There’s no doubt that e-mail marketing can be an effective way to engage your customers and provide prospects with valuable information about you products/services. As a small business owner myself, I can’t stress enough how integral e-mail marketing has been in my own marketing strategy. In fact, much of the business I receive comes from the people that subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
I’ve been using e-mail marketing for several years and over that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to set expectations and do what I can to make my email marketing messages as effective as they can be. If you’re reading this, it could be that you’ve never used e-mail marketing before or you would like to know how to make your next campaign more successful. Here’s a few things I suggest that you think about before clicking ‘send’:
Where is your call to action?
What do you want your your recipients to do after receiving your message? Whether it’s contacting you for more information about a product/service, downloading a content marketing piece or buying a product/service, your call to action should be easy to find and act on. Include a prominent link or button for it. As many of your recipients will spend only a few moments looking at your message, situate your CTA near the top of your e-mail: you want it to be easy to find and one of the first things they see.
What are you doing to get people excited about receiving your message?
The “If you build it, they will come” mentality generally doesn’t work for e-mail campaigns. Hopefully your recipients are looking forward to receiving your e-mails, but it’s not top-of-mind for them as they go about their daily routine. In the hours and days leading up to the launch of your e-mail campaign, I suggest reminding your recipients that they’ll be receiving your message soon.
Use your social media accounts to spread the word to a large online audience. You might also consider providing content teasers and a link to subscribe to your newsletter. Getting people excited about the prospect of receiving your message could actually increase the chance of them responding to your offers.
Have you optimized your campaign for mobile devices?
As nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone today, optimizing your e-mail marketing messages so they can be read quickly and easily on mobile devices is a necessity. Multiple column layouts are better suited to tablets or desktop computers; a single-column layout is best for mobile devices (recipients shouldn’t need to zoom in or do much scrolling on their mobile device to your e-mail). It’s best to keep the e-mail design simple, using a single column layout that’s flexible for all screen sizes with text at a point size that’s easy to read.
How do you plan to measure the success of your e-mail campaign?
If the goal is to ultimately sell your product/service, what do you do when your e-mail campaign doesn’t result in sales? Call it quits? Hopefully not. E-mail marketing is by no means a sure-thing in terms of results. Some campaigns will be a great success while others will fall short of the mark. Set clear and attainable goals for each campaign aside from sales goals alone. Such goals could be a high open or click-thru rate, driving more traffic to your website, responses to an offer via e-mail, etc.
What will you do if you’re not happy with the results?
E-mail marketing experts have done loads of research and have shared a multitude of findings on how to get the most out of campaigns, including when the best time to send and even what day to send a message. While researching send times, implementing A/B testing, CTA placement, etc. can help you get the most out of a campaign, the simple truth is that some campaigns will be successful and others will not – for reasons that were overlooked or beyond your control. What can you learn from a “failed” campaign?
If you’re seeing a low open rate, it could be your recipients can’t identify who or where the e-mail was sent by. Consider using your name in the “to” field, rather than your business’ name, to personalize your campaign. You might also try A/B testing (using two different subject lines) to reveal which subject lines are more effective than others in terms of open rates.
If you find that your recipients are beginning to opt-out of receiving your messages, it could be that they’re tired of receiving so many messages from you. Or if you’re not sending messages frequently enough, that they’ve forgotten why they signed up in the first place. In such cases, try adjusting the frequency/rate of your messages.
Whether you’re new to e-mail marketing or a seasoned veteran, keep these five questions in mind before you click ‘Send’ on your next e-mail marketing campaign. What methods have you used that led to a successful e-mail marketing campaign? Share your thoughts below!