With the rise of social media marketing, some people think of email as the old grandpa who never forgets to send you a birthday card every year. Others have even gone so far as to say that email marketing is dead.
Those sentiments, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Email isn’t dying, and it’s certainly not dead—not now in 2018 or in the years to come.
In fact, with conversion rates 40 times greater than those of Twitter and Facebook, email marketing may very well be the most effective channel for businesses. At least the Direct Marketing Association reports it as such, citing that the ROI for email is $43 for every dollar spent.
Okay, so clearly email is still in its prime. And with more sophisticated technologies in automation and analytics, the channel’s capabilities are only getting better.
The rules of the game have changed though. No more blasting customers with spammy emails they’ll never open. Seriously, that’s just a waste of your marketing budget.
Email is a nuanced art form, and these tips will show you how to optimize it.
1. Give new subscribers a warm welcome.
The welcome email or email series is crucial to your marketing efforts. It’s the first impression you make on customers and sets the tone for your relationship with them.
The best way to hook them is with a warm welcome. Research shows that subscribers who receive a welcome email show 33 percent more customer loyalty, and they’re also more likely to boost your open and click-through rates.
Your welcome email tells customers what they need to know about your brand. You can show them what makes you different from your competitors, what people say about your brand in testimonials or even include a demo video to show them how your product and/or service works.
The point is to make your message engaging and, above all else, keep them wanting more.
2. Make customers feel special.
Personalization is the key to effective email marketing. Even if you send an email out to hundreds of thousands of people, every recipient needs to feel special.
The only way to elicit that response is to put yourself in their shoes. When you look at your inbox, what makes you decide which emails are worth opening?
Our email marketing guru Morgan is a strong advocate for empathy in marketing and says, “You have to get into the mind of your customer and maximize those .2 seconds they will give you when scrolling through their inbox deciding which emails are important enough to open.”
If you don’t put your customers first, you might as well send your emails right to their trash.
3. Apply the analytics.
Analytics are invaluable to your marketing strategy. That’s why you need to use an email platform with robust analytical capabilities.
We personally love Emma for our email marketing, especially with its split-test functions and robust list segmentation, but most companies offer basic analytics at least.
Having the data is one thing, but how you apply it is what really matters.
Pay attention to metrics like the types of subject lines your customers respond to, what send-out times garner the best open rates and whether a certain type of content within the body gets better click-through rates.
The customer knows best after all, so pay attention to what they’re doing with your emails. And don’t be afraid to experiment if your rates aren’t where you want them to be.
4. Make it dynamic.
Mix up your emails with more dynamic content. Video in particular is a powerhouse in email marketing.
Even just using the word “video” in your subject line can increase open rates by 19 percent, and in the body of an email, a video can increase your click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent.
Be careful though if you embed a video into your email. Some mail servers will block the video, leading to lower deliver rates.
That’s why it’s better to post your video online to YouTube or Vimeo and link your customers to it.
5. Provide solutions, not sales.
Nobody wants to end up in the dreaded spam folder. The best way to steer clear is by giving your customers content they want to see.
Offers, promotions and product information are all great, but they’re not enough anymore. Customers want sticky content, like industry news and how-tos, that both entertain and inform.
That’s why email news companies like theSkimm have been so lucrative in recent years. People appreciate relevant content, but you need to understand your audience in order to give that to them.
Stop trying to just click-bait people with coupons, and start engaging them—because quality content always wins out in the end.