If you’re like me, you receive loads of emails every day. Sometimes, over 100 in a single day. Most of them I delete without reading them. Particularly, unsolicited emails that I never signed up for. Because of this, email marketing can be a challenge. Any effective email marketing campaign will not look to spam the recipient. So, the emails I did not sign up for will remain unopened or continue to be deleted.
You need to make your emails stand out against the enormous bundle of emails that land in your contacts’ inboxes every day. If you struggle with increasing your open rates, generating leads, and converting customers using email, this article is for you.
Here are the 41 effective email marketing tips that will help you stand out against the competition and grow.
1. Find a marketing automation solution with an intuitive email builder
There are various marketing automation solutions out there, but many are clunky and challenging to navigate and use properly. Be sure to select an MA solution that has an easy to use, drag and drop email builder. Having that will allow even the most non-tech-savvy user to create professional looking emails in a flash.
2. Leverage built-in email templates
Your MA solution should come with built-in email templates that let you send an email quickly and effectively if you’re in a pinch. You can always adapt them to meet your needs if you know a little coding. If not, you can use them straight out of the box.
3. Create custom templates and add your branding
Built-in templates are great when you’re getting started. But to ensure and leverage your effective email marketing efforts to the next level, you will need your branding front and center. Create custom email templates that use your company’s brand style guidelines to increase brand awareness among your constituents.
4. Collect as much lead data as possible
The more information you collect about your customers and prospects, the better. Doing so lets you segment contacts and send targeted, personalized emails that speak to their specific pain points and align with their demographic.
5. Segment your contacts
You can segment your customers and prospects into groups with similar traits with all that data you collect. Segment by buying behavior. Or segment by demographic data such as industry, job title, level of seniority, etc. This is primary for effective email marketing.
6. Personalize your emails
Again, with all that data at your disposal, you can send targeted, personalized emails to your audience. Instead of sending a blanket email about your product to all your prospects, send one to only those in the construction industry in Florida (for example). You will engage your audience a great deal more if you can speak to the specific pain points of a segmented target audience.
7. Send an email newsletter
Email newsletters allow you to subtly market yourself via the distribution of helpful, educational information. Let people know what’s new and great about your company. You can find free email newsletter templates all over the internet. Keep your contacts informed and keep your brand front of mind with email newsletters.
8. Align email marketing with social media
When you send marketing emails to deliver new content, special offers, or anything else worth sending, make sure to share it on social media as well. Aligning what you push out on social media with your email marketing expands the reach of your content and message.
9. Use an email welcome series
When a new customer signs up, or a prospect signs up for a free trial, use system triggers to automatically send them a series of welcome emails. The following sequence works well:
- Welcome them into the fold and provide contact info in case they want to reach you.
- Follow up a few days later with an email with some how-to guides to ensure they are successful using your product or service.
- A week later send them an email with valuable content (such as eBooks or white papers) that will help them solve common problems.
10. Include images
Images engage most people more than plain text. Including an image in your email is a great way to increase click-through rates. Just don’t overdo it. Limit it to one image per email. Otherwise, the email will look too busy, and it won’t be clear what the call to action (CTA) is.
11. Have a strong CTA
Make your CTA clear to the recipient. Always place it above the fold and use a colored CTA button that stands out, so there’s no confusion about where you want them to click. Here are some examples of killer CTAs.
12. Limit the links in your email to a minimum
Your CTA should be the centerpiece of your email. Avoid adding in various hyperlinks to your text, as it will only confuse the reader and risk them clicking away and neglecting your CTA.
13. Use email lead scoring
Use your MA system to score leads on how they react to your email marketing efforts. Score on opens, click-throughs, etc. And subtract scores for unsubscribes, spam complaints, and so on.
14. Send compelling subject lines
A compelling subject line will increase open rates considerably. Add an element of curiosity by asking a probing question about a problem your leads might have. Create a sense of intrigue. Hook them with a great subject line, and you’ll have their attention.
15. Use emojis in your subject lines
According to MediaPost, the use of emojis in email subject lines has skyrocketed over the last few years, increasing by 775% year-over-year. There is even now a World Emoji Day. Emojis help your subject lines stand out from the rest and increase open rates.
16. Leverage A/B testing
A/B testing can be your best friend. Use it to test different subject lines, email body copy, images, and more. A/B testing helps you hone in on the best options to generate maximum engagement. This is the only way to ensure effective email marketing practices.
17. Send autoresponders
Set up autoresponders in your marketing automation system. Use them to automatically send welcome messages to new subscribers, send new customers instructions to get their account set up, and more.
18. Incorporate email into multichannel campaigns
An integral part of email marketing is incorporating it into multichannel campaigns. Those are campaigns that push out information through various channels, such as email, social, SMS texting, video, and more.
19. Ensure mobile responsiveness
More and more people are reading emails on mobile devices these days. Be sure that the emails you send from your MA solution are mobile responsive to ensure the maximum number of people can easily read your email.
20. Keep your email list clean
Data integrity issues can be a plague in your email marketing efforts. Routinely clean your database by merging duplicates, removing unresponsive leads and those who have unsubscribed, and so on.
