You have to love the value email marketing can bring. Its purpose – whether to announce a sales event, share news or introduce a new product — is universally understood from your neighbor down the street to the clients and customers who are still reluctant to own a Facebook account.
Email marketing gives small business owners an intimate way to reach the “everyone else” of their market. And that’s where its power lives.
But not all email marketing is created equal. Spam arrives there just as much as valued email. So where do small business owners start in tweaking an email marketing campaign to capture what is most important?
5 Key Strategies
Here are five email best practices to plan a successful marketing campaign launch.
1. Assume customers will view an email in a mobile device
How will your customers view your email marketing? Go back five years ago and you’d find that answer might have meant opening an email application like Outlook or Thunderbird in a desktop or laptop.
Today email has come to mean a gateway to a mobile audience. More customers today open and read email in smartphones than ever before. In 2014 eMarketer noted research that demonstrated how mobile is influencing email engagement. Thus mobile is an integral aspect to an email campaign. By optimizing an email newsletter for mobile viewing, you increase the odds that readers will see the most important part of your message.
2. Plan for a personal touch
An email newsletter should do more than tout a website or app. The strength of email marketing comes from the audience — people who have already decided to trust your business. That kind of intimacy differs from social media platforms, in which an audience is not as loyal.
Followers of a Twitter handle are more open as are people on Instagram or Pinterest. A Facebook page can rival the audience loyalty of email, but many people are still not comfortable following brands on Facebook. Thus a business should treat email campaigns as meaningful personalization opportunities, chances to forge deeper connections that can lead to sales. They can do so with unique offers, like giving readers special access to articles, unique deals or product reveals before the general public.
3. Create an engaging subject line
This suggestion is old hat for the best marketers. They know subject lines will make or break a newsletter. A compelling promise can persuade customers to click through to read it. Avoid clichés and over-promising phrases. Instead write succinct, snappy and engaging messages with varying tones, lengths and calls to action to help you find out what message best engages your reader audience.
4. Send email at the right time
Send email when people are most likely to read it. Every market will have slightly different data on when is the best time to send, but cross device behavior has added another perspective – viewing email messages in other media and in various devices.
Thus marketers should experiment to see what works best. Use Google Customer Journey to understand how email compares with other media – read more about it in this CMS Wire post. The information can aid marketing automation plans as well as when to best test email content.
5. Consider metrics within context of site or app objectives
A marketer will certainly want to monitor metrics related to an email campaign. But marketers should not just track delivery rates, open rates and link clicks.
Marketers should also conduct comparisons on email performance against goals set for websites or apps, such as contribution to goal pages reached or session length. Doing so can reveal the value of an email campaign and indicate which media should receive attention. To learn more about segmentation and metrics, check out this CMSWire post on email and the customer experience.
All of these aspects are what makes email go from effective to powerful. The right message, to the right person, at the right time will give you the trifecta of effectiveness.