10 EMAIL BEST PRACTICES FOR GETTING NOTICED

10 Email Best Practices For Getting Noticed [Infographic]

Well over 100 billion emails are sent every hour, making it a more challenging job for marketers to put their message in front of their audience.

The infographic from Madison Logic below outlines 10 best practices for getting your emails noticed.

Surprisingly, the first rule listed includes details that punctuation is not necessary. It was also found that the use of capital letters boosts open rates.

Also, as detailed in our strategies for increasing open rates, personalization goes a long, long way. By simply including the recipient’s first name in the subject line, it was found that users are 22 percent more likely to open the email.

When it comes to the content of the email, it is important to keep it concise, and to avoid salely language. Make sure that your email has a clear message, consistent the the subject line. Your reader probably won’t have long to read your message, so make sure the benefit to them is immediately obvious. Give them a long paragraph to read through before understanding the purpose of your email, and you’ll likely lose their interest.

Find out more about the best-practices for getting your emails noticed in the following infographic, including calls to action, testing, and mobile design.

Email Marketing best practices

7 INVALUABLE EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGIES TO BOOST OPEN RATES

7 Invaluable Email Marketing Strategies to Boost Open Rates

Email is the preferred method of communication for 72% of U.S. business, according to a recent study by MarketingSherpa. Like all marketing activities, it’s important to approach email with a planned strategy for grabbing the attention of your subscribers. Used properly, email has proved to be the most cost-effective and influential marketing platform.

The task you’re faced with is not getting your email into your customers’ crowded inboxes, but to get them to actually open the message. Then it’s up to the content to compel them to take action.

The average open rate for a marketing email is 11-15%, and the click-through rate from there lies between 2-5%, as outlined in an infographic from MarketingProfs. If your percentages are falling below those figures, some strategic fine-tuning is required to add a level of personalization and humanization to your messages.

You need to grab the attention of the audience within an instant of them opening the email; promotional offers and images often do the trick. Segment your list so that you can more closely target your audience’s interests. Put across your message in a unique, fun or exciting way to keep them engaged.

It’s all about testing different approaches until you find something that works. If you’re experiencing a low open rate, try the below strategies.

Enticing, Personalized Subject Lines

A study by Jay Baer found that 35% of email recipients open their emails based solely on the subject line. The subject line of your marketing email will make or break its success. Be sure to personalize your subject lines, and be descriptive so as to lure your audience in for more information. Your subject lines must be strong, eye-catching and inspiring if they are to stand out among the plethora of emails your customers are weeding through.

Email subject lines

Be Concise

Short subject lines have proven to be the most effective. A recent study found that three-word subject lines provoked the highest engagement rates (21.2%), although only 1.6% of emails are titled that concisely. Be descriptive, while concise, without overwhelming your reader.

Avoid Buzzwords

You might think that including buzzwords like “free”, “sale” or “guaranteed” would grab the attention of your customer. However, this is not the case, and including these words can actually hurt your open rate.

If you use these terms regularly in your subject lines, the chances are that most of your emails are automatically being filtered to a junk folder. And even in the event that it makes the inbox, the use of ‘spammy’ words can deter readers.

Speak Directly to Your Audience

Add a custom field to your subject line and you’ll be able to target each member of your audience directly, consequently increasing the open rate. Email marketing services usually include customization tools, so try them out and see what works for you.

Email subject line

Spelling and Grammar

Never get sloppy with your spelling and grammar. Punctuation is essential, but try to avoid coming across too salesy or robotic.

Writing your subject line in all capitals, with a typo, or with excessive exclamation will only detract from your message. A recent study from ClickZ found that subjects which included a question had a 44% higher open rate than those with exclamations about promotions.

Inspire your reader with an enticing question, and lure them in to find out more in the email. Be personal, casual, and speak directly to your customers.

Segment Your List

Segmenting your email list allows you to target your readers more effectively.  A message you’re sending out might not be relevant for everyone on your list, so create a segment and send the email specifically to that group. Below are some of the common fields used to segment email lists.

