Making your e-mail marketing count

Email marketing is a great way to reach your potential and existing customers. E-mail marketing is relatively inexpensive and can be delivered quickly and in a targeted way.

This form of marketing is a great way to drive sales with existing customers as they are already familiar with your brand and these can be a great way to promote new products and services as well as deliver important news.

For new clients and prospects e-mail marketing is a great way to reach a broad audience without the cost of traditional printed marketing and is much more specific than general advertising.

To ensure you get the most out of your campaigns it is best to follow some simple best practices which I will share with you here.

The concepts in this article are gained from research and data provided by some of the industry’s leading experts such as Hubspot, ExactTarget and Marketo as well as our own experience in the industry.

The main items to consider are:

  • Timing
  • Content
  • Subject
  • Value

Timing

When you send your emails is just as important as what’s in them as your target is likely just as busy as you. Research shows that:

  • The best day of the week to send email campaigns are Fridays or over the weekend. One of the worst days is Tuesday. Note this can really vary from industry to industry so think about your target audience and pick a time that they are likely to be relaxed and not under pressure.
  • The best time of day to send email campaigns is early — First thing in the morning. The worst time of day to send emails is lunch time.

Content

Your busy target audience will only read content that attracts their interest quickly. There are some simple tricks that will increase your likelihood of avoiding the trash folder:

  • Keep the content simple — 80% of emails are read on a mobile device so it should be to the point and easy to read on a small screen.
  • Use personalised content with the recipient’s company name and/or first name. This is shown to have a 10–25% higher click through rate (the number of people that actually engage with the email)
  • Balance the use of graphics and text in emails — both are equally important. However Because 60% of email clients block images by default, it’s vital to also design with no images in mind. Use HTML text and web-safe fonts when possible. Include ‘alt’ tags with your images, and always create a text only version of your email. Also consider creating a page on your website that includes the same message/content and links for easy browser-based viewing.
  • Research proves that the human eye scans email in an “F” pattern. Use this knowledge to your advantage by positioning your logo, headline, and key call-to-action at the top of your email. Be sure your primary message is above the fold (meaning you can see it before you have to scroll down).

Subject

The subject line of the email is vital and you won’t get your readers past this point if it does not immediately grab their attention. These key tips will help get your content opened:

  • The most clicked lead email marketing subject line words includes the words Secrets and Skills. Among the lowest clicked email subject lines? Subject lines with FREE and HOW TO in them.
  • Keep the subject very direct and use it to make the reader read on. For example instead of: “Our latest product offering — the amazing Widget from Company X — is now available. Read more about it” try Exclusive pre-release access to your latest secret weapon.

Value

  • Whilst using the word FREE ranks lower, actually doing this (giving your subscribers something (FREE) of value) can promote goodwill and it reduces the possibility of unsubscribing. Try to have some sort of offer in the content that will encourage your readers to engage or at least keep reading future updates.
  • The best offer types ranked by perceived value include FREE TRIALS and Live WEBINARs. While whitepapers and offers for demonstrations ranked near the bottom. This will obviously depend on your industry and if offering a discount consider linking it to the campaign. For example, you can say: Quote Code EM201605 to get 20% off the Widget.
Bizpro — MYOB Partners

Written by

We’re MYOB Enterprise ERP specialists from Melbourne, Australia. www.bizpro.com.au

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