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Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing continues to be one of the smartest ways to reach your customers.

According to a recent study, email marketing is 40 times more successful than Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to reaching and retaining customers. You can obviously say a lot more in an email than you can fit into a 140 character tweet, and you have a front row seat in their inbox.

The following are some considerations and tips for getting the most out of email marketing

Why Should People Sign Up

First things, first, you need to spend some time figuring out what you would like to communicate with your customers.

What does someone who signs up for your emails gain? Will you offer them helpful tips and reminders? Monthly coupons? A discount on their next purchase?

Most people are hesitant to give out their email, so give them a good reason to hand it over. Outline what benefits they’ll receive in the registration form/box.

Just remember not to promise readers things that you can’t deliver. Taking the time to figure out what you’ll be communicating will give you a good idea of how often you’ll be sending out emails. Quarterly or seasonal updates might make sense for the type of business you run, or if you have lots to say and share that’s valuable to your customers you may send out emails more often.

Here are a couple of examples to kickstart your brainstorming: Landscaping and lawn care companies might want to send out a spring cleaning reminder so that customers stay ahead of the seasonal rush. A cleaning company may offer a special discount to customers who haven’t booked a cleaning in a while.

Be creative and put yourself in your customer’s shoes as you develop your emails.

Make Sign Up Easy

Make sure that the process to sign up for your emails is easy. If you can make it so people can register with a single click—that’s golden. Make the link obvious and easy to see on your website. The best locations on your website for the email registration box are:

• Above the fold, the part of a web page that does not require scrolling.
• The top right of the sidebar
• At the bottom of an article
• The footer
• The top of a home page

Catch Their Eye

How many emails do you receive in your inbox every day? Probably a couple dozen you’ll never open.

If a subject line is boring and doesn’t spark your curiosity you’ll move on to an email that does catch your eye. That’s exactly why the subject line is the most important part of a marketing email. Make sure that every subject you use in your marketing emails is well thought out. Here are some things you can do to draw people in with your subject lines.

Use Humor: Using humor helps your subject line to stick out in a list of boring emails. It helps to know your customers well, so that you don’t offend them when creating fun subject lines.

• Groupon: There are no deals in this email
• Baby Bump: Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.
• BuzzFeed: How’d You Get So Weird?

Simple: Shorter subject lines always perform better than long ones. If you’re caught in between making your subject line simple vs. funny, simple is always the way to go. According to a study by AWeber Communications, clear subject lines receive 541% more clicks than clever ones.

Use Numbers: People like numbers, that’s why top 10 and 5 lists for subject lines and blog posts perform well. Numbers help our brains process information easily and can spark curiosity.

Use Symbols and Punctuation: Play around with punctuation to catch the eyes of your readers. Although exclamations are used a lot in subject lines (probably a little too much) you can try experimenting with symbols and punctuation.

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According to a study by AWeber Communications, clear subject lines receive 541% more clicks than clever ones.

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Make it Easy on the Eyes

Most people will only spend a couple seconds reading an email, so it’s important to make your text easy to read and scan. Steer clear of long paragraphs, and aim for short and sweet.

Consider Other Devices

Before you send out a marketing campaign to your customers, you should always send a test email to yourself. 43% of emails are read on a mobile device, so it’s important that your email doesn’t just look good on desktop but on other devices as well (especially mobile!).

Always Improve

It’s important to not get caught in a routine. There are a lot of email marketing platforms that provide useful data that can show you what is performing well and allows you to A/B test your subject lines, manage contact lists, measure engagement etc.

Some great email marketing solutions includes:

Campaign monitor
MailChimp
Benchmark
ActiveCampaign

Looking for more email tips and tricks? Check out 3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Follow-up Emails. And if you have any of your own email marketing insights, please share them in the comments below!

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