  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Industry
  • Interests
  • Date subscribed
  • Purchase history
  • Age
  • Gender

You can also take things a little further by analysing what your subscribers have engaged with in the past, and targeting accordingly. Most away from email blasts that deliver the same email to thousands of people, and narrow your list for customized communication.

Responsive Design for Mobile

Just like your website, marketing emails must have a responsive design. The user experience must be consistent across any devices used by your audience.

Mobile devices now account for over half of all emails opened, as found by a recent study by Constant Contact, and more than three-quarters of subscribers will delete your message if it can’t be read on a mobile device.

Your safest best is to assume your readers are accessing it on a smartphone. Ensure your entire subject line displays on a standard phone screen, and that the font is clearly legible. No matter how busy a customer is, they’ll still find time to check their email inbox between tasks.

The Takeaway

Don’t be scared to try out new tactics and approaches. Keep things interesting, fresh and fun to grab the attention of your audience.

Customize your list to be more personal in communications with your customers. Target them directly and they’ll be more likely to bite.

And if you find your open rate still is not as high as you’d hoped, keep trying new strategies, and analysing, until you find something that works.

DOS AND DONTS OF HOLIDAY EMAIL MARKETING

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Email Marketing

The holiday season is upon us. Christmas trees are proudly on display in windows, there is a crisp smell in the winter air, and every store you walk into has those nostalgic, festive classics on repeat. It’s my favorite time of the year.

It’s also a time of year when marketers like to send out holiday emails with pun-filled subject lines. You know the ones I mean.

Do they work, though? It’s often difficult to tell, and the answer depends on a number of factors. If you want to give your emails a better chance of success, here are some important dos and don’ts to take on board.

DO…

  • Define objectives.  Holiday-themed emails need an objective just like any other business email. Whether you’re seeking clicks, sign-ups, downloads or purchases, you should make sure your email is crafted to do just that. This will ensure you’re not sending a holiday email just for the sake of it.
  • Be creative.  There is an uptick in the number of emails sent during the Christmas holidays, and you can bet that most of them will follow a certain theme… With so many Christmas emails fighting for attention, it’s more essential than ever to get creative to make yourself heard. Think of an enticing subject line, a creative deal or a time-sensitive discount.
  • Incorporate social media.  During the holidays, people tend to check their email less than they usually do. Social media access, however, remains more constant. In order to capture your audience’s attention during the holiday season, ensure your offer is available across all of your channels, including social media.

 

DON’T…

  • Forget about other holidays.  With so many emails going around over Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween, they can be the hardest times of year to be heard. Make sure you don’t forget about the smaller, less-celebrated holidays. Get creative with one of these holidays and your email is more likely to be read.
  • Fail to follow up.  After planning, crafting, and segmenting an amazing holiday email, it is essential to follow up on those who converted or showed interest. Follow-up plans are proven to improve conversion rates. Make sure you have one in place.
  • Overdo it and spam your audience.  It’s easy to get carried away during holiday period, especially when it comes to pun-filled subject lines and sales messages. Remember to remain true to your best practices when communicating with your audience, regardless of the time of year.

 

Email Marketing

4 Core Ingredients to Include in Your Emails

When it comes to writing emails, there are a number of core ingredients essential for success. Add the perfect blend of these elements and your email will be much more likely to be read.

Today, emails fly around more than ever before. People use email to communicate for everything. With a busy person receiving so many emails a day – sometimes in the hundreds – it is more important than ever to stand out to the recipient. So, what is the perfect recipe for email success, and how can you replicate it yourself?

In brief, your recipe for consistent email success is:

  • Objective and strategy
  • Quality content
  • Design
  • Personalization and segmentation

Core Elements

A successful email needs all of these elements to appeal to the reader. It needs to sound human, appear professional, and be reader-focussed. You need to make the recipient feel like the email warrants their time. We’ve explored the essential ingredients below.

