Did you know that the average return on investment (ROI) for an email marketing campaign is around 4,300%?
Not only does email marketing allow for higher conversion rates, it also serves your business in multiple ways, including segmenting your customers in one central location. In addition, it allows a business or producer to reach their desired customer in a direct 1 on 1 manner through email.
Based off these qualities alone, it’s easy to see why so many businesses rely on email marketing to drive new business.
So how do you use email marketing to grow your business? To help find the answer, listed below are essential steps backed by case studies and the most up to date research on how to create a strong email marketing campaign.
Step 1: Create Your Campaign
Before sending out a great email to your consumers, the first step is to write out your overall plan. What’s the goal of your email marketing campaign? Create a flow chart or diagram that outlines the overall sequence, marketing goals, and actions you are wanting your consumer to make.
Your campaigns should not be an all-inclusive, one-size-fits-all advertisement. Rather, you need to focus on each segment of your campaign and consider which part in the sales stage each consumer is currently in.
Step 2: Optimize Subject Lines
Your email’s subject line is the most vital component in the initial stages of your marketing campaign. The reason being that it’s your first contact with the consumer.
A well tailored subject line will lead to higher engagement, more clicks and more overall traffic to your website. In all, a great email will increase your overall revenue and build fan loyalty.
On the other hand, faulty subject line will leave your consumer unsubscribing, looking over, or placing your email in the spam folder.
Statistics illustrate the importance of the subject line as well. With 33% of email recipients opening their email based on the subject line alone.
The goal is to make your subject line visually stand out. A headline that captures your consumer’s eyes as they scan through their filled inboxes is the name of the game.
So how do you optimize your subject line for higher engagement?
Length of a subject line
Many experts state to keep subject lines within a certain character amount. Unfortunately, studies show no correlation between the length of a subject line and the click rate. With that being said, however, you should experiment with both long and short worded subject lines to find which converts best for you and your brand.
Although the length of your subject line will not affect your conversion rate, the same cannot be said for the verbiage used in your headlines. The key is to use the KISS method – keep it simple stupid. Keeping it simple means utilizing minimalism.
You want to be clear on what your email is advertising within the subject lines. As well, you want to be concise and avoid using unnecessary words (remember your consumer’s attention span, on average, is 8 seconds).
MailChimp’s email subject line study discovered that cheesy, long-winded emails fare much worse than very descriptive subject lines.
A short question posed to your readers will be more likely to engage your consumer than just a typical subject line.
When using questions, don’t be afraid to ask your readers for their feedback on a product or service you offer. Allowing others to feel like they’re a part of your brand will increase overall engagement levels.
Another method for increasing click rates is to personalize your email to your targeted customer. Specifically, location based offers work terrific and do not come off as spam.
One thing to avoid when personalizing your message using your customer’s name out. So many marketers have used their customer’s names in the past as a way to personalize the email that such emails come off as spam.
A great example of personalization is The Texas State Fair.
This 130 year old event asks for those signing up for the fair’s newsletter to submit their birthdate. In doing so, the fair sends a “happy birthday” email to their subscribers when it is the individual’s birthday.
The Texas State Fair has seen a 42% open rate such birthday emails.
Avoid Coming off Spammy
When creating your subject line, keep it conversational, fun, interesting and/or entertaining. All your campaigns should involve using the same type of overall communication style.
Keeping your communication style consistent does not mean to repeat subject lines. QuickSprout’s study illustrated a 2 percent drop in conversion rates each time they used the same subject line in their email marketing tactics. Executing this will allow your emails to be safe from the spam folder.
In general, avoid writing in all caps and using lots of emoticons and symbols. Doing this is both obnoxious and comes off being spam. As well, never oversell or lie in your subject line.
Finally, according to a recent study, using days of the week in your subject line is effective. However, using Monday and Friday in your subject actually decreases your click through rate.
According to the study, the reason is because most marketers use these two days (Monday & Friday) to promote their products for Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
Overall, the lesson here is to utilize different methods than the typical marketer. Sometimes the best way to be original is to take the unbeaten path.
Step 3: Previews
Once you have the perfect subject line complete, you will need to move on the preview. The email’s preview is the line of text that follows the main subject line. A variety of large companies get this important piece of their email marketing campaign wrong. To truly optimize your email, take advantage of this opportunity to tell more about your product. Do not ignore this area completely.
The right way:
email reads: “Top suggested Google + pages for you”
The wrong way:
Email reads: “What will you rent tonight? Can’t see our images? Click here Facebook Twitter.”
In the example above, Google utilizes all the open space that comes after the headline. On the other side, we have Redox. Redox mimics their headline by asking two questions in a row, which is not the most enticing copy.
Next. the content reads, “can’t see our images?” This would be more effective if they listed something along the lines of new movies or recommended movies at Redbox. By doing so, the company could give the consumer (me, in this case) some ideas on what to watch tonight.
For Redbox and for you to get the most out of your preview field, move the “view in browser” links and other verbiage to the bottom of the email. Place keywords and a description of your promotion in the first line of your campaign.
Step 4: The Email’s Body
After a user has clicked to open up your email, they should be presented with a very simplistic overall look. Your color scheme, designs, message, and call to action should all be subtle and simple enough for a user to skim your material easily and decide whether to engage with your brand further.
The color scheme used in your emails should always revolve around the same color patterns. Likewise, once a user clicks on your call to action, the page on your website that he or she is brought to should be the same color scheme as your email. This consistency in color scheme builds brand identity and establishes a sense of trust and expectation over time.
Another great conversion tool is using customer reviews in the body of your email. The biggest hurdle for newer companies, such as the computer security company ‘Dashlane’, is establishing trust.
Dashlane recently conducted a study in which they emailed their users for reviews. Their targeted goal was to increase sales of their security product. In the beginning rounds the company focused on simply collecting as many reviews as possible.
Listed above is an example of Dashlane’s copy for their email campaign. Once the young company started collecting reviews, they began targeting their email campaigns out to those who had yet to complete the sales funnel.
By utilizing customer reviews, Dashlane was able to increase their clickthrough rate by 93%. As well, their paid ad landing pages jumped to a 14.5 conversion rate.
Step 4: A/B Test
Finally, another large part of email marketing is to A/B test. You need to run multiple email campaigns selling the exact same product or service that takes people to the same landing pages. Doing A/B tests allows you to see which copy attracts your consumers most.
A great example of an A/B test done successfully was Dell. The computer company recently switched out their email template.
Instead of having a navigation search bar at the top of their email copy, the company decided to test out an email that placed the navigation bar at the bottom.
Listed above is Dell’s prior version. The box highlighted in red was the company’s navigation box.
To change things up, Dell moved the navigation box to the bottom of the screen, as shown below:
The results of this study were fascinating. Dell found that by just moving the navigation menu to the bottom of the page, their overall click through rates and overall traffic to the website increased.
Overall, the basic components of a successful email campaign is to be clear, concise, and find a way that stands out from the typical marketer. In the case of Dell, eliminating the noise of your email allows for more customer centric, user friendly advertisements. Of course, no matter how successful your email campaigns are, there is always room for growth, which can be accomplished through A/B testing.
Let me know your thoughts below. What things have worked for you with your email marketing campaigns?