Modern technologies have made email newsletters a vital part of every organization’s marketing plan. Email marketing is not a new approach but it still is plausibly the top channel for online sales due to its low cost, high return on investment and easy implementation.
Effective email marketing can help you to drive and maintain your customer engagement, foster market research and track metrics for optimization. However, you should be very careful when you make your first step in email marketing. Even minor negligence can result in your email newsletter getting filtered as spam or junk mail. Sometimes the best way to learn what is right is to consider what not to do. In that spirit, we shall now discuss the 4 simple mistakes that occur in email newsletters and marketing and the ways to avoid them.
Not prioritizing email list building: Building an email list in a proper way should be your first priority. Nowadays people are barraged with opt-in forms and therefore they hesitate to give their email addresses to others. You have to be proactive while building your email list. You can use drop boxes or sign-up sheets in retail outlets to sign up for emails, gather names at trade shows, conferences and meetings or run a contest for prizes/giveaways.
Not segmenting your lists: If you want to create the right impact through your email newsletters, you have to segment your email lists properly. Only through proper segmentation of your email lists, you can ensure that the message that your subscribers read is relevant to their needs and their concerns. Make sure that you deliver timely and relevant email newsletters to your users based on their purchase history data or data provided by them. One last tip for enhancing relevancy in your email newsletter marketing is to segment your subscribers demographically. Sending triggered email newsletters based on user behavior is a strategy that produces fruitful results.
Weak subject lines – Not testing subject lines and email click-throughs: Most marketing professionals are not aware of the fact that a weak subject line can destroy all their email marketing efforts. Your subject line is the first thing that readers will see, and it should be crafted in such a way that it piques their interest and makes them want to read more. To increase your open rates, your subject line should be relevant, specific, engaging and should state the targeted benefit. Ensure that your subject line is crisp and does not exceed 50 characters. Avoid using marketing words such as “free”, “sale”, “save money” etc. These words may make your readers push your email newsletters to the spam folder. Instead, start with words like “Here are…”, “About your…” to win their attention.
Not testing HTML and plain text email templates: So now, you are ready with your email template, right? Your next step should be to decide on the format in which you are going to send your email newsletter – HTML or plain text email template. If you are going to send text-only emails, then it’s just a standard configuration but HTML email templates are much more appealing than plain text email templates.
HTML email newsletters are visual emails that attract the attention of your subscriber more effectively than words. But you can’t come to the conclusion that plain text email newsletters are outdated. Many mobile devices can render only text emails and there are some subscribers who prefer text emails over HTML. Generally, people think hitting the ‘convert HTML to text’ button in your email marketing solution, will do all the work. But this conversion tool pulls the text out of your HTML message and drops it into text module. Plain text email templates need to be formatted and organized differently to lay emphasis on important content.
Now you are all set to work on your first email newsletter. Though it is human to make mistakes, this detailed list will help you avoid some major errors and save your head.
This is a guest post from Denise Gabbard. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Most people think that spam, Facebook, blogs, and other social media like Twitter killed email marketing as a means to communicate online. However, most people are wrong. Businesses today engage in email marketing because it gives them a return on investment hovering over $40 per $1 spent, and outperforms all direct marketing channels. In a Forbes Media survey in the February/March 2009 issues, it was reported that business owners and executives say email marketing is second overall to SEO when it comes to converting lookers into buyers. Impressive, and tells you why businesses use it—it just works!
An email campaign is an ongoing marketing venture whereby you send out regular communications to customers and potential customers. The traditional email marketing approach was to build a huge list and push lots of messages out to the masses. This doesn’t work anymore, as it brands your company spammers, and can get you booted from your domain, and facing government sanctions.
The new way of doing things is targeting those who want to hear from you. Put together your list by asking your customers if they’d like to receive ‘newsletters’ from you on a periodic basis. You can ask them in person, over the phone, or on your website by embedding a “Sign Up” button for convenience. When you invoice a customer for a project or product sale, always include a CTA (call to action) for them to sign up for your newsletter, and even put a sign up link in your email signature. You can convert that happy customer into a lifetime customer if you keep in touch regularly. The point is making the effort to create a targeted, personalized list for your company will pay big dividends.
There are a number of online business tools that are useful for your email campaigns. Sites like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, and Campaigner can help you set up your campaigns quickly and easily, and most offer a free trial so you can compare functionality.
When designing your email templates, readability should be your priority. Keep your paragraphs concise, with just a few sentences for each, and write compelling contact to encourage them to finish reading. Another great idea is to keep your design less than 620 pixels, so that it can be viewed in email preview windows. (Also, large images take too long to load and can be abandoned easily.) An important step is validating your code before mass mailing it. Email types interpret code differently, and you want to be certain there will be no glitches on their end and they can open and read your message.
Clearly, increased sales, brand loyalty, and reputation are the goals of email marketing campaigns. Your aim is to have a high percentage of recipients open your email and click-through any links that you placed in the email. Average rates of opening marketing emails have been shown to float around the 20-30% range, so do not expect everyone to open your mail. However, do continue tweaking your messages to appeal to more people and get a higher open rate. For instance, a great graphic and web design company can create and execute a stunning email campaign that will make people take notice.