Sending out thousands of emails monthly to your subscribers using bulk email marketing software is a smart move for your business, but do you know how to get the most out of your software? Do you know all the ins and outs that make your email marketing efforts more effective? Get the inside scoop on using a bulk email marketing solution in order to save time and effort and increase your email marketing open rates.
1. Do your research before settling on a bulk email marketing solution. Check out providers' websites, review their features to see if they have what you want, read customer reviews on independent sites and sign up for free trials. If you do end up picking an email program that you later realize you aren't satisfied with, try again! There are plenty of providers available and each one has different pros and cons.
2. Create targeted lists of contacts based on customers' individual interests, purchase history, location or any other factors. Studies have shown that targeted messages get much higher open rates and are more effective at converting customers than mass messages which are meant to appeal to a wide range of customers. Marketing automation can help you quickly sort your customers into different groups based on whatever factors you input. Bulk email messages are then automatically sent to these smaller segmented groups in order to engage their interest. Targeting your emails helps to personalize your bulk email campaigns.
3. Use a bulk email marketing solution that automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your email. It is essential to have a mobile-friendly email in order to engage the majority of your customers who view your email on their mobile phones. Some email software promises this feature, but when you see the "mobile-friendly" email it looks awful and functions even worse. The only way to really know how your mobile email looks and functions is to test it on your phone and the phones of other coworkers. Having a mobile version of your email automatically created for you is much simpler than manually creating separate versions of your email, so make sure you pick quality email software.
4. Ensure that your images look and function correctly. Most bulk email marketing programs have basic image editing software but that does not ensure that the images you use will look exactly how you want them to in your emails, especially in the mobile version. And if you are using the image as a call to action, make sure it's clickable and that the link directs the subscriber to the right web page. Always preview your email and always test your email before you send it.
6. Take advantage of the free email test send that is offered by most email marketing software programs. Nothing substitutes for a thorough test send. Have the email sent to your own phone and test everything. Does the email look right? Is the call to action in a prominent and easy to access spot? Do all the links work and are they the correct links? Do the email's images display properly? Does the email take forever to load? If you find any issues, you have time to go back and change them before the actual bulk email send.
7. Don't overcrowd your email marketing newsletter. Even with the best bulk email marketing solution, a crowded email newsletter still looks crowded. Emails are more effective when they utilize white space to create distinct sections. The subscriber can more easily read the email, and they do not lose interest as quickly or become overwhelmed by too much information.
8. Use the A/B split test feature offered by most good bulk email software programs. This useful feature allows you to test the same email newsletter with different factors such as different subject lines. One version of the email is sent to a portion of your subscribers while the rest of the subscribers receive the other version. Using this feature, you can see which factors contribute to higher open and response rates for the emails. The email software takes care of the segmented sending and collects the resulting data about both types of the email so you can see which one was more effective with your subscribers.
9. Include social sharing buttons in your email marketing newsletter. Most bulk email software programs have an option that allows you to place social sharing buttons in your email. Making it easy for your subscribers to share your message with a wider audience is a savvy business move. It means you gain more readers and you show your audience that you are connected and current on social media.
10. Use your bulk email marketing solution to make the process simple. With most automated email marketing programs, you can have anyone who unsubscribes automatically removed from your email sending list so you don't have to deal with the unsubscribe request manually. This saves time and boosts customer satisfaction.
11. Analyze your email marketing report data. A retention automation software collects data from each send and organizes it for you. Yet many businesses don't review this information often enough, if at all. This data is a goldmine, telling you exactly how your subscribers reacted to your last email. Use this data to make your next email marketing campaign better.
12. Don't overuse your bulk email marketing solution. I have unsubscribed from many an email newsletter, as I'm sure you have too, because they spammed my inbox with emails every day. The awesome thing about email software is that you can schedule your emails to send at the perfect time. Create a consistent email sending schedule and try to stick to it. If you send too frequently, you will see a spike in your unsubscribes. Schedule your email newsletters to send automatically at consistent times so you don't have to worry about forgetting or sending too often.
13. Take the time to learn what each tool and feature does in your email software. Email editors usually have dozens of features that are designed to make it easier for you to create a professional email and add special elements. If you just stick to the few basic editing elements that you already know, you may be missing out on some great features and you may inadvertently be making the email creation process more difficult. If you have questions, contact the customer support team. They're there to help you.
14. Use your email marketing software to find inactive subscribers. Many subscribers sign up for email newsletters then forget, lose interest or change their email address. Sending bulk emails to subscribers who no longer open or interact with them eats away at your marketing budget and also hurts your email delivery rates. By analyzing your reports in your retention automation platform, you can find subscribers who have not had any activity in a long time. Then all you have to do is remove them from your lists.
15. If you have a CRM solution that you love and you want to continue storing your important data with them, look for email marketing software that integrates with your CRM or is willing to begin the integration process with new CRMs. Integration allows you to easily create targeted email marketing campaigns without having to transfer all your data from one solution to another. This can be quite a process if you have a lot of contacts and many different lists.
16. Select a bulk email marketing program that has lots of great email templates to choose from so you don't always have to start from scratch. Once you choose your email template, you can edit it and customize it as needed. Most email marketing programs also allow you to save email templates that you have created or customized. Some email marketing programs also have custom design services so you can get a company-branded email template made in order to keep the look and feel of your email marketing newsletters brand consistent and recognizable.
17. Customize your bulk email marketing software to meet your own needs. You usually have many different options to personalize your software. For example, you can have your email reports emailed to you or not. You can have hard bounces automatically removed from your email marketing lists or not. And so on. Take the time and go through your options. Then save your preferences so the email marketing software knows exactly what to do. Customizing your retention marketing software saves time because things are automatically set up the way you prefer them.