Email’s longevity is nothing short of mind-blowing when you consider how many directions we are pulled on a daily basis.
There is a mind-numbing variety of marketing channels, advertising methods, traffic sources, software, plugins and resources in the online marketing world. The industry as a whole constantly suffers from “shiny object syndrome.”
If you’re not familiar with that term, it just means that we’re always looking for the next big thing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but many marketers haven’t really figured out the last big thing. They abandon their previous obsession and move on.
If you haven’t wrapped your head around email marketing yet, or aren’t making it one of your priorities, then today is the day you need to start!
Why You Should Love Email Marketing
Successful marketers love email because it delivers results consistently. This happens because consumers love email. They have opted into receiving these messages (unless its spam, and nobody loves that) and really want to consume the content coming in.
Beyond the results email marketing delivers, it also diversifies your traffic. If you have built a list of engaged customers all you need to do to generate revenue is tap into that list. You have created a whole new revenue stream from your own personal traffic generation channel. Google updates and PPC slaps can’t hurt you (or at least, not as much).
Finally, email is great because it increases contact with your followers, which helps you build trust and establish yourself as an authority. If your niche has higher-priced services or goods, this is especially helpful. The more serious the investment on the buyer’s part, the more interactions you’re going to need to convince them they should spend their money with you.
10 Tips for Email Marketing Domination
If you weren’t already convinced, hopefully my little manifesto above persuaded you of the power of email marketing. Since you’re still reading this, we’re going to assume it did and you want the tips you came for.
Without further delay, here are your email marketing tips:
We can give you all the email marketing tips in the world, but it won’t matter if you don’t work on creating a list to actually email to.
1. Make it Easy to Subscribe and Unsubscribe
You need to make it as easy as possible for people to sign up for your emails. This means creating and posting submission forms (or links to forms) prominently on your site, Facebook, blog and just about everywhere else.
Make the form short, preferably just name and email. If your business needs require you to collect more, that is fine. Just realize that the more fields you require the fewer signups you will typically get. More boxes creates more friction, and sometimes people don't want to part with their personal information.
Finally, make it easy to unsubscribe as well. Hey, they just weren’t that into you. There’s no point in making it difficult for them to go on their merry way.
2. Know CAN-SPAM
Yes, there are laws that control what you can and can’t do with emails. You need to know them. If you haven’t already, read the CAN-SPAM Act and make sure you’re not breaking any of the rules.
Don’t freak out because it’s the FTC and legal stuff. Basically, don’t be a low-life spammer and you should be OK.
Congrats, you’ve got people signing up for your list and you’re not breaking any advertising laws. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make your emails and their content easy to consume and not harsh on the eyes.
3. Go Mobile
Mobile is the future of online advertising, and the future is here, my friends.
Chances are, your readers will be consuming your emails on a mobile device at some time. According to a study done by Return Path, “63 percent of Americans and 41 percent of Europeans would either close or delete an email not optimized for mobile.” That means you need to make sure whatever service or program you’re using to create your emails better be mobile-friendly.
4. Be Easy to Read
There’s nothing worse than opening an email from a trusted source only to run into a giant wall of text. Most people’s brains take a millisecond look at that and shut down.
“Ugh… that looks like a lot of work. Let’s go watch videos on YouTube and I’ll reward you with some dopamine.” – Your Brain
The purpose of your email shouldn’t be to create a conversion or sale right there. It should entertain and inform them enough so they want to click through to your site and achieve whatever goal you have set up.
Make this happen by keeping it short and sweet. Break up text into small paragraphs so it’s easy to read. Use interesting images or graphics to highlight your point and help achieve your ultimate goal of the click through.
Making things look pretty is just half the battle when it comes to creating easily readable emails. You actually have to write some engaging content too. Here’s how:
Use dynamic placeholders (ex: [firstname]) to feed in the name of the recipient. If your email system doesn’t have those, it’s time to get a new system.
Yes, everyone knows that you didn’t personally type out this email to them. But creating that familiarity by using your customers' names in the opening or even subject line will make it feel more like a one-on-one communication. Using personal pronouns like “you,” “your” and so on are key as well. Avoid talking about the group as in “email subscribers,” “my list members,” etc.
6. Create Segments
Not everyone on your list is there for the same reason.
If you run a multifaceted organization like a non-profit, you might have different segments of people you are emailing: volunteers, employees or donors.
Perhaps you sell products that are specialized for different purposes, such as wet suits. There are wet suits for swimmers, surfers and triathletes.
Using your email list manager program to create segments based on the different classifications will help you to deliver more personalized and relevant content to your users. This will keep them engaged, get them to the right content on your website and ultimately help increase your conversions.
7. Provide Engaging Content
Just because you have amassed a list of people who are willing to get your emails it doesn’t mean you need to bombard them with low-quality content.
Your message and their trust will be watered down if you email them too frequently with content that doesn’t blow their hair back. Be funny, engaging, helpful and otherwise provide value. Don’t waste people’s time with low-grade emails that don’t bring anything to the table for your readers.
8. Be Human
Write your emails and craft your content as though you were a person talking to another person. It’s sounds simple, but so many marketers go into robotic online advertiser mode when they put fingers to keyboard.
Yes, you have financial (or other) motivations behind your emails, but you don’t need to be obvious about it and beat your readers over the head with your pitch. If you’re already focused on being engaging and providing value, this one should come naturally.
9. Create a Publishing Calendar
The key to any form of content-driven marketing is consistency and the best way to achieve that is by setting up a content publishing calendar and editorial strategy.
Use Google Calendar or something similar and map out the following for each piece:
- Results Analysis
The more you do this, the better you are going to get at it. Pretty soon you’ll be cranking out high-quality emails in no time flat.
Hitting the “Submit” button doesn’t mean your job as an email marketer is done.
Just like with your website, you need to take a look at the stats and see what is working, what isn’t and what your next move should be. You’ll want to tap into your email marketing platform’s stats to look at things like open rates (amount of opened emails/total emails sent) and the results of any split tests you were running.
Furthermore, you’ll want to look at your Google Analytics or other stat tracker to see how that traffic did when it hit your site. The difference of a percentage point in conversions between one email group and another could have huge financial implications for you.
You can’t fix what you don’t know about, so get tracking!
What Do You Think?
What have you learned from your email marketing campaigns? Have you tried any of these tips or do you have some of your own?
Let us know in the comments section!