  1. Objective and strategy

Objectives and strategy serve as the foundation of your email. Having clearly defined objectives from the outset allows you to convey a consistent message to your audience. Businesses email their customers for many reasons: welcome, reengagement, newsletter, discounts… However, it is important to consider the underlying message for sending each email. What are you hoping to achieve? How will this benefit your audience? These are both questions you should be able to answer upon sending an email.

  1. Content

Your email is not much use without content. Carefully crafted email content is what allows you to stand out from the crowd, what allows you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills or interest, and what allows you to seduce your audience into action. This is your prime opportunity for conveying your message to the reader. Make it count.

  1. Design

Making your emails more appealing with some impressive design will improve the experience for the reader. We would all rather read a beautifully crafted email with complementary imagery and call-to-action buttons. Presentation of your email is one of the first things your audience sees. Do it right and make sure your email content gets read.

  1. Personalization and segmentation

Give your emails a more personal touch by personalizing content where possible. This small touch lets your audience know that you’re thinking about their needs. By dividing up your email list into various segments – age, gender, purchase history etc. – you can more effectively target each group.

Segmentation helps you to appear to be more in touch with your customer base, and shows that you care about developing a relationship with them. Continually analyse your data to learn more about your target market, and customize your communication further. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does my audience need to receive this email?
  • Should my audience be segmented?
  • How will the readers react to the content?
  • Is the email personalized with recipient names?

This is a simple framework of the core elements of a success email. You’ll also need to ensure everything is consistent with your brand.

Want to know about the best- and worst-performing words in email subject lines. Click here.

5-Email-Marketing-Tips-for-Reaching-Skeptics

5 Email Marketing Tips for Reaching Skeptics

email marketingThe billions of terrible emails sent by lazy businesses have made life much tougher for the rest of us. I mean, how can you blame the people who delete emails in bulk after a momentary glance? This repetitive cycle only increases their skepticism, making it even more difficult for beneficial emails to reach them.

1.  Dial Back Your Email Volume

How often are you sending emails to your main subscriber segments? Nobody wants multiple daily emails from the same sender. In fact, they may well not even want to receive one email a day.

Sending out waves of emails can be described as a scatter-gun approach. Focusing all of your energy on a weekly or monthly schedule will give you the time to produce emails that have value. Skeptics often ignore emails because they don’t believe there’s a benefit.

2.  Be Willing to Let People Walk Away

Having an enormous subscriber list is of minimal benefit if half of those users don’t want to be there. Provide an easy link to unsubscribe within emails and give people the choice. As long as you followed the previous step, your commitment to quality might even convince them to stay.

Ultimately, it is better to have an email list of potential customers rather than one loaded with dead weight. A subscriber list filled with dead ends will only hurt your click-through rate and conversation percentage (this is how to add quality subscribers to your list).

3.  Add a Rating Scale in Emails

A rating scale is another useful addition to your emails. Give those who open the emails the chance to voice their opinion. This will entirely eliminate guesswork about what types of email work with your audience. Consistent positive or negative ratings for certain email styles will let you refine your emails for the best results (knowing how your users feel can improve your success rate).

4.  Reengage with a Fresh Campaign

Look through your email list for subscribers who have not opened any of your emails for at least a couple of months. You can tailor a campaign entirely dedicated to them. This is your chance to win them over and convince them that your emails will be of benefit.

For online retailers, an exclusive offer code will be ideal. However, don’t rush to hand them out the code. Why not set up an extremely brief survey (for example, five questions for a $5 discount) in which you learn more about your skeptics while also pleasing them?

Service providers might need to get a little more creative. Perhaps you can provide a week’s subscription or else free content in an exclusive offer. Again, you should stipulate that the deal requires them to complete a brief survey.

5.  Always Use a Catchy Subject Line

Repetition is what can make email inboxes so tiresome. You can’t expect to demand attention if your subject lines are similar to all of the others. Every opportunity must be seized in attempting to attract readers.

