For all of our complaints about email, it still works. Sure, I get way too many and it’s a bother to keep unsubscribing from what I sometimes foolishly signed up for in the first place.
But I still keep looking at information and agree to receive email messages, especially if the sources relate to my profession.
Used well, email marketing can have huge payoffs give the fact that you can segment the email lists into different types of customers or prospects.
But you need to be on your game if you want to get the most of out of email marketing. It starts with the first email address you collect and it never ends.
I speak with small business owners who don’t make a habit of collecting or organizing email addresses. It doesn’t make any sense.
An email address is like gold – seriously. You may not have a newsletter today. No biggie. Keep the email anyway. By the time you use the email – for a special email campaign – it could be outdated. It’s OK. Email marketing is just a numbers game. If you get 500 email addresses and 30 people have changed their email addresses over time, who cares? You have 470 more to use well.
Some businesses have more than 5,000 email addresses and don’t do much with them. Really? How can you sit on 5,000 email addresses? Could you really let 6 months go out without announcing a special or offering tips in a newsletter?
It happens, but don’t let that sneak up on your business.
With email marketing, you have a lot to consider, but here are the highlights:
1. Keep collecting email addresses – in person and online (organize them by their interests).
2. Keep it simple with the creative (your design).
3 Create subject lines that are short and draw people in (make them feel like they’re getting something good)
4. Test your deliverability – make sure the emails are getting to people even if they don’t open them.
Many people will skip your email or ignore it for awhile and forget you sent it. Don’t worry about it. If you send an email and 20% open it, you’re not doing too shabby. The percentage should increase depending on how well the offer matches the people you’re targeting. As subscribers grow comfortable with your brand, they will be more likely to scope out what you’re sending.
The ROI from email marketing can be outstanding. Litmus in its 2019 State of Email Survey, found that email marketing produced $42 for every $1 invested.
Email Best Practices:
- Include a call to action in text
- Ensure that the messaging conveys how someone will benefit
- Mange emails with segmentation in mind
- See what an email looks like when images are turned off
- Test message on mobile devices
- Include unsubscribe options and related information
- Connect the email campaign to Google Analytics
- Link to your website
- Offer conveys how someone will benefit
- Make the text easy to read (bullet points help)
- Put considerable thought into image selection (use alt text)
- Promote discounts, savings
- Include brief customer testimonials
- Test subject lines
Here are additional tips:
- Be wary of buying lists; some email distributors have policies against sending emails to people who never gave you permission.
2. Yes, you can send email to people without their permission – if you find an email company that gives you that freedom. But there is a strict set of criteria that federal law covers, including honesty in the subject line, full contact information about your business and the unsubscribe option.
3. Keep the email brief – one key call to action. Drive home your point visually.
4. It’s hard to avoid using an image with email. However, you still need to keep it fairly small – don’t dominate the whole email with an image. Many people open emails without loading images, so you need enough descriptive text to get your message across.
5. Always add to your email addresses to your database – from tradeshows to industry guides you can quickly make to generate leads. Email addresses are golden. For all the talk about spam, people still open emails if they care about what you’re pitching.