From LinkedIn to text messages, dozens of platforms vie for our attention every day. Over the last few decades, however, one platform has remained consistent: email. Whether you love it or hate it, email is necessary for both our personal and professional lives. Since it’s a platform everyone uses nearly every day, the need to send marketing emails seems obvious. The problem is that every other company sees this opportunity too. In 2017, nearly 270 billion emails were being sent and received every day. How, then, can you create emails that stand out in such an overcrowded space? Here are five changes you can make right now to improve your email marketing.
Brands say they are focused on quality products and experiences, but when emails don’t reflect that, customers will start to question the validity of their claims. From the subject line to the footer, your emails need to exude the same quality and consistency that you want your brand to showcase. Maybe your emails are “okay” or “look all right,” but that isn’t good enough. Take the extra time to make sure your emails are well designed, well written and well proofed. Send test emails and troubleshoot any issues. Customers are taking just seconds to scan over your emails, and you cannot allow mistakes to be all they notice.
Nothing says boring like a generic email. In an era of increasingly niche marketing, it’s imperative to make sure that your emails address the customer in a meaningful way. While it may have been groundbreaking to address someone by their first name in an email 10 years ago, that’s par for the course now. With the growing accessibility of marketing automation, companies can build whole emails around specific actions and traits. Once you’ve gotten a customer to sign up for your mailing list, don’t bore them with generic emails. Take some time to build out customized and unique experiences.
Have you ever woken up to your daily slew of emails and simply marked them all as read without opening one? That’s not an uncommon practice. When users see too many emails come through all at once, their interaction significantly drops. Consider the time of day that your customer is most likely to be reading your emails and adjust accordingly. Look at analytics and see when your emails are being opened. Take the time to listen and monitor, testing different distribution times to see what resonates best.
Once you’ve crafted a quality email personalized to your customers exact needs and sent at just the right time, you still need to get them to open it. What you say in your subject line matters! Just a few words will determine whether they’ll even open your email to engage with your content. Your subject line shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be one of your first decisions. (Check out some dos and don’ts for writing better subject lines.)
If you’re able to get a customer to open your email, you’re already doing better than most, but don’t stop there! Once you’ve captured your customer’s elusive attention, you need to clearly lay out the next steps for them. Do you want them to view a new product or sign up for something? Don’t just send them to your homepage. Your calls to action need to be clear, straightforward and able to send customers directly where you want them to be. Don’t take this step lightly. If you’ve managed to gain the attention of one of your customers, make it as easy as possible for them to continue engaging with your brand.
Don’t write off emails as overused and pointless. A well-crafted email marketing campaign is one of the most powerful tools available in this digital landscape. These five tips will go a long way toward helping you create emails that your customers open. Want more tips on email marketing? Here’s how you can write an effective eblast in just 30 seconds.