As a retail example, count up how many offers are in your latest email – let’s say there are five and that summer is approaching. A clothing shop could use the following tagline: 5 Summer Offers that WILL Win the Beach. The point is that thought and imagination are vital when creating engaging subject lines.

Additionally, you can’t be afraid of negative words. Some businesses are so afraid of negative words that they are drastically limiting their potential for creating connections. The simple fact of the matter is that many people are drawn to drama and negativity. Here is quick service example: You CAN’T Afford to Make These IT Mistakes.

Finally, you have to accept that you can’t win over every skeptic. But what you can do is convince some of them by trying out the email marketing tips above.

Five tips for stronger B2B email relationships

Five tips for stronger B2B email relationships

Email marketing serves as an important channel for communicating with B2B customers and potential customers. In many ways, email can help B2B companies to build upon relationships in ways that B2C businesses cannot.

segmentationStrengthening relations via email is a complex task, though; one that must be carefully considered in order to take full advantage.

So how should businesses interact with their customers through email communication to grow relationships? Here are five important tips.

 

  1. Segment your list

Segmentation is a vital element of any successful email marketing campaign. This could not be truer than in a B2B environment. Sort your contacts into various segments, allowing you to send a more focussed message to each of them.

 

  1. Personalize

Given the relative size of the target market, B2B email lists are usually much shorter than their B2C counterparts. There is an advantage to this, though. With a smaller list, you have more time to effectively personalize your email’s content.

There are numerous ways you can personalize your emails. When communicating with existing customers, you can tailor your emails based on the products or services the customer has purchased in the past. For customizing emails to prospective clients, you can use information such as their industry and company size to deliver more relevant content.

 

  1. Endless sales messages aren’t well received

Driving fresh leads and new customers is the ultimate objective in all marketing efforts. However, that does not mean you should be selling all the time. You can really build on the relationship you have with existing customers by offering them assistance on using your products. Similarly, you can demonstrate your industry expertise but offering free advice to prospective customers.

 

  1. Demonstrate your value

Business purchasing decisions are generally a lot more thought out than consumer buying decisions, and impulse decisions are far less common. As a result, you will have to carefully craft your emails to effectively convey your message. “Free shipping” or “Buy one get one free” will not do the trick.

They key to getting through to your audience is to understand your customer, what problems they have, and how your products can help to solve them.

 

  1. Don’t rely solely on your list

Your email marketing efforts should not focus solely on your list. Building stronger relationships with your customers requires more than sending out mass emails. Taking the time to send direct messages to customers is essential. You can put all the resources you want into producing content for email campaigns, but often a simple “How are you doing?” will go a lot further towards building a strong, long-lasting relationship.

 

The Best and Worst Performing Words in Email Subject Lines

The Best and Worst Performing Words in Email Subject Lines

With more marketing emails being sent than ever before, it’s essential that yours stand out from the crowd. There are effective ways to make recipients more likely to open and read your emails. For example, a recent report from Adestra demonstrated that using the words “thank you” in the subject line increases the likelihood of that email being opened.

The report pooled results from over 3 billion emails, which made up 125,000 global campaigns across four industries (conferences/events, retail/B2C, media/publishing and B2B). The 300 most popular words from the email subject lines were recorded, as well as the most popular characters and two-word phrases, and the researchers compared how each performed compared to the others.

As noted by the report, the results of the study provide only a “broad interpretation of the causal effects of individual words”. That means that the conclusion of the study will not necessarily apply to all brands.

Recipients like to be thanked

As a general rule, emails including the words “thank you” in their subject line were found to have the highest engagement levels, over 62% on average. This high value is partly a result of automated emails sent out following online purchases, such as email receipts sent by brands to customers.

Multiple topics grab attention

Another rule that became apparent was that email subject lines including multiple topics had a higher-than-average engagement rate, at around 47%. An example of a multi-topic subject line would be “End of summer sale | Win a holiday | Connect on social media”

Urgency stimulates action

Timeliness also works particularly well in email subject lines. The study showed that words such as “bulletin”, “breaking”, and “order today” all boosted engagement rates.

