do is prove to your audience that you not only know who they are but that you understand what they care about as well as the way they think. Although that may sound a little creepy, it isn't really. There's a big difference between being creepy and being well informed and personable.
So if you want your audience to know that you understand what the problems are, and to get them to believe that you can help solve them, your messaging has to go beyond simply personalizing emails with your subscribers’ names.
You need to make use of behavioral and demographic data to create emails that grab attention and cut right to the chase.
I know what you're thinking – and as much as it would be nice to be able to send the same message to everyone, that type of easy mass-marketing method just isn't going to work anymore. If you want your email marketing to be effective then you have to find better ways to customize the messages you send to your target audience.
Let's take a look at how you can do that:
Create an Awesome Subject Line
I don't have to tell you this but your email has to grab your readers’ attention. This begins with an epic subject line which is the main piece of information that your subscribers take into consideration before deciding whether they should open your email or not.
They also look at the sender as well as the preview text, but that is something we will talk about later.
A good percentage of email recipients open emails based on just the subject line, so make sure that yours is concise and informative, and that it sets of clear expectation with regards to why the reader should click through.
Although this may seem obvious to some, it can be extremely difficult to achieve. You need to spend some time coming up with some killer one-liners for your email campaigns.
Don't be afraid to take inspiration from some of the emails you may receive yourself from other leaders in your industry.
Cut The Fat
In addition to having clear and concise subject lines, the meat of your email copy needs to be lean, as well. This presents a delicate balance for most marketers.
After all, how do you make an email engaging and informative while also reducing the reading time?
The trick here is to cut the fat from your emails and focus on the types of messages that get to the point immediately. This could be new information that you want to share, or it could be some action you want your readers to take.
Make sure that your language is conversational and direct when crafting your emails. It should read like a human wrote it. Use short paragraphs and various types of formatting to help visually break up the text.
This will make your emails easy to digest and scan. As you well know, most readers these days are seasoned skim-readers, so if they see an essay in their inbox, they will lose interest before even starting to read.
Include Attractive Images
As with all other types of content, you need to ensure that your emails are visually compelling. A strong image plays a vital role in helping to attract your subscribers’ attention.
Once they open your email and see a strong image, it entices them to click through to some of the relevant content that could possibly lead them further through the sales funnel.
One thing that we can all agree on is that stock imagery is not the way to go. While it may be easy to pick out random stock photographs for blog posts, when it comes to emails that is one of the worst things you can do.
A more effective strategy would be to have imagery that stands out and is as relevant as your email body’s copy.
Have a Clear CTA
The fact is, the entire reason why you spend all your time, effort and/or money creating personas, segmenting your email audience, making awesome images, and drafting compelling copy is to ultimately get people to take some sort of action, right?
You eventually want them to visit your landing page where you can convert them into paying customers – and that requires a great CTA.
The question going through many people's minds right now is, ‘How can I create a call to action that is compelling enough to get my subscribers to click the link and eventually convert?’
And the answer to that question is: By selecting only one CTA, and not two or three.
Limiting the number of places your subscriber can go from your email allows you to take away the confusion, and you make it more likely that they will take the desired action.
Add Human Connection
As with all stages in the customer's journey, your main goal for each email campaign you run involves building trust and boosting relationships with your readers that will eventually lead to a conversion.
One of the most powerful ways to enhance the performance of your emails is by having a human connection.
Email marketing is extremely effective when it's a personal experience. You need to send your emails from an actual person, either you or someone on your staff.
You might even consider including a picture of the sender next to the signature. This helps to support an approach to email that is more personable.
Make sure that the tone in your emails complements this and reinforces the concept of having a conversation with a real human as opposed to a detached marketing production line.
Make Your Emails Are Shareable
If you're not trying to get your audience to help you promote your emails by sharing them, you are losing out on a lot of potential leads. Making your emails easily shareable should be one of your goals when it comes to making your email marketing campaigns more effective.
Always take the time to encourage your readers to spread the word.
The good news is that a lot of the basic rules for sharing content also apply to email marketing. All you have to do is make it easy for your recipients to share your newsletters, offers, information, and announcements within their networks.
This will greatly expand your reach as well as broaden your chances of generating new leads for your business.
If your contacts share the emails with people that aren't in your database, and those people end up converting, it means you landed new leads with next to no effort.
That's something most marketers dream of. And all you have to do is to include a few social sharing links in your emails.
Optimize For Mobile
This is critical to the success of your email marketing campaign and it's something that you might actually relate to if you have ever opened emails on your phone where the formatting was so messed up that you could hardly read it.
The text might've been too small or too large, or there may have been images that didn't fit your screen…
That is very annoying and I’ll bet you quickly deleted the email without even trying to decipher it. That's why it's important to ensure that you optimize for mobile so that you don't force your readers to have to deal with that same problem.
Your emails need to display correctly across different kinds of devices. They should be properly designed and optimized to adapt to any device that your readers might use. Luckily, this is very easy to do these days since most email templates are responsive.
Once you do this, you will start to see an increase in both your click-through rates and your conversion rates.
Include a Link for Unsubscribing
I'm hoping by now you know that it's illegal to not include a link for unsubscribing in any of the emails you send.
But that isn't the only reason that you shouldn't send an email without a button or link for unsubscribing.
Look at it this way:
Do you really want to be sending emails to recipients that are uninterested?
All this does is waste yours and their time. Instead, you want your list to be made up of engaged subscribers who will be happy and eager to hear from you. If you notice that subscribers aren't opening your emails, it could mean that the emails you're sending aren’t relevant to them.
Rather than have such people on your list, it's better to give them an option to unsubscribe if they wish.
This will not only give you a more accurate view of your open rates and your clickthrough rates, but it also increases your chances of converting the segments of your audience that are more engaged.
Delete Unengaged Contacts
Don't be afraid of cutting ties with any of your contacts that are not engaged. In as much as the unsubscribe button is important to your users, being able to delete subscribers who are not opening your emails is just as valuable a tool for you as an email marketer.
If there are subscribers who aren't bothered to open your emails or click on your links, letting go of them is the best option for your long-term email marketing success.
But before you let them go, it's a good idea to try and get some closure by sending one or two emails containing special incentives to give them one last chance.
If this reactivation campaign doesn't work, it's time to move on and find others who will be more attentive to the emails you send.
Determine Email Frequency
No marker wants to be in the spam folder, and they will do whatever they can to avoid it.
You work so hard to create emails that get your message across to your target customers, and the last thing you want is for your creative messaging to end up in that pit of doom.
After spending hours crafting compelling copy and coming up with the perfect subject line, you obviously want your recipients to not only open your emails but also read the content AND act on it.
If your emails aren't being opened and you know you're not doing shady stuff that might be getting them flagged as spam, then your problem might have to do with how often you’re sending the emails.
There are certain metrics that you can track to help you determine the correct frequency to email your subscribers, such as your open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, among others.
Almost all the things you need to know are hidden within these numbers.
You can use the information to work out what's best for your audience and how many emails you should be sending them every month. At the very least you should send one email per month so that your subscribers don't forget about you.
As you've seen, they are a lot of ways that you can make your email marketing efforts more effective.
Pick one from our list of the 10 methods that you can apply right now and get started improving the results from your email marketing campaigns.
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Updated: Originally published April 26th 2019