21. Ensure you’re complying with GDPR
And not just GDPR, but other privacy regulations as well. This is going to be a growing concern moving forward, so be sure you’re fully aware of what GDPR entails, and comply with it or risk gigantic fines. Effective email marketing strategies never cross the line, so please ensure that you are compliant with the laws of the land.
22. Include a plain text version
Many people have their inboxes set to reject HTML emails. So, always include a plain text version so that your email arrives in the inboxes of those that block HTML.
23. Set an acceptable cadence
Don’t bombard your audience. Send emails at acceptable time intervals. Every day is a no-no. Space them out, so you don’t annoy your readership. The cadence you select will depend on your audience and their needs.
24. Use email drip campaigns
Email drip campaigns consist of a series of emails that are pre-drafted, loaded into the system, and are sent at specified times, or sent based on actions taken by leads. Use them to send a welcome series to new customers, run nurture campaigns, and more.
25. Run nurturing campaigns
Speaking of lead nurturing, your MA system allows you to set up and run lead nurturing campaigns easily. These are essential if you want to convert more leads and grow your business. Learn more about running a successful lead nurturing campaign.
26. Determine the best time and day to send your emails
When is the best time of day to send an email? The truth is: there is no universally accepted best day or time. It all depends on your audience’s tendencies. Learn more about the best time to send an email.
27. Use storytelling in your emails to increase engagement
This is especially true if you’re running a nurture campaign. Weave storytelling into your emails to establish your brand personality and educate the reader over time about the value your company or product offers and how it can help them personally.
28. Make it easy to unsubscribe
This may seem counterintuitive, but you need to respect the privacy concerns of your contacts. Make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Otherwise, you’ll start getting spam complaints, which are way worse than unsubscribes.
29. Circle back with former customers
Did a customer leave you for a competitor? Check back in with them six months or a year later to see how their new product or service is working out. If they are having issues, you may be able to win them back with an email that includes a special offer.
30. Send a secular holiday card
It’s a nice touch to send an email holiday card but make it secular. Don’t mention Jesus, Hanukkah, or anything else religious. Doing so will alienate some of your clients. So, use the language “happy holidays,” and you’ll be safe.
31. Use humor when appropriate
Depending on your audience, humor may be appropriate at times. When that’s the case, use it! It will be a bright spot in your customer’s day, and they’ll appreciate it.
32. Use videos in your emails
People love video content and want to see more of it in their emails. Including videos in your emails is a great email marketing strategy. It increases engagement and leads to more conversions.
33. Limit email sends to those who have opted in
Make it easy to opt into your email list. Put opt-in boxes all over your website and on your blog. Also, link to an opt-in form on your social media profile. People hate receiving unsolicited emails, so limit sends to those who want to hear from you.
34. Don’t buy email lists
As tempting as it is to buy a list to grow your email marketing database, don’t do it! Bought lists can be full of bad or outdated data. Plus, you’ll be emailing to people who don’t know your company and probably don’t want to receive your email. Any effective email marketing campaign should look to enhance customer experience.
If you send to bought lists, you’ll likely see loads of unsubscribes and spam reports. Instead, invest that money in offering discounts or other offers to your website visitors in exchange for signing up/opting in.
35. Keep your email copy short, concise, and punchy
Long-form text emails make me yawn. What about you? To avoid this, make your email copy short, concise, direct, and punchy. Use bulleted lists so your email can be quickly and easily digested. In the fast-paced digital world of today, nobody has the time or desire to read a 500-word email.
36. Always send a test email and check it on all devices
Your MA solution should let you send yourself a test email before you hit send to all your contacts. Do this every time and check it on all devices to ensure that it renders properly on whatever device your customers and prospects use.
37. Be honest and don’t mislead with exaggerated offers
Be ethical about what you say in your emails. If you offer the moon but deliver a cold pizza, people will be frustrated. You’ll lose credibility, which will hurt your brand reputation over the long run.
38. Always offer valuable content
If your email marketing campaign incorporates the distribution of content, be sure to offer valuable content that solves problems for your readers and educates them on emerging trends. Sending low-value content will likely increase your unsubscribe rate.
39. Keep sales in the loop
When executing an email marketing campaign, or just sending a one-off email, be sure to alert sales. Let them know when marketing emails go out, so they are aware of what potential customers are reading and learning about. This will help them connect better with prospects and close more deals.
40. Review and proofread multiple times before sending
Nothing screams amateur more than a prospect or customer reading a typo in your content. It detracts from your credibility and could be enough to dissuade prospects from purchasing your offering. So be sure to review, proofread, and review again before sending to make sure your email is clean and error-free.
41. Measure your efforts
With powerful email tracking capabilities, you can measure email open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounces, spam complaints, and more. Doing so provides insight into what is producing results, and what needs work. Plus, it allows you to make data-driven decisions about how to move your email marketing efforts forward.
Email marketing remains the bedrock of a solid digital marketing presence. But don’t rely solely on email marketing. Incorporate it into multichannel campaigns that are sure to reach your customers and prospects on the channel they look to most for information.
Do that and use the tips provided above, and you’ll be able to establish an effective email marketing presence that will generate more leads, convert more prospects into customers, and help you grow your business at a faster rate.
Do you have additional tips or email marketing benefits that you have experienced in your campaigns? Tell us about it in the comments section below!