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email marketing

With all the hoopla surrounding social media, people forget that email marketing is still highly effective. There are two main reasons why email works. First, email is familiar: it’s been around a long time and everybody is comfortable using it. Second, email is universal: people may use one social media platform or another; they may like the phone or avoid it; but everybody uses email.

Here are five aspects of email marketing that every business owner should be aware of….

Email campaigns must be permission-based…

List buying and sending unsolicited emails are real no-no’s. Start with your house list of contacts, and make it super-easy for people to opt out. To get new email subscribers, set up a form on your website, Facebook page, etc. There’s no point in sending your email to people with no interest, but it’s invaluable to get your message out to people who have expressed interest. 

Emails must contain valuable information…

All too often, company emails are infomercials or fluff. After receiving one or two of these, can you blame customers for hitting UNSUBSCRIBE? On the other hand, if your email offers something useful, customers will love you for it. What’s useful? Think in terms of special offers, genuine news, industry insights and tips that help people save money and be more efficient. 

Don’t overdesign…

Pure text emails often generate higher conversion rates than fancy, design-heavy templates. This is because for most recipients, text signals information and imagery signals an advertisement. Also, a text message tends to make you focus your message, whereas a template design causes senders to overdo the links and messaging. Simple works better.

Subject lines are as important as the email itself…

If you’re serious about email marketing, one of the most important metrics is the open rate. And while nothing has more impact on open rates than the subject line, companies frequently slip up by handling it as an afterthought. Composing effective subject lines is part science and part artistry. Here are a few quick, helpful hints to get your pen moving in the right direction. 

Test everything, one thing at a time…

Very few emails hit a home run the first few times at bat, which is one reason why email campaigns usually take many months to score runs. The best way to improve open rates and conversions is to test different subject lines, offers, and messaging. However, if you change more than one thing at a time, it will be difficult to figure out which change caused the improvement.

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