Email marketing has become a phenomenon these days for almost all types of businesses, including B2C or B2B, long history enterprises or young start-ups. However, not every email campaign is successful, and marketers may have an avalanche of questions after each time they send out the emails: Is the email good enough? Why is the conversion high or low? Why do we have low conversion but high engagement? What should we do to make it better? According to my own experiences, below are top 5 things you need to pay attention for a good email marketing. (This post is for who already have some experience with the email marketing tasks and wish to improve their skills. The ones who have never used a marketing automation platform may find it difficult to understand in details.)
#EmailMarketing Tip 1: What is your objective?
We perform everyday and in everything we do, and we crave for the best performance. A clear objective helps us to go on track and know what we should do in the present moment to reach our best. Likewise, we do business and we have our own vision and mission. How do our activities make that vision and mission real? We obviously need measurable objectives.
In fact, my fear is that we usually have more than one objective. Going directly to an email marketing campaign, we may be in a tangle when we deal with many expectations and sometimes not everything is explicit. For example, a promotional email may content different products in one email, details of technical specifications and documents, some information about your company in case you are new in the market, etc. All know that you cannot send a series of email to prospects if you do not want them to stop you immediately, so we try to put different contents in different parts of the email, covering all the things we want to deliver. We are usually so greedy that we expect the prospects to have everything at one time. We totally forget that our prospects basically pay less than a minute to skim the email, and definitely cannot remember them. And worse, they may get confused and list us as spam when they do not understand what the email is.
To avoid such a tumble, the thing we should do is prioritizing our goals. Pick the most important one and focus on it. Yes, ONE is enough. A single message at a time is strong, simple, and memorable. And based on that goal, you can easily point out what action you need the prospects to take. When it happens, you have conversion. The more conversion, the more success you achieve.
#EmailMarketing Tip 2: Which template is suitable?
Sometimes, I myself feel hard to resist the temptation of gorgeous templates with breath-taking images. I naturally love to use inspiring templates and tend to believe that the template which can allure me is able to catch the attention of the receivers. However, the reality of technologies and security matters may drive to an unexpected result. Those beautiful images may be disrupted, and the total layout is broken. Test carefully if you rely on the photos to transfer your message. The photos should add extra effects, but they should not be the key elements. Test plain text email to make sure that your message is delivered well without the images. And more importantly, the template needs to be adjustable and adaptable to different types of screens and devices.
One problem of human is that we are emotional. I cannot make an affirmation, but people involving in marketing seem the cool hunters and may get bored faster. We become fed up with the email template which we use for a long time, although it is proved effective and productive. As a result, we get rid of the good one and try a new one, and we forget that the old template carries your brand image and the style which the prospects or customers are used to see it. If you think your brand image needs to be presented consistently, keep the template you use. I suggest that in case you want to change, you should make an A/B testing or even a small survey.
#EmailMarketing Tip 3: Database
I have mentioned the importance of a reliable database in a few posts. But, it is still necessary to repeat once again. To a start-up or a B2B company, having a big database at the beginning is not feasible, and you may get or purchase the data from some sources. It may come from many email lists of the founders, or from the network of Sales, or even from an account on MailChimp. Nevertheless, we need to clean, refine the database continuously until the bounced rate is low. Remember to put aside the unsubscribes, delete the undeliverable addresses, and better to stop sending email to unengaged contacts. An email with respect of the willingness of receivers will add a credit to your company brand. Don’t force the contacts to report spam!
A workflow will allow you to create a chain of emails in a campaign. Remember to split the top engaged contacts, the conversions into different paths and create different emails for these lists. Putting right messages to right target segments is always on top priority of email marketing. Therefore, keep watching the change and the diversity of your database, and take appropriate action to make it updated in the real time.
#EmailMarketing Tip 4: The flow of your message
With a concreate objective from the beginning, you will not get lost in building your key message for sure. However, the arrangement of ideas may increase the effectiveness and give a chance to improve your conversion rate. Starting from the customers’ needs, going through their pain points, offering benefits are three key steps I usually do in my email and I find it amazingly productive in recruiting new leads. Jumping into the advantages and benefits right at the first sentence of the email may sound very interesting to you, but it may sound not real to the prospects. Many researches in psychology showed that our brains are more highly attuned to negative news over positive news content, and you can apply this finding by raising questions about their problems to tickle their fears, and have their attention to the rest of the email.
A small note is that we should not make long paragraphs. It will make your email heavy and people get lazy to read them all. Imagine you as a contact who receive the email, if you spend 3 seconds to decide if you want to read the email or not, your prospects may do the same. So, keep it short, sweet and simple. Use numbers and bullets to arrange your ideas, and do not go over 5 lines. It is the best if you can stop at three.
#EmailMarketing Tip 5: Build consistent links and CTA
“All roads lead to Rome”. That idea is perfect to apply in email marketing when you build links and put Call-to-action (CTA) in different parts of the email. Coming back to Tip #1, you should have only one objective and a single message in an email. As a result, all links and CTA need to drive the prospects to only one destination: a landing page, or a form, or a sole action. It is ideal to put only one CTA, but, in case you find that you need to put two CTAs, they should go to the same place although you can put different texts on the CTA itself.
The texts like “submit” is too traditional and it does not create any positive feeling towards the action. Instead of putting that boring word, you can replace it by a more creative and joyful phrases such as “I got it”, “make it now”, “get the promotion”, etc. Do you agree that they sound much better?
I hope that with the above tips you can beat the email blast next time. I appreciate it if you share your experiences in return. Sharing, learning, and keep moving forward in this digital era of everything!
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