 

Email Marketing Subject Lines - Best-Performing Words

 

On the other end of the spectrum, mundane words that make reading the email feel like hard work have the opposite effect on engagement rates.

The study found that the most poorly performing words included “journal”, “forecast”, “training”, “whitepaper” and “learn”.

 

Email Marketing Subject Lines - Worst Performing Words

 

You can read the full report here for more detailed results by category, and the specific engagement metrics (CTR, open rate, unsubscribe rate etc.) of individual words.

HOW TO CHOOSE A MAILING LIST SERVICE

How to Choose a Mailing List Service

Ideally, you should aspire to build your own email marketing list, and this is a tactic that will appeal to small business owners who want to save on costs by personally taking on this responsibility. However, there is an alternative mailing list strategy that is appealing for owners who have a budget yet are short on time. The following guide will help you rent from an effective mailing list service.

 

Support New Product Launches

Mailing listFor a business that sells products directly to the consumer, there is pressure to start generating revenue to cover your daily costs. In attempting to stimulate interest, it can be effective to launch an email marketing campaign to promote the launch of a new website or product line. By providing email recipients with a special code or access to an exclusive promotion, you can potentially catch their interest and generate some orders.

But while an email marketing campaign sounds appealing in practice, the fact of the matter is that you will generate zero results if only a tiny audience will actually receive your emails. Just getting people to read your subject line will be challenging, and that is before anybody opens them or even decides to follow your promotional instructions.

 

Connect with a Suitable Target Audience

Email list audienceWithin direct marketing, there are digital professionals commonly known as list brokers. These individuals specialize in performing email research on your behalf to create a mailing list that you will rent from them. Renting a mailing list is perfectly ethical in the marketing industry, but you should absolutely avoid buying a list outright. When it comes to finding your ideal partner, there three types of provider who can help (and a fourth to avoid):

  • List Brokers – A list broker is someone who will arrange for you to rent a mailing list from a third party. Their range of choices is much greater.
  • List Managers – These professionals are more directly involved. Compared to brokers, they have a more limited scope because they rent out their own lists.
  • List Compilers – This entails working personally with the people who create the mailing lists. Again, their scope is limited compared to brokers.
  • Manager/Broker – Ethics become an issue for professionals who combine these roles, as they can push their own lists. You are better off avoiding them.

 

Selecting the Best Source

Consult with Your Provider – Do not commit to a rental if your broker, manager, or compiler has not taken the time to discuss your business. They cannot possibly rent you any effective lists without understanding the characteristics of your brand.

Find Someone Working for You – Look at the mailing lists that are being recommended. Try to see whether there is any relevance to your product line. Do not rent the list if you cannot see any clear relevance.

Request a Large Pool of Options – You should never rent from a small selection. As an example, you should choose from a pool of 30 lists if you wish to rent 10.

 

A final point of note is that you should also work to build your own mailing list, but renting a list can work well if you need quick results. Just make sure to follow this advice.

 

6 Newsletter Ideas for Your Business

6 Newsletter Ideas for Your Business

You’re sitting in front of your laptop wishing you could focus on the daily activities of your business. Instead, you’re sitting there trying to figure out what you want to say in a newsletter to your mailing list. You know it’s important to build connections with your customers, but that doesn’t change how tough it can be to come up with newsletter ideas. Fortunately, help is at hand with the following ideas.

Announce Your Next Public Appearance

There are now multiple marijuana trade shows hosted in the US each year. And the chances are that some of the people on your mailing list will be attending some of them. Of course, this is provided that you have taken the time to build your mailing list. Anyhow, you should take the time to send out emails to announce where and when your public appearances are taking place. Encourage your readers to introduce themselves if they are in attendance.

 

Send Out Glowing Testimonials

Modern businesses have to maintain active websites, and crucial within that process is to request testimonials from your customers. Periodically, throughout the year, you could send out a round-up of your most recent testimonials. You can take this as an opportunity to thank and name-drop your customers, while simultaneously selling the qualities of your business to prospective customers.

