Keep the subject line and pre-header short: The subject line is crucial. Keep it short so the reader knows exactly what the email topic is about. And the pre-header text (also known as snippet text), don’t let it go to waste by using “To view this email in your browser…”. Instead, summarize the email or include a call to action (i.e., Use “FREESHIP” to get free shipping).
If you already have a pretty large database, you also likely have some contacts that have gone quite stale. If so, I recommend running a re-engagement campaign that can help you both scrub your list and prevent the kind of spam and IP issues I addressed earlier, as well as reawaken old contacts that might have forgotten about you, but would actually be great fits for sales.
From a business perspective, emails are widely used as a cost-effective as well as efficient way of acquiring new customers, boosting sales, building up your brand awareness and fostering a sense of trust among your customers. Email marketing has also shown a better ROI compared to other marketing channels. According to a survey conducted by Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email had an ROI of nearly 122%, whereas other channels such as social media had just 28%.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
Social media – the undisputed king in the marketing domain… And then there’s email. Think of it as a grandparent to social media marketing. Don’t be fooled, it’s still reliable if used the right way. Today’s marketers may not be as email savvy, nor do they consider it to be a “cool” way of contacting clients, however, it has stood the test of time and proven itself to be an effective method of communication.
The downside of just making offers is that they’re not useful on their own. People on your list won’t receive any value from you unless they buy what you’re promoting, so they have little reason to stay subscribed. That’s why this email marketing strategy doesn’t work alone. And it’s why many e-commerce sites struggle to keep people interested. There are a few exceptions (e.g., Groupon) that rely entirely on making offers—but then the reason people joined the list was specifically to receive those offers.
When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, "This email list is totally opt-in!" This means the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time -- the list provider, for example -- by filling out a form or checking a box to receive more content from that provider.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a predesigned template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
If ebooks aren't your jam, create tools instead. I don't recommend a one-or-the-other approach, necessarily, but if you have more development talent than writing talent, this may be a more attractive option for you. These tools can be valuable enough to some of your website visitors that they'll trade you their email address for a free demo of the product you built. Then, for your first email, ask them what they thought of the tool. It's the perfect icebreaker.
Surprise: Customer loyalty is the key to success. And you can reward your loyal customers by giving them something for free every now and then. Create a “surprise” email that sends an automated email to your best customers that offers a free yearly license to your software for them to use, a gift card or even a coupon code to redeem a box of cupcakes. It’s a small cost for your business but, the reward is huge!