Sunday, 18 December 2016

Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Email Open and Clickthrough Rates

Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Email Open and Click-through Rates

Know your Audience

You could have the best message in the world, but without the right audience it means nothing.

1. Start by building a permission-based list.

2. In exchange for contact information, offer your customers something of value: a newsletter, a free seminar, or more information about your products & services.

3. When gathering contact information, only ask for the information you really need. Asking unnecessary questions annoys people and may keep them from signing up.

4. Be sure to include a way for people to unsubscribe in all your email campaigns. Unsolicited email or spam can be damaging to your reputation.

5. Manage your contact lists so you can respond quickly and efficiently to requests for more information or to unsubscribe.

6. Since email addresses can change frequently, keep your list current by carefully tracking the number of bounce-backs or undeliverable emails after every campaign.

7. Be sure you have a clear and concise privacy policy that details how you will treat your customers’ personal contact information. Include a link to it in every email you send.

8. Respect the terms of your privacy policy and never breach your customers’ trust.

digitalcot-email marketing

Craft your Message

An interesting message that offers value is critical to the success of any email campaign.

9. See what others are doing. Take a few minutes and sign up for email newsletters from competitors. Choose a few on your favorite hobby or a topic you’re interested in too.

10. When you get online newsletters from other companies, pay attention to what makes you open some and delete others without reading.

11. Before you create the right message, develop a marketing strategy that addresses goals and objectives.

12. Use email marketing to accomplish what email does best: increase revenue, generate leads, strengthen customer relationships, increase website traffic, and build brand awareness.

13. Get the length right. A good rule of thumb is the more frequent your emails, the shorter they should be. People will open a short "Tip of the Day", but almost no one wants to get something longer on a daily basis.

14. Keep the message personal and casual. Think like a customer and write in a conversational tone. People want to see a little humanity behind the corporate mask.

15. People respond best to messages written by one particular person at a company who they can get to know over time. This is part of building relationships.

16. Personalize the ‘From’ part of your email and be clear who the email is from.

17. Avoid using ‘FREE’ in your subject line since it has been abused by spam marketers and arouses suspicion.

18. Be honest in your subject line and make sure it reflects what’s inside. State a clear benefit that makes the recipient open your message. Only messages that seem relevant and offer value will be opened.

19. Choose a subject line that grabs your reader’s attention. Avoid vague content like "Our September Newsletter." Instead, use an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as "Best Practices for Email Marketing" or "Inside: Exclusive Interview with Tiger Woods!"

20. Encourage forwarding right in your subject line. The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds "Pls. Forward" to the ends of their newsletter subject lines and they report it's more than doubled their circulation!

21. Personalize each message and watch response rates climb. At the very least, always include the recipient’s name.

22. Write your messages so they appeal to customer interests and hobbies. Ask your customers what they want to hear about: special offers, new services, etc.

Choose the Right Format

Once you have the right message, you need to present it in the right way.

23. HTML and Rich media messages that include audio, video, and animation generate high response rates, but it’s still important to always have a text version for people who prefer or can only receive text.

24. Always include a hyperlinked table of contents at the top of your message so people can click or scroll right to the section of their choice. Usability studies show most people won't look beyond the first screen if there's not something immediately interesting to them. Give them a reason to scroll down!

25. Use bullet points and lots of white space for plain text messages.

26. Minimize the use of ALL CAPS and italics as they are hard to read.

27. To make it easy for readers to scan your message, keep columns of copy narrow.

28. Test your messages through a number of email accounts to make sure they look good in all mainstream email clients.

29. Consider writing your message in the same format it will appear on your customers’ screens so you can see what they will see. For text-based emails set your font to 10 point Courier going 60 characters (five inches) across.

30. Unless your newsletter is unusually long, recipients will probably read it on their screen. Your job is to make this as easy as possible. For headlines, use a larger, bold font that can be scanned the quickly.

Look for Measurable Results

Being able to measure your email marketing efforts is key. Measuring allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t so you can improve each and every campaign.

31. Gathering results through trackable links and having access to real-time reports will help you understand what works and what doesn't.

32. Test using different subject lines, copy, offers, and creative designs, etc. Use real-time results to see which get the best response rates. Consider sending out an A/B test to two sub-segments of your email list to see which is more successful. Refine, and then send the more successful email to your larger email base for better results.

33. When running a series of email campaigns, tweak your message as soon as you understand the results of your first campaign.

34. Above all, take the time to understand email as a marketing medium. Always analyze results and think of new ways to provide value to your members and customers.