 

email marketingCreate an Original Infographic

Commission an original infographic for your business and you can share it on your website plus social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But what you should also do is send out the infographic to your email list, and don’t forget to explain that it was commissioned by your business. Get in touch with a graphic designer and you can share industry statistics with them to help come up with an idea.

 

Write a Monthly News Review

During each month, you should set aside a little time to record approximately 10 links to the most important news stories related to the marijuana industry. Write a few lines of analysis to outline your thoughts on each story and you will soon have a news review for your mailing list. You’re a professional within the industry, and they may well be interested to read what you have to say. Don’t forget that someone should proofread your email before sending.

 

Cool Office Interior Designs

Provide Snapshots from Your Business

For businesses with a few different employees, you can create updates every couple of months to explain how each person is doing. Take pictures from behind-the-scenes and you will likely be surprised by how willing people are to look at them. This is an under-used strategy and it will showcase your creativity.

 

Host Interviews and Share Them

Use your position to arrange interviews with fellow professionals from your industry. When conducting the interview, ensure that the interview is focused on questions that will interest the people on your email list. This will give your interviews the best chance of resonating with readers. The simplest approach is to film the interview and share a YouTube link. Write a few lines to introduce the interview and share important quotes before sending the email.

 

9 Tips for Writing Professional Emails

9 Tips for Writing Professional Emails

email writing tipsWriting emails for your clients and business partners is a world apart from emailing your friends. Unprofessional emails can potentially damage your relationships and leave you fighting to recover. Of course, you could avoid all of that by following these nine tips for writing professional emails.

1.  Explain What You Want in the Subject Line

Write the action you desire of the recipient in the subject line. For instance, you could write ‘September Invoice – Kevin Smith’ if you are billing a client. Clear subject lines will let them understand the email and its urgency from the outset.

2.  Maintain Your Formatting

Go into the settings of your email client and choose clear formatting options for your messages. Decide on a font and size and stick to those. The recipient might be wary of who is emailing them if the formatting changes erratically from message to message.

3.  Figure Out Your Greetings

For a person you don’t know, it is best to start your email with ‘Dear Name’. Using ‘Hi’ is something you should reserve for when you know the recipient and are attempting to build a relationship. Email a company and you can begin with ‘To whom it may concern’.

4.  Forget About Being Negative

Being blatantly negative in an email is the quickest way to torch a relationship. You are not in that person’s presence and you cannot justify your negativity or apologize if things go wrong. Additionally, you might be emailing someone who is already incorrectly interpreting your words as sarcasm. Don’t give them whatever excuse they are searching for to ignore you.

5.  Write Your Email Concisely

Noting down a couple of bullet points can help you understand what you wish to communicate. At this point, you will be ready to write a more concise email that is not overloaded with information. Try to explain what you need in the first paragraph. You don’t want to risk the recipient ignoring your request.

6.  Text-Speak is Never a Good Idea

A guaranteed way to look unprofessional is to use the likes of LOL or LMAO in your emails. You have a personal email account and all manner of social media platforms that are ideal for sending vacuous abbreviations. Save them for where they were intended.

7.  Don’t Be Afraid of Bullet Points

You don’t have to write your emails entirely in paragraphs. When you need to convey clear information, it is a good idea to present it as bullet points. Not only will you save time writing the email, but also you will avoid confusion.

8.  Definitely Create a Signature

Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird… There is no shortage of email clients willing to let you create signatures that can be attached to the end of your emails. Go to settings and look for the signature option to get started.

Add your signoff (e.g. kind regards), name, position, company, telephone number, email address, and whatever else is important to you. Avoid adding an image as this can trigger spam filters. A pro tip is to add the same signature to the mobile client on your smartphone and tablet.

9.  Check Everything before Clicking Send

You cannot be lazy here. Read your emails twice before sending them. There’s no telling if you might end up missing out on a lucrative deal or receive the wrong payment when sending an invoice. Also check your recipients, subject line, and attachments.