12 Tips for a Strong Email Marketing Strategy

Adrienne Wilkerson June 7, 2018

We all get a ton of email these days, in fact, according to DMR, 205 billion emails are sent daily and the average office worker gets 121 emails a day! That is a lot of competition. The email jungle gets even thicker when you consider that there is only an 18% open rate for desktop users! The question then is how do you make sure your email stands out instead of blending into obscurity. Use these tips frequently and liberally for the best results.Artboard 1

Can You Have an Effective Email Marketing Strategy?

I would say the answer is yes, email marketing when done right is still effective. So use the following tips frequently and liberally for the best results.

#1 Have a Strong Subject Line

A well-crafted subject line can be one of the most important parts of your email, it is your first impression. You need to hook people and make them curious enough to open the email. Ideally, keep it to seven words or less but don’t forget to do some A/B testing because some audiences respond better to longer subject lines. Always ask a question with the goal of making them curious. Using numbers is a great idea for your subject lines, for example, 12 Tips for a Strong Email Marketing Strategy. The pre-deader or preview area as a second headline and be more descriptive. Focus on using action verbs like 5 hacks or 3 best tips to engage people and pique their curiosity. Lastly, you can use brackets to indicate what the person is going to be opening or viewing in the email. For example [infographic] or [case study pdf].

#2 Create Exclusivity

Everyone wants to feel like they are part of something special like they are getting something before anyone else. Apple does an amazing job at this when they send out their emails announcing their new phones. Everyone on specific mailing list gets an email inviting them to take advantage of their “Pre-Ordering” offer. Considering people camp out at the Apple stores to be some of the first to get phones, it can feel pretty special to get the chance to pre-order and the phone just shows up at your door! Another way to make people feel like they are part of an exclusive club is to send them a link for information prior to it going public. So send your subscribers a link to your newest blog or offer the day before or even hours before it goes public. There will definitely be more motivation to open it at that point.

#3 Be Friendly and Considerate

Your email is one of at least 121 emails in their email. It’s a good idea to call that out, acknowledge that it is a big deal they took the time to open your email. Think about delighting them with great photos and engaging them with fun titles. Show them how special they are to you for taking your time and turning out quality content. Make sure you are talking to the person opening the email, not AT them. No one wants to feel talked at, but we delight in having a conversation.

#4 Be Generous and Positive

Continuing in the vein from number 3, if you make a point to make the viewer happy, they will look forward to seeing and opening up your emails. Whenever you can be generous, give something away. How can you make their day better, how can you make them happy? What can you give away you may ask, good question here are a few examples:

  • ebook
  • ecourse
  • white paper
  • case study
  • coupons
  • free trials
  • blog post
  • free assessment
#5 Make it Scannable

One way you can make their day better is by making the information in your email easy to read! Break up your content with photos and subheadings; be concise in your verbiage and if you have a lot of text that needs to be communicated, post it as a blog on your website and use the “read more” option in the email. It’s also a great way to get some traffic back to your website. Remember, they have a lot of emails to get through and you want to be respectful of their time.

#6 Don’t Let Them Forget

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you want to remind them every time what it is that you do. When Belle Beth Cooper from Exist explained that not only do their emails always explain what they do but the link with the explanation always gets clicked!

Courtesy of Vero

Courtesy of Vero

 

#7 Encourage Conversion

Statistically, we see that when people are given clear ways to make conversions they are more likely to do so. This is especially true when viewers are given small ways to engage and convert. Small options could be “Tweet this information, or Follow us on Facebook. These small opportunities don’t require much of the viewer and give them a way to engage.

#8 Make the Next Step Clear

One of the cardinal rules of content marketing is to be very clear on what the next step you want the subscriber to take. Content Rate Experts stress how important it is to be very clear and obvious what you want them to do. The question you want them to answer is “What do I need to do next?” You want to make sure there is a very clear way for them to answer that question and take the action you want them to take. One of the most effective ways to help viewers take the next step is to use buttons. They are clear, basic, and effective. If you want people to click on something, give them an obvious button. Make sure it is not a subtle color but clearly, stands out from the design.

#9 Segment Your Emails

Just because you can send someone an email doesn’t mean you should. What I mean is that not EVERYONE in your email list should get EVERY email you send out. Email marketing is a long game, you need to build trust with the people who are getting your emails. Make sure the offer or the information in the email is relevant to the person getting the email. For example, if they are a long time customer they shouldn’t get the welcome email or the email with the special for new customers. Instead make sure they get an email with a coupon because you value them as a long-time, loyal customer. If you’re wondering how you should segment your lists, start with your end goal (i.e. increase sales, expand brand awareness, increase engagement on social media, increase event registration) then work backward from that point and map out the journey you want the customer to take to get to the goal. Here are a few ideas of how you could segment your lists:

  • past purchases
  • past asset download
  • hot lead
  • new subscriber
  • current but not hot leads
  • VIP’s
#10 Leverage Social Proof

Online reviews have become one of the mainstays of people’s buying decisions. People trust what other say online According to Vendasta

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#11 Plan Ahead

Use an editorial calendar and plan out ahead of time what you are going to talk about when. Having a plan provides for time to edit, edit, edit. No matter how effective a writer you are, it is always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes on your work prior to publishing. Following your editorial calendar also allows for time to invest thought and really put some time into your email marketing. The effort you put into the email will show through for the viewers. The difference between an email that is hastily thrown-together email and one that is well thought out and considerate of the subscriber’s time in palpable and appreciated.

#12 Respect SPAM Rules

Finally, it is critical to know and follow the rules laid out in the CAN-SPAM act. Each infraction could result in a $16,000 fine so it pays to be aware of and adhere to the rules including the seven basic rules. Be aware that you must make it clear when someone gives you their email that you will be adding them to your mailing list. Just collecting email addresses at a conference (for instance: “throw your card in the jar and be entered into a drawing”) is not enough. You must let the people know that not only will you be entering them into a drawing, but that their email address will be added to your mailing list.

At Beacon, we love the challenge of being creative and employing the above techniques, among others, to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. If you are tired of investing time into an email marketing or newsletter campaign that is not getting results, then we would love to chat with you, there are so many possibilities. If you are interested in a free consultation, please give me a call at 907-563-6008 or shoot me an email at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Adrienne Wilkerson, President

Adrienne is one of the founders, an owner, and the president of BEACON. She specializes in content marketing, graphic design, branding, and training on Inbound Marketing techniques. She is the founder of Beacon Digital University and a co-founder of Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit. Adrienne was recognized as the 2015 Marketing Visionary of the Year by the American Marketing Association's Alaska Chapter and has won numerous awards for her brand and graphic design projects. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the Top Forty Under 40 in Alaska by the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

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