Emails have become an almost engrained part of our lives. Out of the 33 million adults that used the internet daily in 2012, according to the Office of National Statistics, 73% would use it to send and receive emails. Email is not only alive and buoyant; it is the number one direct channel in terms of consumer preference for both personal and marketing communications. Sage Business Expert Jonny Ross explains how businesses can optimise email marketing to achieve the best results.
You know yourself, when you receive an email that is personalised and includes your name and other relevant data, you are more likely to read it. Injecting personalised recommendations into marketing emails based on your subscribers’ browsing behaviour on your website can increase click-through rates by 25 – 35% and sales conversion rates by 15 – 25%.
2. Add a subheading
Nobody wants to have to ‘guess’ or read a whole page in order to understand what an email is about. Including a subheading will mean the first couple of lines of the email will be displayed in the recipient’s inbox, thus increasing the likelihood of people opening it.
3. Pose engaging questions
The essence of an email marketing campaign is to get subscribers to become paying clients. Engagement questions can be an effective way to drill up businesses. Ask subscribers questions, such as “What problems do you have with your accounts at the moment? Let me know and I’ll work towards solving them.”
4. Ensure people have opted in
People are unlikely to open an email they haven’t agreed to receive. Ensure recipients have ‘opted in’ to receive the emails. This can be accomplished with a simple tick box at the sign-up stage.
5. Optimise for mobile
Brands that don’t optimise email marketing campaigns for mobile are at a distinct disadvantage. It is important to offer subscribers an elegant mobile experience as it is likely someone will simply delete an email not optimised for mobile.
6. Keep emails short
Nobody has got time to read an ‘essay’ when they open an email. Keep emails short, 200 – 500 words ideally.
7. Include a time-sensitive element to the campaign
Introducing some sort of time-sensitive component to an email marketing campaign will create a sense of urgency and make people more likely to respond immediately. For example, ‘sign up today and receive a free credit evaluation’ will make recipients more inclined to act today instead of saving it for tomorrow and then forgetting.
8. Incorporate an ezine into your email
In the early days of the internet, ezines (email newsletters) were an effective form of advertising. The ezine seemed to have lost its way somewhere, namely due to the glut of spam emails we receive, and became as less effective marketing medium. The tables have turned once more and research has proven that targeted ezine advertising is still one of the most effective means of marketing. Make an ezine part of your email marketing campaign. Ensure it offers useful and relevant content to customers. For example, include a ‘saving money tip of the day’ in your ezine. Providing something useful opposed to merely selling your services will positively engage subscribers with your brand.
9. Provide special offers
Give your email marketing list additional value by giving special offers and exclusive deals to subscribers only.
10. Don’t capitalise subject line headings
Finally, one really useful tip is not to capitalise words in the subject line of the email as this marks the email as spam.