With all of the focus on bleeding-edge marketing mediums (think social media influencers, virtual reality experiences, interactive games, and other “next-big-thing” technologies), you could be forgiven for thinking that email marketing is dead and buried—it’s not; email marketing is alive and kicking, and still offers many advantages that other media channels still simply can’t match. For one, your email list is completely under your control: no paying gatekeepers or content providers to place your content. Email marketing can also be incredibly economical: sending emails remains very reasonably priced—free—and email marketing suites, while not free, are typically not budget-busters by any stretch. Finally, emails can provide a direct line of communication to your customers; their open rates often reach 18%, which is much more than you can say for social media posts (open rates on social media usually average a measly 0.03 to 0.07%). It’s clear that email marketing is here to stay. What follows are some key strategies for taking your email marketing to the next level:
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A marketing email is only as good as its subject line
This may seem like hyperbole, because there is certainly much more to a marketing email than just the subject. But think about it: if your email’s subject line doesn’t absolutely grab the receiver and compel them to click, the rest of the email is completely beside the point! They’re not even going to see it! From this perspective, a great email subject line is not optional—it’s an absolute must-have. The best subject lines strike a balance between click-bait subject lines (“This one weird trick will take your emails to the next level!”) and purely informative subject lines (“Email marketing tips”). They shouldn’t be such obvious click-bait that email receivers scroll right past, rolling their eyes in annoyance, and they also shouldn’t be so “blah” and boring that they don’t draw any attention to themselves. Something like this: “Is email marketing dead? Hardly!” gets the point across and is short enough to fit into an email browser, is lively, and also is compelling enough that you just might click on it if it landed in your inbox.
Short and sweet, but meaty too
If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, by now you should have developed a strong aversion to the phrase “wall-of-text” and for good reason. Unfortunately, most internet users today simply do not have the patience or inclination to wade through long, detailed paragraphs of text that land in their inbox. Be kind to your email readers’ eyes! Format your emails with lots of big, friendly paragraph breaks to enable quick and easy content scanning. Front-load your email content with “meaty” information that quickly establishes value for the reader. And while you’re keeping it short and sweet, if you have more to share with the reader, include a link to it at the bottom so they can read on for more information. Don’t leave them hanging!
Make it Personal
Who is your target audience? Can you picture them in your mind’s eye? Good. Write directly to them, whoever they are. Don’t be impersonal. Don’t use odd academic language such as “one” or “they” or “investors.” No, you’re talking directly to your email recipients (just like this blog is directly addressing you!) so be sure to address your audience personally: use “you” This enables a deeper, more personal connection to the email’s content and can help break down some skepticism in the minds of the reader. “Hey,” they might be thinking to themselves, “I remember this company! They’re treating me like a real person!”
Dial down the frequency
Unless you’re operating a daily email newsletter (in which case this list of tips is probably not for you), don’t bombard your email list with nonstop emails all the time, or they’re likely to tune out entirely. We recommend an email per week at the absolute maximum, unless you’re truly providing such a quantity of value-added content that your email recipients will actually, really, truly, appreciate such a volume of email.
Go for it!
Email marketing is far from dead. With its ability to directly connect marketers with customers, its attractive open-rates, and its inexpensive distribution, email marketing is clearly here to stay, at least until those bleeding-edge next-big-thing virtual reality marketing games really take off.