THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF EMAIL MARKETING
Email is a tricky marketing tool, in the sense that every day, inboxes are flooded with emails – especially from large companies. However, many people are also overwhelmed on the daily by many other types of advertising (web, print, social media). With all of this in mind, how can you stand out from the crowd and get increased engagement from your subscribers? There is a lot of strategizing that goes into email marketing, since the overarching goals are to get more subscribers, get your subscribers to open your message, and get your subscribers to read the message and interact with any CTAs (calls-to-action) embedded in the email. Here are our lists of do’s and don’ts while you’re planning your next email.
Make your emails personalized, but not too invasive. Using your subscriber’s first name is great to add a personal touch, just not every single time. Starting your emails off with a “Dear Megan” or “Hi Jake” each time gives off an automated vibe.
Give your subscribers a reward for reading your message – whether it’s a coupon for being a loyal customer, or even DIY tips. Give your subscribers something to look forward to when they open your messages to keep them coming back for more.
Include clear CTAs. You’ll need at least one CTA per email in order to generate clicks and increase engagement among your subscribers.
Include links to resources. Give subscribers helpful tools to guide them where you want them to go. Even better, include the link multiple times throughout the email to increase the likelihood of clicks and engagement.
Include numbers. People love reading statistics and listicles (i.e. “3 Ways to Get Motivated to Work Out in the Morning”). However, don’t throw in statistics for the sake of it. Make sure what you want to say is meaningful and interesting.
Use the word YOU. It’s so important to create emails that feel personal, like you’re writing to a friend or relative. Depending on the industry your brand or company is in will dictate how casual you can be with your writing style, but the word YOU should be used universally.
Keep your emails relatively short. If you want your subscribers to learn more about a service you offer, give them a teaser bit of information, and create a CTA for subscribers to click and read more.
Add interesting visuals. At ocreations, we’re becoming GIF-icionados (GIF aficionados). Adding interactive visual elements will keep subscribers intrigued and spend more time viewing your emails. Other visually appealing tips would be to use brand colors and fonts, add in static visuals such as infographics, and powerful hi-res images.
Test your email before sending it! You need to make sure your emails look good and read well across a wide variety of platforms (i.e. Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo) and browsers (i.e. Safari, Chrome, Firefox). Make sure your email is 110% ready to send before sending it. Remember, once it’s been sent, it can’t come back.
Collect data and keep tabs on how each email is received. Click through rates, opens, or other forms of tracking engagement are key. Many email systems like MailChimp and Constant Contact automatically do this for each email, and you should definitely take the opportunity to use that valuable information. Interpreting the data will help your business understand what it’s doing well, what it can improve on, and the correct steps to take from that point when planning future emails.
Don’t immediately start selling and expecting a lot out of your subscribers when you first set up email blasts. You’ll need to get them to trust you first, and show that your company is interesting, engaging, and honest.
Don’t hide your CTAs or links in among other images, copy, etc. If you do need to do this, make sure whatever link or CTA stands out extremely clearly. You have to make it easy for subscribers to understand and click the correct links, since the average subscriber’s attention span is continually dwindling.
Don’t use the same greeting every time. It gives off the impression that you or your company is robotic, rigid, and not relatable. You’ll want to switch it up to make your brand feel more personable.
Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with a million CTAs and a novel’s worth of reading to do. Make your emails simple, quick to read, and appealing on both a visual and emotional level.
Don’t write an email for the sake of writing an email and pushing out your name to your subscribers’ inbox. This will only turn your subscribers away. We don’t write personal emails for the sake of writing emails, so why do that as a brand or company?
Don’t lose track of your subscribers. When you gain new subscribers, it is so important to keep an organized list of your subscribers. Keep note of where, when and how you gained each subscriber. If you use a system like Constant Contact, you can organize your contact list into separate lists, title them differently, etc. For example, if you run a business where you held an event for college students and gained subscribers, you would be able to send a “thank you” or special offer to just that group of people if you keep your lists organized.
As open-ended as email marketing can seem, there are definitely certain things you should keep in mind, but also certain things to steer clear of. The key things to keep in mind are simplicity and personality. You want your subscribers to feel like they’re getting an email from a friend, not a robot.
At ocreations, we work with our clients to create emails that are engaging and visually appealing. Interested in working with us on your next email? Contact us!