8 Ways to Ace Your Email Marketing Strategy

 

The average person is bombarded by many different kinds of marketing tactics every single day. Your customers are no different.

Everywhere they look, someone is likely trying to sell them something, and often, it’s through email marketing. What does that mean?

Your email marketing needs to be way above par if you expect your customers to consider opening any of the emails you send.

Persuading customers to open your email is just the beginning. You want them to read and enjoy your content so they’re more likely to read the next email you send.

Whether the goal of your email is turning passive customers into active buyers or simply a promotion for the latest products you’ve debuted, there are a number of essential things to consider before you hit send.

Here’s are 8 best practices to help you ace your email marketing:

1. Use a CRM:

Good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can really enhance customer communication and response. A CRM that integrates with email marketing, the way Insightly integrates with MailChimp, is an excellent way to go if you’re trying to streamline email marketing processes and track large amounts of information about your customers.

2. Be Careful When Personalizing:

Personalization is an email marketing strategy that’s backed by research, but it’s not as easy it sounds. Using a person’s name may not necessarily be the right kind of personalization. It’s so overused it seems fake. Instead, opt for personalization that directly relates to the customer’s last purchase, which acknowledges their unique history as a customer.

3. Limit Your Subject Line:

There are some pretty interesting facts about the length of subject lines out there. Adestra found in their July 2012 report that subject lines with less than 10 characters were opened at a rate of 58 percent. However, they also found that subject lines as long as 70+ characters were beneficial for encouraging readers to open and click through the content. Just beware—subject lines that hit between 60-70 characters appeared to fall off the radar.

4. Timing is Everything:

Experian reports that 8pm to midnight is the best possible time to send your marketing emails if you want them to be opened. It makes sense, too, when you think about it. While everyone is at work (between the hours of 8am to 5pm) they’re not only busy working, but they are also trying to filter through all the other marketing emails that are sent out during those hours. Yours stands a better chance of being seen if it’s sent at non-peak hours.

5. Offer Something For FREE:

Great content is very important to your email marketing strategy, but we’ll get to that in a moment. For now, focus on creating an offer that your customers can’t refuse—give them something for free. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, but it must be valuable to your customers if you expect them to view it as beneficial and worthwhile. People LOVE free stuff. Don’t you?

6. Create Content Relevant to Your Audience:

If your target audience is opening your marketing emails, you’ve already breached the first line of defense. Next up—you’ve got to keep them reading. That happens when you have stellar, engaging content that pertains to your email recipients. First, you’re tasked with identifying your target audience, then, you WOW them with words.

7. Don’t Drive Them Crazy

! When it comes to the sending frequency of your email marketing, keep in mind rule #1—more is NOT always better. In fact, email frequency and reader engagement are negatively correlated, which means when one goes up, the other goes down.

8. Stay on Top of Your Sender Score:

Knowing your sender score is crucial, but what’s even more important is improving it if it happens to be low. Because your sender score determines your reputation as an email sender, mail servers use this to determine whether or not to ever deliver your emails to your customers’ inboxes in the first place.

Following the 8 rules listed above should help you craft excellent marketing emails that not only hit your customers’ inbox (though not too often), but also have a good open rate.

In addition, the better and more targeted your content is, the more people will engage with whatever you’re communicating to them, and ultimately, click through to the links you include.

Kelly Lucia is the Lead Staff Writer at PostsbyGhost.com. A ghostwriting service that provides businesses with the opportunity to build their online presence and grow their companies, Posts by Ghost offers strategic blogging, content marketing and SEO assistance to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Kelly hit the ground running as a web copywriter several years ago and hasn’t stopped since. Over the last few years she’s developed a vast range of knowledge within the realm of content writing, and she prides herself on being able to write clear and unique content for an immense variety of industries, from overseas blogs about raffle tickets to small business and marketing advice on ChamberofCommerce.com.

Build Off Your Blog

 

When blogs first began to gain popularity, they were used almost exclusively as personal diaries.

Nowadays, however, blogs have evolved into something far more advanced; for both individuals and businesses, they act as invaluable marketing tools used to brand your business and interact with your audience like never before. To find out how you could be making more of your blog, read on.

Social Media Integration

This is kind of a no-brainer, but is so important it’s still worth mentioning. If someone happens upon your blog and likes what they see, the first thing they’ll want to do is connect with you on another social media platform. After all, having to seek out your blog each time they want an update is one thing, but being directly notified of updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is another.

To make this as easy as possible for your readers, you’ll want to add a row of attractive social media icons on your blog, preferably in clear view and close to the header. To do this, you can either hire a web designer or do it yourself for free. If you choose the latter option and aren’t an HTML whiz, try a quick and easy tutorial for help.

Comment Interaction

The comments section of your blog posts is, hands down, the very best place to engage your customers, gauge their interest, and learn what you could be doing better. If you have comments disabled on your blog, change that immediately; commenting is the lifeblood of the blogging world and should be one of your top priorities.

The best way to receive more comments is to leave thoughtful comments on other blogs similar to your own, and the best way to make those new commentors feel valued is to reply to their input. Whether they left compliments or criticism, reply with gratitude and a warm, conversational attitude.

If someone mentions something they don’t like about your blog, don’t take it personally or ignore it. Thank them for sharing their opinion and ask what specific aspects of your blog need to be improved on. If someone leaves a positive but very brief comment, replying with a simple “thank you” will leave a good impression. After all, people come to your blog out of curiosity, but they’ll stay for the quality content and the personal connection you develop with them.

Opt-In Email Newsletters

Giving your blog’s visitors the option to have news, updates, and special offers delivered straight to their inbox via an email newsletter is one of the best things you can do to foster the growth of a solid, long-lasting readership. For this to work, though, it is essential that you stick to a few key rules of thumb.

Keep your emails short and sweet–you want your emails to pack a quick punch, not ramble on. In addition, be sure to stay upbeat, positive, and honest. You want your readers to look forward to opening your emails, not feel weighed down by lackluster writing, guilt-based pleas for their business, or less-than-desirable deals (no one wants to read that they’re getting $25 off in the subject line only to discover in the fine print that the offer only applies if they spend $500 or more).

Time and energy spent making sure your graphics pop will make your emails seem fresh and clean, rather than cluttered or distracting.

Finally, never email people who haven’t signed up to be on your mailing list, never email people who have unsubscribed from your mailing list, and always give your recipients a quick and easy way to unsubscribe in the first place. It’s not just common courtesy; it’s the LAW. Stick to these guidelines and your reputation for being respectful of your customers and their wishes can only grow.

At first, using your blog as a crucial marketing tool can seem intimidating. By following some basic principles to build rapport with your visitors, you can be well on your way to growing a loyal, enduring readership in no time.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.