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8 tips to elevate your email marketing

8 tips to elevate your email marketing

Here are several suggestions to help you craft more effective email campaigns.

1. Subject Line is Key
First impressions are critical in any form of communication. When people receive an email, the first thing they see is the subject line, which has the potential to either gain or lose their interest. Subject lines that include your company’s name as a reference and provide specifics supporting your email topic will typically gain higher open rates.

2. Pay Attention to Who It’s “From”
Would you be more likely to open an email sent from [email protected] or [email protected]? People don’t want to feel like they are receiving an automated email. If readers don’t see you putting time into personalizing the “from” address, they won’t spend time considering what you have to say.

3. Mail Merge
People love seeing their own name. It makes them feel the email was written to them personally and not sent to recipient #432. Online services have simple options to directly insert names from your contact database using a template editor.

4. Variety
Consistency is essential with any marketing campaign, yet variety is equally important. Be conscious about how many emails you send out each week or month and how individuals are interacting with your emails. Are you following up accordingly and are you engaging the people that seem uninterested? Some email services include click-through analytics that monitor which readers spend time with your emails or forward them along to colleagues.

5. Quality Over Quantity
It’s far more important to send out content-rich emails than it is to send out long or multiple emails. When you provide your contacts with quality content, they’re more inclined to read your emails and even forward them to friends. Gain the trust of your contacts by emphasizing quality of communication over quantity. One option is providing information they can use immediately.

6. Content Suggestions
How can you personalize your message content? Listen to the people who take time to contact you because they are most likely to become customers. Study their emails, questions, likes and dislikes. Social media monitoring is one easy way to listen to and engage your readers. Use these insights to create valuable email content.

7. Test Everything
Test the way your email appears and test all links in your message to make sure they work. Also test your graphics. Pictures are a great way to grab someone’s attention, but pictures don’t always show up in email messages, so test the effectiveness of your email by viewing them in an email client with images turned off and making sure your message remains easy to understand and the call-to-action clear. Finally, test your email with a spam check tool before sending. Spam check services review email content to see what might get caught in spam filters.

8. And Test Some More with A/B Testing
Your email has passed all the, but is not getting the open rates you expected. How come? There are many reasons including time of day, day of week, frequency, message, etc.

Consider testing one change at a time. Split up your list and send each set the same email on different days. Does the open rate stand out more on one day than another? A next step could be to determine the time of a day people are more willing to open and interact with your email. A good starting point is the start of the day and middle of the afternoon. Studies have shown these are the best times of day to send emails. See if your tests concur. Also test what subject lines gains the highest response? Do your recipients react more to graphics or text? Consider the placement of your call to action. Is one position more effective than another? Do your recipients appreciate lengthy, informational emails or do they prefer a quick read? Test each element one at a time.

With email marketing you never need to settle for one formula because you will often have the flexibility to make improvements as you go. So be aware of trends and technology in your digital marketing programs and take advantage of them. They will help you achieve more tangible results with your campaigns.

Nicole Merrett is vice president of CRM marketing for Sage North America, a supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses.

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