Did you know that 281 billion emails are sent out every single day? This staggering number may lead you to wonder how to put together an email marketing campaign that has a chance of standing out. Our years of experience have taught us that engaging email campaigns require some forethought, rather than a shoot-from-the-hip approach.
First, we should mention that all the aspects of planning a successful promotional campaign apply to here too—email campaigns are a type of promotional campaign, after all. So you’ll want to consider all the things we discussed in that post:
- Selecting your audience
- Setting up goals
- Determining your offer
- Creating a landing page and next steps
- Evaluating performance
With email, there are a few extra steps, and that’s what we want to talk about today.
1. Vet Your Subscriber List
If you send out regular emails, you’ve likely been working on building your email list for years. But when was the last time you thought critically about your subscribers? Have you segmented them further into groups? Do you know which ones have interacted with one of your emails recently, or, for that matter, which ones have ever interacted with your emails?
Having a better idea of how your audience is interacting with your emails, will give you a better idea of what they want. It can also open up opportunities to create special campaigns for different audiences.
2. Align Your Content with Your Audience
To put yourself in the best shape for success, you’ll want to carefully think about who is receiving your email message. Sending emails your audience doesn’t consider relevant can result in unsubscribes, or muddle your brand message altogether.
Use what you learned in the last step to determine what your audience cares about, and send more of it. You can also go one step further, and create customer personas to really get to the root of the content they care about.
3. Write a Killer Subject Line
Accept that almost everything you know about email subject lines is probably wrong. Keep things short, but also convey what you need to. Steer away from gimmicks like emojis or all caps/exclamation points (“FREE!”), unless you’ve done thorough experimentation with your audience, because these may lead to messages getting caught in a spam filter. Above all: say what you mean.
Most email platforms these days allow for very streamlined A/B/C testing of email subject lines. You can send a small test batch with each subject line and the most successful one will used for the bulk of the messages.
4. Don’t Skimp on Design
We’ve all seen marketing emails that look sleek and well-branded, and we’ve all seen ones that look like they came straight from Outlook. Take the time to build out several good looking templates that match the look and feel of your brand. Because you’ll reuse them, you can afford the upfront investment. If your current email system doesn’t have the flexibility you need to create a good template, you may want to consider switching to a system that better fulfills your needs.
EXTRA TIP: Keep It Mobile Friendly!
Nearly 68% of all emails are now opened first on a mobile device. That means your email should look great on mobile to have a chance of connecting with your audience. First start with a platform that uses responsive templates, then avoid large walls of text by breaking up your email into sections. These make it easier to digest on any screen, from big to small.
5. Take Advantage of Email Automation
Converting a customer usually takes more than one try, and that’s why most email campaigns go beyond a single email to reach out more than once over time. You can use email automation to not only set up this schedule easily, but put rules in place to make sure you’re not overwhelming your subscribers.
Email automation works by setting up simple logic rules, such as these:
- If subscriber A opens Email 1, send Email 2 in two days.
- If subscriber A doesn’t open Email 1, send Email 1b in two days.
From there, the remainder of the messages go out automatically based on what action your subscribers are taking. You can find more information about this in our post on email automation.
We hope these 4 straightforward concepts will help you think more critically before the enxt time you hit “send.” If you have any questions, we’re here to help! Let us know in the comments below.