According to web analytics company KissMetrics, email has three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. Despite the fact that email marketing can reach nearly three billion people, this easy and effective marketing tool is often overlooked.
The best part of email marketing is its economy: there is no other way to reach a large amount of people for such a small investment. Our online marketing experts at 101 Management Inc. offer the following tips for taking advantage of this valuable resource.
1. Develop a subscriber list
The simplest way to develop your list is to invite website visitors to sign up for your email list. Since many people are reluctant to take this step when they visit a website, you have to give them a reason to sign up: a regular newsletter containing information you are certain they want to see; other types of exclusive content that will prove important to them (Free PDFs, books, or images); special offers such as discounts or coupons available only to subscribers.
If you can obtain additional information without scaring them off, this can help with your marketing strategy. Decide which pieces of demographic information will be most useful to you in targeting your audience. Data you could request includes: name, age, location, family status (including number of children or pets), hobbies or other interests, or reasons for purchasing your product or service.
If you do solicit such information, keep the questions to fewer than five, perhaps offer a free gift or discount for completed forms, and be sure to reassure those who answer your queries that this information will never be shared with or sold to any other online entity. Above all, tell your subjects why you’re requesting this information (“to serve you better” is a phrase that frequently causes customers to recoil—be specific and honest).
2. Target your audience
Unless you’re only selling a single product or service, you need to be selective in whom you market to, otherwise you risk annoying potential buyers. If you’ve sold anything through your website, you already know a lot about your customers, including location and purchase preferences. Restrict your emails to those you know will be interested.
3. Offer value
If you don’t want your emails to go directly into the spam folder, make sure they contain something your customers will want: sales, news, coupons, inspiration, possibly a link to your latest informative blog.
4. Format it correctly
Not only should your email be short, succinct, and easy to read, it should also be optimized across all platforms your readers might use: desktops, smartphones, and laptops. To ensure your emails are mobile-friendly, use single column text, and make sure it’s large and easy to read. Most platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact offer mobile viewing to test your format before you send it out.
4. Analyze your results
To test the effectiveness of your email, send one version of the email to half of your list, and another to the other half. You can use this method to judge the effectiveness of promotional offers, various subject lines, the time or day you send it out, or any other variable you wish, to use in future email campaigns.
After you send, view the data given by your email platform to see what links users clicked on most. If you start to see a trend, do more content like that within the next newsletter. To track sales of your products from emails, use tracking links and analyze the results within your Google Analytics dashboard.
5. Avoid spam
A word of caution: Be careful to avoid the typical mistakes that can get your email sent directly to the spam folder. Spam trigger words like these, as well as using all caps, or exclamation marks in the subject line, can get your message flagged. It’s also best to include both text and HTML (images) in your emails. Restricting your emails to contain images only can also cause spam filters to catch your content and they will never be seen y your intended subscribers.
Most importantly, check out the CAN-SPAM act on the Federal Trade Commission’s website for a guide to the legal do’s and don’ts of emailing for your business.
If you’re still in need of assistance after trying these tips, contact the email marketing experts at 101 Management Inc. We’ll work to develop an email marketing strategy to boost your sales and exposure.