Email marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to reach a large audience in a manner that’s engaging and effective.
Emails are highly personal by nature and have a very good open rate compared with other forms of marketing. Many bloggers and marketing experts will tell you that email marketing is one of the most important ways to develop a relationship with an audience and eventually to generate sales – and it can be equally as useful for non-profit organizations too.
It’s a shame then that many campaigners don’t make better use of email marketing, and that it is less well-understood than other options such as search engine optimization or social media. Read on, then, for ten powerful tips that will help you increase the impact of your email marketing.
1. Provide value
The single most important tip for internet marketing success is to ensure you are providing value of some kind in every single message. If a subscriber opens one of your messages and feels that it was a waste of their time, then what are the chances they’ll open the next one that shows up in their inbox from you? They might simply unsubscribe then and there.
2. Find ways to stand out
Before you can provide value, your recipients first need to actually open the messages you’re sending them. To do that, you need a subject heading that is going to stand out and get attention. Write your subject lines as though you’re speaking directly to your subscribers, and consider including questions that will get them curious. For instance, if you’re trying to recruit volunteers, consider asking, “How can you help _______ ?” This will automatically click with those who want to pitch in.
3. But don’t be manipulative
That said, you should also avoid cheap tricks when trying to get people to open your messages. If a reader feels they’ve been duped into opening a message, they’ll likely be incensed and this will probably lead to a lot of people unsubscribing. You don’t want to be written off as “clickbait.”
4. Avoid the spam folders
If your email doesn’t get seen, then it’s not going to get opened. Make sure you research how to avoid the spam folders, which normally means avoiding attachments, staying away from certain words and keeping messages below a certain length.
5. Get into the ‘primary’ inbox
Even better is to try and ensure your emails end up in the primary inbox. The best way to do that is simply to ask your recipients to move your messages there. Of course, you need to have built up a certain amount of trust before they’re likely to agree.
6. Encourage sharing
While you’re asking for favors, consider asking your readers to forward your messages on to others who might find them interesting. From there, make sure that it’s easy for new readers to sign up if they like what they see. This way, you can encourage the organic growth of your subscriber list without spending money on advertising.
7. Provide an incentive for signing up
When it comes to building your list in the first place, you need to ensure that you give visitors a good reason to sign up. This could be a free ebook, free whitepaper or even entry into a competition.
8 …But don’t make it too compelling
While it might sound counterintuitive, try to avoid incentives that are too compelling. Why? Because these encourage people to sign up for the freebie alone, even if they aren’t interested in what you’re writing. This can result in a low-quality mailing list that won’t actually open your subsequent messages. Make sure that your incentive targets those who will become quality subscribers.
9. Aim for quality not quantity
This one of the most important messages to take home: a small mailing list filled with highly engaged, active subscribers is by far preferable to a massive mailing list filled with contacts that have no interest in your messages. Quality always trumps quantity, so make sure you don’t stoop to tactics like buying emails and always ensure that your list has been carefully targeted based on demographics and interests.
10. Iterate and reiterate
Finally, make sure that you are constantly tweaking the variables and testing different strategies to see what works best. Do long emails or shorter emails work best for your audience? What types of subject headings get the best responses? By constantly testing small changes, you can eventually grow and evolve your campaign into something highly efficient and impactful.