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Believe it or not, email marketing is here to stay. It may be hard to imagine in the constantly-changing world of digital marketing, but we hear it time and again. Your email list is a highly valuable component of your company’s marketing puzzle and continues to be a key way to communicate with your customers. Recipients of emails deliver a much higher return on investment compared to social media followers – plus, your lists of email addresses are completely in your possession. What would happen if Facebook or Instagram suddenly disappeared? All of your customers and leads would also be gone.

Because email is such an essential communication tool for businesses, it’s crucial to break through the noise of competitors and make messages stand out to your target audience. A great practice is to stay up to date on latest techniques that will help you create the most compelling message possible and reap impressive open and click-through rates to your emails.

This year, be sure you are getting the most of your email marketing efforts with these key steps:

1. Make sure your list is clean and all addresses are verified.

It’s generally not considered good practice to add addresses to your list of people who have not opted in (given permission) to receiving your emails. They may report your business as spam, which is never good and can hurt your credibility and quality score with your email provider.

You can take this a step further and create a function for your email recipients to double-opt-in to your communications. This will lead to a smaller email list but will guarantee that these are the folks who are truly interested in hearing from you, and will likely engage with high open and click rates.

2. Design your email with a responsive template, high quality graphics, and easy-to-read text.

Statistics show that up to 77% of email messages are now read on mobile devices. Don’t make the mistake of sending an email that is formatted for a desktop browser – it will be too hard to read and most likely alienate the recipient before they get very far.

Most email marketing providers now offer responsive templates for messages, so it should be fairly easy to make the switch and design for smaller devices.

It’s also important to use graphics and images that are at an ideal digital resolution in order to keep message load times in an optimal range. Be sure to write your message in a short, straightforward manner to keep your reader’s attention.

3. Tailor your message to a segmented audience.

Knowing what kind of content your readers want to see is key to pique their interest and keep their attention. Most email marketing programs now offer a way to segment your email lists into different audiences, offering you a way to better tailor your message instead of relying on something general that may not resonate as deeply as it could.

For example, a list could be segmented into a group of recurring customers and a group of folks who haven’t yet purchased your product of service. You could offer a personalized message and relevant incentive for each group. This will create better engagement and hopefully, more conversions.

4. Test to see what works!

What type of subject line gets the most opens? Do your clients prefer this kind of incentive or that one? Most email programs have an option to create A/B tests and perform experiments to answer questions like these.

This is a great way to figure out which kinds of subject lines compel your audience to open a message. Which type of image is most engaging to a certain segment. If changing the location of the call-to-action button will lead to a different click-through rate. The opportunities are endless!

It’s good practice to perform test multiple times in different instances in order to gather reliable data for your decision.

5. Include a clear call-to-action.

What do you expect your audience to do after reading your message? Be sure to create a clear direction for them to take action with, quickly and easily.

Multiple call-to-actions can be overwhelming and risk confusing the reader. It’s best to include one short, straightforward instruction on how to take the next step, likely leading to a click through to your website. Intuitive call-to-action links include “Read more,” “Shop now”, “Donate”, etc. Creating a sense of urgency with a limited time offer is a good way to increase these click-throughs.

Follow these steps to be sure your email marketing program is at its best in 2018. With well-designed emails, tailored messages and clear call-to-actions, you will be well on your way to effective email campaigns.

Want to step up your email marketing efforts this year? Greenleaf Media’s marketing team is here to help! Contact us today.