A lot of work goes into your email marketing, so you want to make sure you get a return on effort (and investment) by having it reach as many of your prospects as possible. But think about your own inbox – how many emails do you get a day? How many do you delete without even opening?
When you think about how little you spend considering each message in your inbox, it’ll give you a good idea of just how little time and opportunity you have to catch your audience’s attention.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t bother. There are 3.9 billion email users worldwide – and 59% of them say marketing emails influence their buying decisions.
That’s pretty good odds, especially because email is one of the cheapest marketing options and delivers arguably the best ROI. Get your email marketing right and there’s no limit to the size of the audiences you can reach – or the customers you can create.
So, how do you actually capture the attention of these people and make sure all your marketing work pays off? And once you’ve got that valuable click, how do you get them to engage with your content and take that next step?
Here are five email marketing best practice tips that can help you when it comes to planning, writing, and sending your marketing emails.
5 things you can do right now to improve your email marketing
1. Subject lines matter
Email marketing has always been popular but has, unsurprisingly, increased over the last 12 months (thanks, COVID). This means more competition.
The first step to even getting eyeballs on your content is the subject line. You’re likely to be competing for attention with dozens, if not hundreds of other emails a day. A great subject line can make all the difference. Confusingly though, the idea of what a ‘great’ subject line looks like is highly debated, and a trip to Google can actually leave you more confused. While there are lots of tips out there, we maintain the ones to keep in mind are:
- Short and sharp – clarity always wins over creativity
- Create urgency when you want readers to take action
- Don’t give it all away straight up – curiosity gets clicks
- Avoid spam words and triggers (here’s a list)
But one of the most important things you can do is make sure your subject line relevant to your audience, even customising them to each recipient. Which leads us to the next, incredibly important tip….
2. Personalise where possible
Some email automation lets you personalise your subject line, which is a nice touch (in the right situations). But customisation should also feature in the body of your email. The more personal you can get, the better. Segmenting your list based on similar traits (maybe role, industry, previous purchases) makes it easier to personalise while still benefiting from the efficiency of automation.
Even if you don’t have the ability to segment you can still customise emails with merge tags, identifying the person’s name or company. This makes them feel like it’s more than just a cold email. It speaks to them and their needs on a more personal level. The more you customise your content for your audience, the more valuable it is to them.
3. Get rhythmic
I’m not sure about you, but some sites I’m subscribed to send me emails multiple times a day. The more emails I get, the less I want to buy and the more likely I am to hit delete straight away – or simply unsubscribe.
On the other hand, have you ever got an email from a person or company you don’t even remember interacting with? You’re almost certainly going to disregard it.
Somewhere in the middle of these is the sweet spot – your rhythm. Making sure you keep in touch with your audience, but you don’t overload them. Studies show it can be great to pick a rhythm (something that’s worked well for you and your audience) and stick to it – and we mean really stick to it. Send out your comms around the same time on the same day every week or month. This way your audience actually comes to expect the email – and maybe even look forward to it!
Here’s a quick read about finding the right rhythm for your buyers.
4. Go mobile
These days we’ve got everything we can need in the palm of our hand. And while a lot of us still envision people sitting down at a desk to read their emails, the reality is that nearly half of recipients are reading them on their phone. In B2B in particular, there are a lot of roles that are always on the move and rely on their phone for absolutely everything (think construction, warehousing, distribution).
It’s worth making sure your emails are optimised for mobile access. Doing so is not only good practice, but is a great way to ensure your subject lines and content are short, super clear and prioritise all the important information – less text shows on a phone screen, so you want to give them something to scroll for.
5. Use the tech
Data insights + automation = email marketing gold. There is (almost) no limit to the things we can use technology for today, and it’s no different when it comes to emails. Your email platform and your CRM are always collecting data, so it makes sense to use it.
We’ve already spoken about segmentation – if you want to do it, this is where you’ll get your insights from. Find out who people are and what they want, and use it better market to them.
Use automation to set up email flows to really hammer home these messages – cross-selling, upselling, buying reminders and back in stock announcements can be created and sent with minimal effort for maximum return. Use what you’ve got.
The number one tip: Make your own rules
Google the best day to send an email, and it will mostly tell you that most studies point to Tuesday. So, you send your emails on Tuesday. But guess what? Everyone else is following the same advice – and your email gets lost in the crowd.
While there’s plenty of advice out there about subject line and email length, send time and day, CTAs, and every other aspect of marketing emails, to find out what works best you should simply test it.
Want to know what sort of subject lines work for your audience? Run an A/B test. The five tips we’re mentioned here will hold true across most business, industries, and audiences. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty details of what’s best for your audience – only your audience can tell you that.
Not sure where to start? Email marketing takes time, effort and a bit of know-how. align.me has a team of digital marketing with expertise across content, data, automation and more. Click here to talk to us about improving your email marketing.