6 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

Posted by Erika Stevens on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

At this point in our society it is more common for businesses to be using email marketing than not.  The average person sends/receives 110 emails per day which means if you are sending email marketing you have that much competition to stand out against.  Another mindboggling stat is that the average number of messages received by a person in 2012 was 5,579.  

We all know what we should and should not be doing to write effective marketing emails, but it is always good to have a reminder.  Last week I gave ideas about content to include in your email marketing campaigns so I wanted to follow that with some best practices.  These are the tips and reminders I use when sending out email marketing or helping our customers with their email marketing campaigns. 

Email Screen Shot

A look at my thrilling inbox.

1 – Subject Line

The best thing to do with your subject line is tell your readers what your email is about.  Remember most people will only see this and decide to open or not, so make it worth opening.  Nothing frustrates customers more than opening an email with a misleading title.  Check out this infographic for more on subject lines.  

2 – Keep Lists Clean

It is important to use a CRM that will keep track of subscribes and unsubscribes.   Make it easy for customers to sign up as well as unsubscribe from your email marketing.  To avoid being marked as SPAM don’t buy lists or send emails to customers who have not opted in to hear from you.  If you are planning on sending a lot of emails one way to combat unsubscribing is to give your customers options for frequency of your mailings.       

3 - Personalize

If you are collecting first names along with email addresses be sure to include that person’s name in your email.  You can also further personalize by signing the email with your name instead of just the company.  Beyond personalizing with names be sure that you are sending content that is relevant to your customers.  Another trend in email marketing is businesses giving customers options of what kind of emails they would like to receive.    

4 – Set Expectations

Even if you can’t or don’t want customers to decide frequency and content they want to recieve you can set the expectations for your email marketing.  At the time that your customers sign up to receive your emails, let them know what you will be sending (example Sign up for our monthly newsletter).  The same is true for communicating in general.  I can’t tell you how many times I have put my name on a sheet of paper at a retail store and never heard a peep.  If a customer signs up to hear from you, don’t leave them hanging!

5 – Always Test

Even though it can be tempting to get done with an email and just send it out, you should always send test emails.  Not just to yourself, but to a few people who will comb through it carefully.  We have all fallen prey to the word that spell checks correctly but is not what we wanted to say.  Also check your links, images, and make sure your business address is on the email to stay in compliance with CAN-SPAM laws.

6 – Track and Test

Always track the results of your email marketing.  Any of the email marketing tools will give you the data on opens and click throughs, but it’s up to you to take the time to analyze those results.  Which emails are getting opened?  Which subject lines are getting opened?  How many people unsubscribed?  Always be analyzing, testing and then improving the next email.

Following these tips and other best practices will help you send more effective email marketing messages and decrease your chances of getting flagged as SPAM.  If you are interested in learning more about keeping your emails from getting flagged as SPAM come back later this week for a post from our IT department.

What else did I miss?  What are your best practices for email marketing?

Sites I Love 

http://emailcritic.com/  - Great statistical data and more tips

http://mailchimp.com/resources/  - MailChimp has awesome guides for everyone from the marketer to the IT department

A customer rewards program can help you get to know your customers and better target your marketing efforts.  If you are looking for a comprehensive email, text and rewards program be sure to check out Tecmark's solutions.  

Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Customer Experience