5 Insider Tips To Boost Your Email Marketing
When your email arrives in your subscribers’ inbox, you’re competing with emails from their child’s teacher, their cousin in Cleveland, and that long-awaited 50%-off coupon for Pottery Barn. Stand out in a sea of messages by applying the best practices that will encourage an “open” and turn your subscriber into a customer.
Here are 5 insider tips to boost your email marketing.
1. Your Subject Line Deserves Your Undivided Attention
We cannot say enough about the importance of your subject line. Unlike a personal email, whose subject line can serve as a summary of the contents, a campaign subject line needs to compel the reader to look further. The subject has to convince the recipient that the email contains information or messaging that will improve their lives and/or their businesses. What steps can you take to encourage an “open?”
Test Your Best Subject Line
Writing a good subject line is one part gut and one part science. Though you want to get into the shoes of your customer, you will also benefit from some good old-fashioned experimentation.
A/B testing is the most common method used to test the performance of something like a subject line. The test allows you to monitor a control and variant page or — in this case — subject line and then determine which yields more conversions (opens). Most email platforms allow you to test a sample group and then send the email with the winning subject line to the remaining list of subscribers.
What kinds of subject lines result in more conversions? Ones that are clear, short and personal. As Ronell Smith wrote for Moz:
“Be bold, be brief, be gone.”
We like subject lines that are succinct and short, and it’s a fact that mobile phones only display around 40 characters of the subject. Clearly stating your case before character 41 is critical.
2. Personalize Your Emails
Beyond using a customer’s name in the email (which is a must), use what you know about your list to customize each subscriber’s experience.
Essentially, personalizing involves dividing your list into different groups or segments of people. The different segments can be as varied as your list, but it’s best to start simple. For example, separate into:
- Customers aged 40 and under vs. those over 40
- Subscribers who have responded to a call-to-action vs. those who have never responded
- Customers who have opened an email in the past 6 months vs. those who have never opened one
The possibilities of personalizing and segmenting are endless, which can seem daunting. The biggest pro tip of all? Your email marketing platform will be your greatest asset in this area! These robust and sophisticated marketing tools have customer relationship management features built-in, and you can take comfort knowing you will build your customers’ profiles over time.
As you develop different segments and personas, you can have fun tailoring different emails for each group of customers, knowing that you’re helping connect your customer to the resources that truly interest them.
You can learn more about segmentation at Zapier.
Find an email marketing platform to work for you. Check out 3 Proven Email Marketing Platforms to Make Campaigns Easy.
3. Make Your Content Scannable
Before you hit send, think of Coco Chanel. Her timeless advice applies to email marketing as well as fashion:
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.”
As clear and minimal as you try to be, chances are you can be even less wordy. After drafting your email content, take a break and return to the copy again (and again), eliminating unnecessary language. Remove that last “thing” before leaving the house.
You have just a few moments to communicate your message, so eliminating copy that might bore the reader will make the most of those 6 seconds. In fact, eye-tracking studies have proven that readers quickly scan content, and do so in less than a minute.
But first, how can you get them to invest that minute?
The format of your content is crucial. In addition to scannable headlines and a balance of white space, you also benefit from another fact from the eye-tracking studies: the F-pattern. This pattern describes the most common visual course for online readers, which emphasizes the top and left-hand side of the screen (for English readers).
Our eyes are most comfortable with content prepared in this format, and as explained by Digital Drum, it:
“... simply follows the common trends of the human eye so that you can optimize the structure of your layout.”
Being mindful of the format and length of the email body will offer your reader an appealing and welcoming message right after “open.” Now it’s up to you to provide great content in order to convert your reader into a customer.
4. It’s Always About Them
Get personal by appealing to your customer’s desire to get something from you. In a glance, tell them what relevant and timely resource you’re offering in this email. It’s all about them. As the Storybrand guru Donald Miller eloquently explains, customers:
“... care about THEIR story — what they want and who can help them achieve it … when we understand the story our customers are living and how we can play a powerful role in it, something special happens. We can start connecting with customers in a meaningful way and our company growth takes off.”
Your subscribers are expecting to hear from you and want to hear your expertise on a given subject. Give them what they’re asking for, and remember that it’s their story you’re aiming to fit into.
5. Take Care of Your List
As we’ve mentioned before, email marketing is the open door you’re looking for to build relationships with your customers. It starts with cultivating a solid list of email addresses from individuals who have agreed to share it.
Tend to your list the way you would nurture a favorite houseplant. It requires time and tinkering: properly capitalizing names, culling hard bounces and importing personal information as you acquire it.
In addition to handling the privilege of email addresses with kid gloves, use that same decorum when it comes to maintaining the privacy of your subscribers and — of course — never sending an email without an opt-out option.
Learn from the experience of others! Use these insider tips and begin the work of building your email marketing campaign right out of the gate.
Read more about list management and other email tips on our blog.
Share Your Tips
What are your email marketing pro tips? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment and share your hack!