Despite everyone's love for social media and other trendy options (SMS for example), email marketing is still is an incredibly valuable tool for B2C and B2B marketers. The tools available and the process of sending a campaign are all pretty similar regardless of what ESP you use, so that is where you have to get strict about your optimization.
Why? Because the 10 other companies going after the same readers as you are doing it.
How you optimize and continually tweak the content of your email campaign is a crucial component to ensure your message is actually opened, which of course is the ultimate goal.
Achieve more from your email marketing campaigns by following these 5 optimization tips. You can thank us later.
1. Write attention-grabbing subject lines that offer a clear benefit
The inbox is a tough place to be for a marketing or promotional email to begin with. Everyone by now has become skilled at skimming their inbox for the stuff they want to read, leaving little room for boring and poorly written subject lines. So composing attention-grabbing and concise subject lines of 50 characters or less with a benefit added is challenging. The true test for you is to read it back to yourself and decide whether you would open it up as a consumer.
2. Provide a clear call to action
It is a buzzword around the office that can't be ignored. Call to action or CTA is what every marketer should live and breath. Your email is dead in the water without a clear and appealing call to action. You need to lead or entice your reader to act on something (ideally the main point of your email). Powerful ways to do this is to use a button-like graphic rather than plain text, limit your email to one primary call to action, and experiment with the placement of that CTA. Wording also plays an important factor with your CTA. Click here does not sound that interesting to many. Better choices would be Learn More, Continue Reading or Act Now.
3. Use appealing graphics/visuals
Pretty well all email service providers offer HTML WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) email creation and editing tools. In more clear terms, an editor that everyone can use without much hassle. So unless you are choosing to do a text-only email, there is no reason you should not be spicing up your newsletter with images. Of course, you still want to include a plain text version for those subscribers who cannot accept HTML-formatted emails. Custom graphics (used sparingly) can enhance your overall message and improve click-through performance. It is also important to think about the person reading your message. Make it easy on the eyes by breaking up your message with bullet points and ample white space. It makes a difference when your points are clear and easy to understand.
4. Segment your email lists
Another important way to personalize your email message is by segmenting your list based on your subscriber's interests or even demographics. This allows you to write a more targeted and relevant message because you don't have to keep thing so generic to cover all the bases. This of course needs data to help you come up with the segments. So it is key that you are gathering the right data from your subscribers either on the initial signup form or in their account details, so you can easily create the needed segmentation.
5. Incorporate social media
We mentioned social media off the top and yes it is vital to the success of your email marketing efforts. Many companies (big and small) continue to overlook the opportunity to make their email newsletters and promotions more social by adding icons and links to their social media profiles. This can be a great way to increase your followers and further engage with subscribers. Your social media fans have already turned their trust over to you, so their word-of-mouth is a great way to spread the reach of your entire online marketing program. Also make it easy for readers to share your message on the various sites like Twitter and Facebook. That is where you can gain new followers, fans, leads and of course sales.
Test often and track results
These 5 tips are an almost guarantee to make a positive impact on your email marketing results. Of course, there is some work for you to do to prove that and that is tracking results and going over the statistics for each campaign. That is the only way you can learn what is working and not working. Something turns out to be less than successful, remove it from the list. The best email marketers try and test out everything even if it does not work. Email creation is not a canned approach, so test often and adjust accordingly.