According to PEW Internet Studies, over 175 million American adults go online and 91% of them are opening their email program! Needless to say this medium (along with texting – but that’s another article) is one of America’s favorite ways of communicating. BUT, and it’s a big BUT – email is also a highly abused marketing and spamming tool. Think about it, how many spam or junk emails have you deleted today? Hummm. And, how many emails have you opened and read or exchanged between people or companies you know and respect? So, HOW do you use email effectively in your marketing? How do you get people to OPEN and READ your email? The 648 thousand dollar question, right? Here are six tried and true tips that if incorporated into your email campaign will raise your open and click through rate:
TARGET YOUR EMAILS Spam is spam is spam, because it’s email we don’t want. Targeting your emails to people who want your information increases your open rate, no brainer, right? Building a targeted list is the challenge we all have. Networking online, getting out in front of people, network groups, your sphere of influence, will give you names you can build on. The best way is to ask “Do you want to receive my information?”. Target your emails to an audience that cares about what you have to say – ie, fitness minded people would want to hear about exercise tips, people looking for a home would want to receive mortgage updates, etc. Think like your client: What do your clients want? What’s their mindset? What pain do they feel that you can address? If you can understand why they subscribed to your newsletter, you can meet their needs and craft your message in a way that presents your product or service as the answer. The best newsletters are the ones that are able to inform the reader while also containing subtle sales cues, as well. You want to get your customer out of their inbox and back onto your site. That’s the goal.
GET A TEMPLATE Find a template you like and that represents your brand and stick to it! An email campaign is an extension of you and your business/brand and should be recognized as such. So, choose/design a “look” for your email accordingly and keep it consistent – repetition is the only method by which people remember. Always use the same header and footer that should include your logo and contact information, you want it to be easy for your reader to contact you. Also, your template should be able to pass the spam test and not be too graphic heavy ( if you are sending just text, then arrange your paragraphs and heading so that your text comes across nice and clean and easy to read). Keep it simple and easy to navigate, after all, the goal is to bring attention to your main message and create interest enough so they will click through to your website or blog.
SEGMENT YOUR EMAILS Identify the segments (groups) in your list – “A” or “B”, client or prospect, etc. You don’t want to send the same blanket message to everyone in your list unless it applies to all. There will be times you want to talk directly to your past clients, or you may want to introduce your services to new prospects. The segmenting starts with your database, so get organized and laser focus your emails so that your message matches the recipient.
FIND THE BEST DAY TO SEND It’s pretty well accepted that emails sent Tuesday-Thursday receive the highest open and click through rate. Things can get “lost” on Monday and Friday and through the weekend. However, there may be a particular day that works especially well for you based on your target list. Test it and see. Try some sending campaigns on different days and times to see combination provides the best results. I have one particular email newsletter I get on Thursday evenings and sometimes on Saturday mornings – the key here is that I am looking for that email, so I am going to open it whenever I receive it!
WRITE GREAT SUBJECT LINES Most people scan their emails before opening, so the quality of your subject line will determine whether or not your email gets opened. It needs to use a clear call to action that will pique their interest and make them click through to read the rest of it and get the benefit. If no one opens the email, it doesn’t matter what gold is tucked away inside. They’ll never know. Your subject should only be about 6-7 words, but should inform, intrigue, excite and be compelling and actionable enough that they’ll want to know what’s inside. (And let us not forget CONTENT, it must add value and be informative and well written – but that’s another post!)
KNOW WHAT NOT TO DO: You absolutely have to make sure that your emails comply with CAN-SPAM regulations. Check out this great refresher course on the CAN-SPAM laws that exist for email marketing and newsletters.