22 Mar Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign (Part 2 of 2)
Welcome back to the next part of our series focused on optimizing your e-mail marketing strategy; if you missed part one, click here to get caught up.
Once you have built a list of email contacts, you will engage with them on a regular basis. The content, formatting and timing of your email communications can have a great influence on their effectiveness as marketing tools. In this post, we will share some tips to help guide your email marketing to current best practices.
The best way to manage your email marketing is to use an email platform that fits your company’s goals. All of them allow you to use pre-made templates so that you don’t have to create your formatting from scratch. They also include list management and analytic features so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your newsletters. Beyond that, features vary based on price and number of subscribers/number of emails sent per month. This post gives an overview of ten of the most widely-used platforms for small business. Many of our clients begin with Mailchimp because it’s free in the beginning. Constant Contact is our second most highly-utilized platform.
Now you’ve got your platform, your subscriber list is uploaded and you’ve written and formatted your message. Once you hit Send, it’s out of your hands. How can you make sure that your carefully-crafted missive gets opened and read, and best of all, compels your customers to click through to your website and buy? You will be surprised at the little things that make a big difference!
The subject line of your email is the first thing to greet your customer. The majority of customers decide whether or not to open your email based on subject line alone. Put the most important idea first, so that it shows up on a vertical mobile screen. Shorter is better and certain words, like “You” or “Your”, “Sale” and “Secret” or “Free” increase the chance that your email will be opened. Conversely, technical terms like “ROI” and “industry” just don’t excite the subscribers. Find a hook, keep it short and make sure it relates to your content.
Sending your emails on the right day also increases the likelihood that they will be read. Almost everyone checks their email daily; you want yours to not only be opened, but also acted upon. The audience you’re trying to reach should be a deciding factor of when you choose to schedule your emails. Ideally, your message won’t be buried in a full inbox. If you’re selling B2B, most studies show that a midweek day is better than a too-full Monday or an out-of-the-office Friday; but messages to consumers have a higher click-through rate (CTR) on the weekends. Shopping is still a leisure activity for most consumers. (You may want to do some split testing by changing up your mailing days.)
Finally, you need to consider on what device your subscribers will be reading your emails. More and more, a smartphone or other mobile device is the first choice for customers to process email and other forms of messaging. 6:00 – 8:00 am is prime time for reading email on a smartphone, so you want to make sure you choose an email platform that can optimize your emails for that early-morning mobile viewing. Subscribers that open an email that requires them to zoom in or scroll forever just to get to the click-through link are going to give up and buy elsewhere. You should aim at least for a mobile-friendly design that looks good vertically or horizontally. Better yet is a responsive design, where the software can determine exactly what sort of device on which the email is being read and optimize its appearance based on that information. Make it easy for your customers to buy from you wherever they are seeing your message.
Finally, you can ensure your email newsletter reaches its widest audience by integrating it with your social media marketing. Alert your Facebook or Ravelry followers to your newest edition; many platforms have built-in social sharing capabilities, or you can post a link to its permanent URL as well as an invitation to Subscribe. However, it’s better to do this with your newsletters rather than your sales promotions, and here’s why: you want your email subscribers to get exclusive (or at least early) access to special deals and sales, otherwise there’s no advantage for them to remain subscribed.
You can learn more about how to start your email marketing campaign by downloading our FREE No-Nonsense Guide to Newsletters.
If you need help figuring out the best options for your email marketing campaigns, we can help. Contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com for more information on how you can grow your business with the right email marketing solution.