Is email marketing going the way of the dodo? Will it be phased out by popular social media? According to Litmus, 91% of us check our email at least once a day. Even most individuals who do not have social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) still have an active email account—not to mention that social media applications themselves require the use of email. So (far from the notion that social media is replacing email) email marketing still has the largest reach of digital mediums.
Email is also cost-effective. It requires minimal cost to connect with a large number of people. In addition, email is personal. Your audience wants to be engaged; they have opted-in and welcome further contact from your company.
Email is a powerful medium. Why not put it to work for you? Here are several suggestions to help you get the most out of your email marketing experience.
How to Build a Quality Email List
A good idea to glean quality subscribers is to present special offers, ebooks, coupons or access to helpful content from your company in exchange for an email address. If they want what you are offering in your promo, chances are they will appreciate similar contact in emails from you down the road. (If you are serious about your email marketing, don’t ever buy an email list. They bring with them a high probability of upset recipients, getting you labeled as a spammer, and ultimately harming your IP reputation, which will affect any future email marketing plans you may have.)
What Should You Put in The Subject Line?
According to convinceandconvert.com, 33% of subscribers open an email based on subject line alone. The best subject lines are short, succinct and relevant. It’s been shown that subjects with 30 or fewer characters have the highest open rate. Your subject line should clearly tell the recipient what the email is about and why they should open it. (Note: Shorter email body messages also receive a higher click through rate [CTR]. The best responses are to messages with brief, pertinent information and relevant links.)
To avoid being sent to spam boxes, it’s best not to use ALL CAPS in subject lines, as well as exclamation points (particularly in multiples).
There are several statistics to help you, but an excellent test for a good subject line is also the golden rule! As a customer, what would you like to see? What makes you open an email? What would you respond to? What annoys you? If you want to know how to get subscribers to open your emails, ask yourself what would make you open it.
When Should You Schedule Your Email (and How Often)?
To determine when to send your email to get the highest response, consider who your specific audience is. Is your target stay at home parents or perhaps nurses working the night shift? In general, the highest percentage of opens occur in the morning and on weekends, but before sending, make sure you know your target audience and their habits.
When deciding how frequently to send your emails, again consider your audience. You should send emails often enough to keep your subscribers engaged without overwhelming them. Make sure your messages have value for the subscriber, and that you balance your total number sent. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 69% of subscribers unsubscribe because of too many emails.
How Do You Make Sure Everyone Can View Your Email?
Responsive! Whether a subscriber is on a computer, phone or tablet, responsive designs are the best option to get your email viewed properly. According to Litmus, the most emails (at 38%) are opened on mobile devices. And the highest number of emails are deleted due to improper loading or not being visible. Make sure you have a responsive email design for happy subscribers, and a better response!
Are There Any Rules to Email Marketing?
Yes—and not only rules, they are laws. Back in 2003, President Bush signed into effect the CAN-SPAM Act in an effort to diminish the massive number of spam emails. This Act listed several laws that companies need to follow when email marketing.
Unsubscribe—Companies must include an unsubscribe option in each email for those subscribers who wish to op-out of future emails.
Physical Address—The company’s physical address (brick and mortar) must be present in the email.
Identity in Email—The “From” email address must identify the sending company.
Failure to adhere to these laws could result in thousands of dollars in fines and, depending on what state you’re in, even jail time. Follow these rules, and you’ll have a much happier email marketing experience!