Email Marketing is not a lost cause
According to Salesforce, email marketing has an average ROI of 3800% — that is an average of $38 for every dollar invested. That’s because email conversion rates are three times higher than social, with a 17% higher value in conversion. The best part? You can monitor your conversion rate with every email sent. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring than Facebook or twitter. In 2017, global e-mail users amounted to 3.7 billion users. This figure is set to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2022. Email is not as recent as messaging and social media, but it remains an effective way of building engagement today. Hence its best practices should lead to good insights.
How should an effective email look like?
The from name represents you or your brand, so it should clearly explain who the email is from. Keep it short and simple so that the subscriber can identify it immediately.
35% of subscribers open an email based on the subject line alone. It is the teaser that briefly describes the purpose of the email. Creative but not deceptive. Spend some time crafting a subject line that stimulates subscribers and encourages them to open your email. Keep them between 6 to 10 words, so choose your words judiciously. If you are considering adding an emoji, make sure you know your target audience and choose emoticons that compliment the subject. Do not replace words with emojis, meaning don’t overdo it.
The preheader is the descriptive text that immediately follows the subject line. It provides new information complimenting the subject line. Any kind of personalisation in this section can increase the open rate. It can be either addressing someone by their name or based on their purchasing history, for example.
Providing a quick to the eye title, gives a definite hint to the subscribers of what they are about to read. The message in the email is best kept short and precise with links if the reader wishes to read more. The layout of the email should be sharp, crisp and clean. Having a clear and well-organised template gives the readers a good vision of your branding message.
Prioritising your information is also the key. Keep your important messages first. Most people nowadays scan emails on the go. For such readers, a systematic format with subheadings and bulleted points will help them read quickly.
Call to action
The call to action or CTA is a button or link in the email that helps a subscriber complete an action. It contains powerful words that compels a subscriber to act. The use of words like “now,” “today,” “act,” “fast,” and “shop” are commonly used in a call to action. Depending on your business, a call to action can also be a link to encourage subscribers to read an article on your website.
Engage with images
An email with only text has limited interest today. The audience wants to engage with pictures stimulating their visual senses. As marketers continue to evolve their websites with modern, responsive design, they want their emails to do the same. An appealing image can be the main focal point of your email or act as a compliment to your email text.
A clear visible link which says “Unsubscribe” must be explicitly made available to all subscribers. This is a mandatory step that separates genuine businesses from spam. A caring company values your time and your consent to receive communication.
Sending your email marketing campaign at the right time
Several studies have been conducted on this aspect: some say the best days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, others suggest Mondays as well… As per the time, MailChimp studies have shown the best time to send an email is 10 AM in the recipient’s time zone. Hubspot’s data suggests 11 AM. MailerMailer showed that scheduling your emails to be delivered during the early evening and early morning were the best times for open rates, indicating work-free hours. Hence what works for the majority of email marketers across multiple industries may be a good starting point. Later, you can always test the best time for your audience.
Adobe Sensei, the company’s catch-all name for all of its machine learning tools, will soon be put to use to predict the best times to send you an email marketing campaign. This tech out of Adobe’s research labs should be available shortly.
The majority of consumers say they’d like an email from a brand once a week or less, according to statistics from Marketing Sherpa. About 61% of consumers say “at least once a week” is best, 87% of consumers want to receive emails “at least monthly”, and about 15% want to receive emails daily.
While sending emails weekly is a good practice based on experience, there might be times to consider posting more as appropriate. For instance, if your business is hosting a workshop, or if you send birthday emails to subscribers on their special day, you might send more than once a week.
Test you must
Research from third-party sites can present you with some direction, but it’s always recommended to test what works best for your business. Test to see when are your best send times. Select a small group of contacts and send them the same email, but vary the time of day that you send it. See which email is most successful. Run the same test, but modify and experiment with the time of day and frequency.
Mobile is at the core of today’s digital experiences. From 2010 to 2015, email opens on mobile devices increased by 30%. In addition, online consumers are now migrating between devices: 40% of online adults will begin an activity on one device and finish it on another. Therefore, email marketing with a mobile-ready design is a must-have.
Personalisation and Segmentation
According to Experian, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. In the age of personalisation and localised targeting, consumers expect brands to know who they are and deliver them with the most relevant and tailored content. You have to diligently deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Today’s consumers are exposed to information abundance, and marketers are invariably looking for ideas to make themselves visible in the crowd and reach their proper audience. “Relevancy is the marketer’s secret weapon and the fastest path to revenue.”
You can segment your list in many different ways, but you have to decide what will work best for you, based on the data you have about your subscribers in your business. Some of the common grounds of segmentation are :
- Position within a company
- Seniority level
- Buying behaviour
- Education level
There can be even more minute details of segmentation that can be done, but that again largely depends on your business requirements and the email recipient list size.
Avoid ending up in the spam folder
You need an email service provider that offers email authentication. With this credential, your emails will get around specific filters and give your email the most excellent chance of ending up in the inbox.
To preserve your email reputation, you should only send emails to people that have permitted you. That’s why it’s important to set up a double opt-in process when a subscriber signs up for your email list. Hence this process will help protect you from fake subscribers and spambots and ensure only genuine subscribers are added to your list.
Well maintained email lists
- open rate
- click through rate
- revenue generated
- social shares
Growth in the list number does not always indicate engagement. At the same time, we should continuously work on keeping the unsubscribe rate low as well to ensure a good engagement rate.
The first-ever email marketing campaign was launched in 1978 which resulted in $13 million in sales. This started the tradition of what is still one of the profoundly used marketing channels. Some of its best practices may look age-old while some are new. It’s always beneficial to revisit these from time to time to see what needs retaining, what needs improving and what is brand-new in today’s email marketing world. We hope our article gave you some insights and practical advice to start implementing today.
Are you doing your email-marketing right? Is there a step that you find difficult to follow? Do let us know in the comments below.
Here’s an infographic to help you quickly figure out the elements of an effective email. Feel free to download it and pin it up on your boards!
We partnered with Venngage to produce this infographic: Venngage allows people to easily create beautiful designs using ready-made, highly customizable templates. You can also design other visualizations like a pie chart, bar graphs and more. Try them out 😉
Also published on Medium.