How You Can Make Those Email Blasts Count
A well-constructed email marketing strategy can have instantaneous results for your business. By accruing a dedicated subscriber list that will open your email list and follow your promotion to a landing page, you have the ammunition to really grow your numbers. Follow these tips to create emails you can blast with pride (and a few bonus pointers on how to avoid the dreaded spam folder).
1. Build a Relationship
An email marketing strategy that focuses on forming a relationship with their recipients never fails. For example, an organization that collects donations might tell people where their money is going via an email newsletter. If the donations are helping build a well in a third-world country, they could take photographs of the construction process, and the people that will be receiving clean drinking water as a result of the campaign. Send these photos out in an email to really connect your subscriber with your mission. By keeping in constant touch with donators, you further engrain your brand. Hopefully, they’ll get excited about how their donation is being used and encourage other people to participate.
Personalizing emails to fit a person’s geographical location can be beneficial in your email marketing strategy, since your recipient knows that they’re only receiving emails on deals that are relevant to them. Programs like MailChimp and Wordfly can help you manage different subscriber lists. They also let you adjust the template of your emails and offer analytics so you can check out how your emails are performing. These email marketing services can help you build a relationship with your customers by tailoring emails and deals to fit their needs.
2. Nail the Subject Line
My University’s Student Association sent out weekly newsletters to student email accounts. These emails would include announcements and upcoming events around campus. They were rarely opened by students, except on one rare occasion. Some genius from the marketing department came up with a subject line that generated a 300% increase in email opens. It was Valentine’s Day, and people saw the subject line “you have a secret admirer…” in their inbox. They opened it, only to be met with a newsletter from their ‘secret admirer’—their school’s Student Association. Sure, this might not be the most honest marketing tactic. But it worked.
Find these emotionally evoking lines that will capture someone’s attention and tailor it to your product. Buzzfeed does a great job sending out emails with intriguing subject lines and preview text. There’s no need to be wordy—these lines should let your recipient know what the offer/announcement is without them having to scan through your email to figure out what the point is. According to Hubspot, Buzzfeed does such a great job because “the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer…or if the subject line is a command, the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it”.
Imagine if you saw something in your inbox with the subject line “We have the deals that will beat out all the competitors”. Lame, right? And kind of braggy. And definitely not descriptive. Now imagine another email with the subject line “Come get a flavorful berry smoothie 50% off—today only!” You have a description of your product, the deal, and a call to action—all in one subject line. Even if your product isn’t particularly glamorous or sexy, get creative with it.
A well-branded email marketing strategy should be recognizable without the recipient even having to read the text. If your font, color scheme and layout remain consistent in your email marketing strategy, website, billboards, print ads, etc., then you’ve achieved brand consistency. People rely on your brand to give them a quality product or service. Consistency creates comfort and reliability, which creates trust in your brand. If you’re going to change things up, make sure it’s a complete brand overhaul and not just a random newsletter that has a completely different voice than previous emails. There isn’t much customization you can do with your social media in terms of templates, font and color, so email marketing is really your chance to make your brand stand out.
A brand that does a great job with this is Airbnb:
3. Incorporate Your Content Marketing into Email Marketing
Besides deals, what else do people enjoy receiving? Useful information that’s relevant to their interests! Luckily for you, they’ve already expressed some interest in your brand just by signing up to be on the email list. If you’re sending out a deal, why not include a link to your latest blog post as well? If you’re offering a coupon for 25% of family photos, go ahead and share your latest YouTube video that features some great family shots. This not only brings people to your website, but also gives potential customers a share-worthy piece of content that can help get your name out there.
4. Be Nice. Remember Birthdays.
First impressions are key if you’re looking for potential conversions. Nothing says ‘we value you’ like a good old-fashioned welcome email! In this initial email, you can give a brief breakdown of your brand values, the services you offer, and some engaging photos of your products. If your subscriber has been receiving your emails for exactly one year, send out a ‘happy anniversary’ email. Send a happy birthday email on their birthday, or better yet, offer them a special coupon on their birthday. If you’re a company that specializes in outdoor equipment, email your subscribers on national camping day. If there’s a solar eclipse coming up, send out a newsletter about safety precautions to take while watching the event. Stay relevant with what’s happening around you.
A company that really takes their niceness seriously is AMF Bowling. When you sign up for their Pinsiders club, you get $20 0ff your next visit. Signing up is completely free. This list actually tells you every place that will give you free stuff on your birthday. The Skimm sends out an email on your two-year anniversary, offering membership to their brand ambassador program by getting 10 people to subscribe to The Skimm using your unique code. These incentives are great because they give you FREE MARKETING for your business. Instead of trying to convince ten people to subscribe with paid-for advertising, have your loyal users do it for you! The recommendation means more coming from a friend than from the company itself anyway.
Another part of being nice is knowing when to let go. If someone want to unsubscribe from your emails, make it easy for them to do so. Holding them hostage with loopholes and dozens of ‘are you sure?’ pop-ups will only cause people to block you and tell their friends about how not nice your business is. The key to a good email marketing strategy is being likable. Instead of automatically deleting subscribers that haven’t opened up your emails, send a friendly nudge asking if they still want to stay on as a subscriber, like this one:
5. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
One company that does a great job with this is Poncho, a program that sends you daily updates about the weather for your specific locations. It utilizes lots of imagery, gifs, memes and puns to keep you interested. Icons make their emails easy to scan through, and their longer format with lots of scrolling makes the email seem less content-heavy. You can find GIFs online, or make them yourself with some fancy video skills!
6. Let Subscribers Choose What They Want to Receive
Say you’re a marketing firm that sends out several emails every day each time a blog post is added to your website. I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed when I get more than one email a day from a business I subscribe too. A smarter email marketing strategy would be to include a section on the email sign-up form that asks what types of articles you would be interested in receiving notifications about. For example, allow them to check whether they want to receive notifications about social media, content marketing, SEO, etc. You could even let them choose whether they’d rather receive emails on the weekend or weekdays. By letting people choose when they receive emails from you and what types of emails they get, you’re more likely to get email opens.
7. Bonus Stuff!
Alright so we got the content covered, now how about those nitty-gritty details that get your emails through the pearly gates? Read on for some more email marketing strategy tips…
- Make sure your sender reputation is top notch. Your email service provider (ESP) should have IP and domain reputations beyond refute.
- Don’t use a ‘noreply’ email address, since some people set up their email accounts to automatically move these to spam. Instead, use an address from the brand’s domain.
- Keep it professional. No all-caps or !!!! in the subject line. Don’t get too crazy with lots of different font sizes and styles either.
- Don’t embed forms or include attachments. Many check their emails from their smartphones, and downloading a document is too time-consuming for them. Include a link to your website instead.
- Include alt-text so people can understand what you’re trying to convey even if the images don’t load. This is also beneficial for those with disabilities who use screen readers.
Our email marketing service includes inbox deliverability, mobile optimization, opt-in strategies, content strategy, creative, and A/B testing. If you’re interested in pursuing email marketing for your business, use out contact form to get started.