As you are likely aware, email marketing is alive and well in the business community. It is known to boost ROI and engagement with clients and leads, which makes it even more appealing to any business that hasn’t yet adopted the practice. So, with so many businesses utilizing this method of interacting and promoting themselves to their client-base, how can your business stand out from the crowd? There are a number of email marketing strategies out there that can be used to ensure your business is getting the most out of your email marketing and receiving the most effective engagement possible with your clients and leads.
We’ve rounded up a few of the best email marketing strategies your business can test out to see what works for your specific organization.
Write engaging content and design the email well
While this may seem like a no-brainer, you might be surprised at how many businesses seem to think if you slap a whole bunch of content into an email and send it out, that’s enough to get people to read it.
However, when it comes to email content, less is definitely more. If your recipients open an email and see a wall of text, chances are they are going to skim through to the end as fast as possible searching for the important sections (if they choose to read the email at all). To create an engaging email, it is important to break up your text with images or graphics that catch the readers’ eyes and make them want to keep reading.
Another strategy for avoiding the wall of text deterrent is to keep your email paragraphs short and concise, creating clean and easy-to-read chunks of content that are easy for readers to digest. Essentially, make sure that the email body doesn’t look like a page from a novel. Novels are meant to be read for fun, not to be forced upon unsuspecting email subscribers!
Here is an example of an email with images and short, easy-to-read paragraphs:
There is nothing better than a well-written and well-designed email to help increase reader engagement and perhaps even lead to conversions or sales. Because if you are able to get your recipients to read your emails and click on links, there is a much higher chance that the content will be absorbed and persuaded to buy your products or enlist your services.
Before we move on, let us once again emphasize that less. is. more.
Personalize content to each email recipient
Who likes reading emails with a generic greeting such as “Dear Valued Customer?”
This is why we included personalization among our examples of email marketing strategies that your business should try. Generic emails are just that – bland, broad, and most of the time vague emails that can apply to the masses on a large scale without having to change up any of the content to appeal to readers and consumers on an individual level.
By simply personalizing the email content and targeting your messages to each recipient, it is possible to increase your email open rates by more than five percent!
This may seem like a daunting amount of work but the thing is, with the right email builder software, personalization and targeting doesn’t have to be difficult at all.
The easiest way to achieve personalization is to use the contact information you are already storing on your email recipients and have your email software pull this information and insert it into specific parts of your email. This process uses a handy little tool called a merge tag, which is essentially placeholder text you insert into your email that is connected to the information in your contact manager.
These placeholders can look something like this in your email:
Once you send out your email to your recipients, the software will replace each merge tag with the respective piece of information for each individual contact. Something as simple as adding the recipient’s name to the email helps it to feel a little more personal and less robotic.
Another one of the perhaps more underrated email marketing strategies in regard to email personalization is the use of conditional formatting (also known as segmentation) to help target the email to specific recipients based on where they are located, previous actions they have taken, or preferences they have previously indicated to you.
Your email marketing software should be able to help you segment your email by sections and choose which recipients will receive which sections of your email based on specific conditions you outline before sending the email. This means you should only have to create one email (rather than multiple) with all the content you need for every type of reader.
For example, say you are sending an email to your recipients in which you are promoting a regionally-based deal on a service. Instead of recreating the email several times and swapping out locations, you can copy these sections out into the same email and use conditional formatting to determine which section gets sent to whom based on the information you have stored on each contact.
So it turns out that personalizing and targeting your emails to your recipients doesn’t take more time to do. If done right it may even reduce your current workload!
Test more than one version of your email
When you are creating and sending emails, are you ever kept up at night wondering whether that other graphic or other call-to-action button design would have been better to use instead of the one you ultimately chose?
Well, the next item on our list of email marketing strategies may be able to put your mind to rest.
A/B split testing is a tried and true strategy that allows you to test different versions of your email with a small subset of recipients to determine which one received the most engagement, most opens, and/or the most clicks. Whichever email performs the best according to the criteria you set out will then sent to the remaining recipients without you having to worry about whether you are sending the best email possible.
Depending on what email marketing software your business utilizes, the A/B split test functionality may already be built in, allowing you to easily create two emails with slight variations or even with two completely different designs.
The software should also be able to do all the data analysis for you and automatically select the winning email based on your specific criteria. No need to open up both email reports side by side and manually compare the results.
A/B split testing is one of the email marketing strategies where you are able to see definitive results and concrete proof that your optimization is working. Easily identify the areas in your emails where you may need further improvement by making little tweaks here and there and checking your send reports to determine what works best for your business.
Optimize your subject lines to grab readers’ attention
The next strategy we want to share with you in our list of email marketing strategies you should be using has to do with the actual sending of your email. Sure, you may have the best looking and most well-designed email going, but who is going to open it if you don’t entice them with a snappy subject line?
The subject line is the first thing your email recipients see when the email comes into their inbox. You want to be sure that you convince your recipients to actually open your email rather than simply mark it as read.
For example, which subject line would make you want to open this email?
So, how can you optimize your email subject lines?
Well, first you need to be sure that the email you’re sending will actually reach your recipients’ inboxes instead of being delivered straight to the spam folder. Spam filters are always on the lookout for mass emails that are sent using specific words or phrases in the subject line, such as “free,” “cash,” or “cheap” to name a few.
Check out some more words and phrases to avoid when creating your subject line to help you reduce the risk of your email ending up in the spam folder.
When creating your subject line, be sure to be direct and honest about what the email contains. Short and concise email subject lines do wonders for open rates, especially if your recipients are opening the email on their mobile device. The longer the subject line is, the harder it is for mobile devices to display it in its entirety and over half of emails are now being opened on mobile devices!
However, if worse comes to worse and you decide you can’t live without a longer subject line, be sure to include the most important and relevant information at the beginning to improve the chances of your mobile readers reading it (still, we really recommend using shorter subject lines – they really do work!).
Another way to optimize your subject lines as part of this email marketing strategy is to include more than one topic in the subject line to potentially grab more readers’ attention (in as few characters as possible). So, in the case of an email marketing newsletter, for example, you may reference more than one topic. If you only refer to one of them in the subject line, some readers may not find that topic interesting enough to want to open the email. However, by including more than one topic in your subject line, chances are that readers will see at least one topic that sounds interesting enough to make the click!
As you can probably tell, we are very serious about the effect of email subject lines on your business’s email marketing. Optimized subject lines are one of the most important email marketing strategies of all, as they directly influence whether your other strategies work or not. It doesn’t matter whether you implemented other email marketing strategies within the body of the email if your recipients don’t even take the time to open it.
Take a look at this other blog we’ve written about email subject line optimization for even more ways to optimize your email sending!
Only a few email marketing strategies
When looking at implementing email marketing strategies to help increase your business’s engagement with your email recipients, these are just a few of all the strategies that are out there to try. Not all email marketing strategies will work for every organization, so it is best to try out a few different ones to see what works for you.
Email marketing done well is an art form. If you take the time to thoughtfully plan and design your email communications, you can be sure your recipients are fully engaging with your business and getting the most out of the content you are providing.
A flexible and intuitive email marketing tool can also help your business save time and energy when building email campaigns and customizing them on a recipient by recipient basis. Instead of spending the time creating multiple campaigns, create only one instead and let the email marketing tool do the rest!
That’s definitely more bang for your buck.
If you’re interested to see how an email marketing solution can help your business implement one or more of these email marketing strategies, check out our email marketing software to help you get started!