In the early 90s, when email was in its infancy, a “You’ve got mail!” message was a treat. It meant messages from family and friends, notes about work, and the occasional notification from a favorite company. Times have changed since then and email has become ubiquitous.
Every day, more than 150 billion emails are sent and many go unopened or are immediately sent into electronic purgatory. The best email marketing campaigns succeed because they recognize that the key to ensuring emails are opened and acted upon rests on how the message is crafted and the consistency with which both existing and potential customers are engaged.
Start by keeping your messages short and simple. Your subject line should be straight forward so that recipients know before they open the email exactly what they’re going to find inside. Use catchy lines when appropriate, but don’t hesitate to just keep it simple, straight to the point, and easy to understand.
The same goes for the content emails contain. Naturally, email content should align with your company personas and the tone that readers have come to expect. It’s equally important that the content is direct so that readers know from the first sentence what the email is about. Recipients should never have to search for information so it is imperative that you structure your emails logically and guide readers through the precise steps you want them to take.
If you choose to include photos, flyers, or attachments, make sure that you’ve shrunk them down to their smallest possible size so that they can be easily opened on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. This is crucial as roughly one third of people now use a mobile device as their primary access point for email and the Internet.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Consumers are very savvy and know that every email they receive from a company, charity, or promoter is an email asking them to act, buy, or donate. Readers put up walls to guard against this, but there are ways to stand out and climb over those barriers. The key is to speak to your readers’ interests in a way that’s aligned with your brand image.
Speak to what motivated them to sign-up for your email list in the first place. Are you selling high-end widgets? Then make them feel exclusive. Are you raising funds for a charity gala? Then make them care. Each message you send should be tailored to reflect the product, service, or special event you are promoting.
Call to Action
What is it you want your readers to do? Do you want them to buy a product? Attend an event? Answer a survey?
The best email marketing campaigns make it simple for recipients to take action. A push of a button here, an entry of a credit card there, fill out the address line, and voila! You’ve accomplished what you set out to achieve. Making your desired outcome clear and the action easy to perform will make all the difference between a successful pitch and one that falls flat.
Response & Tracking
It might be tempting to take a breather once you’ve sent your emails, but the moment you hit send is the moment the real work begins.
The most important key to best email marketing campaign is to be immediately responsive to customer feedback and requests. The sooner you respond, the more likely you are to make a sale. Furthermore, it’s crucial to track the success of your campaigns. How many messages did you send? What was your open/response rate? Were your final sales targets met? Understanding this data will help you improve each successive email campaign so that its more efficient and effective.
Maybe your emails need to be shorter, or you need to change the time you send them out, or you need to adjust their frequency. Your data should be crunched regularly and changes should be made quickly and accordingly. Over time, as you collect more data, a trend will emerge. Pay attention to it to find the sweet spots for email titling, message length, calls to action, send time, response time, etc.
The best email marketing strategies will change over time. Stay flexible and tailor them to your customers and your strategies will continue to be successful.