If you’re a business owner looking to grow your brand, you probably have questions about why you should be using email marketing.
That’s a good place to be! Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience while still being cost-effective.
It’s a medium with a low cost of entry, allows you to reach a lot of people quickly, and produces some of the highest return on investment.
Don’t believe us? Check out some quick facts about email marketing.
- Email allows you to reach 85% of Internet users in the US. That’s a higher % than search engines or social media! 99% of those with email also check their email daily.
- Email marketing is cost-effective. One study, jointly conducted by Shop.org and Forrester Research, found that over 80% of US retailers considered email marketing one of the most cost-effective ways of acquiring a new customer.
- Email marketing drives sales. With email campaigns, you’re able to slowly guide leads through the sales cycle and nudge them towards a purchase by offering new information at every step. You can’t do that as cost-effectively or seamlessly with ads or SEO. Plus, since most users check their inbox multiple times in a week or month, you can still drive sales after the fact, even if they aren’t ready to convert RIGHT now.
- Email marketing can be adjusted for seasonality. You can’t rewrite your website or create a new video ad for every new holiday. It’s just not feasible for most small businesses. However, sending out holiday promotions or seasonal sales via email is simple. Businesses are able to quickly adjust their email campaigns to stay timely for their audiences, often in ways that just can’t be done through other mediums.
While all of that is great, how do you optimize your email marketing campaigns? Email marketing might not be rocket science, but there is a lot of research, finesses, trial-and-error, and technical skill that goes into every successful email campaign.
To better help you grow your brand, the JSL Marketing & Web Design team has compiled a list of email marketing tips to help you refine your email marketing campaigns and process. Drive qualified traffic to your business with these six email marketing best practices!
Our Email Marketing Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices
Before we run through our best email marketing practices, let’s define some common email marketing terminology to help you speak “Email Marketing” like a pro!
- Email Body or Copy: the text and verbiage contained within the email.
- Subject Line: the title that previews the subject of an email in the end user’s inbox.
- Open Rate: the % of recipients who open the email. For instance, if a company sends out 10,000 emails with their monthly newsletter and 4,000 are opened, the open-rate of their email newsletter would be 40%. Anything above 30-35% would be considered a great success for an open rate.
- Click-Through -Rate: The % of recipients who click an email. To use the previous example, if 500 people click the email, out of 10,000 sent, then the email has a 5% open rate. Anything above 2-3% would be considered a success for a click-through-rate.
Now that you’re an expert in email marketing terminology, let’s run through JSL Marketing & Web Design’s top email marketing tips and practices.
1. A/B Test Your Emails
Let’s say you’re the owners of Ristorante Dulce, a fictitious Italian restaurant in Dallas, TX. You’re about to send out an email newsletter to your contact list but are torn about what subject line you should use. Should you recap the wine tasting you had last week or highlight the month’s appetizer special? Send out two emails with two subject lines to A/B test those subject lines and see what resonates best with your audience!
And you can use this technique with multiple aspects of an email, not just subject lines. You can A/B or even A/B/C test everything from imagery and promotions included, to email body text and more to help determine what is most impactful for your readers.
It’s important to remember to use A/B tests, often called ‘a split test’, over the course of a long period of time before making data-driven conclusions. Don’t send out only one A/B test and then make huge changes to your email marketing based on the results of one email. To really harness the learnings of your tests, conduct multiple runs over a longer time period to see if one version really is dominant. After all, it’s easy for data to be skewed with only a small number of tests and recipients. In our Ristorante Dulce example, the owners learn over the course of six months that subject lines about specials result in higher open rates and click-through-rates.
2. Keep Your Emails Succinct:
There’s a time and a place for long-form content and content marketing, but it’s not in an email. Your users will only spend so much time reading your emails before they decide if they want to take action. Don’t write the next great American novel; write a short, but punchy email that captivates and communicates in 300 words or less. We’d recommend that most emails be kept to 150-200 words for best results, with a clear call to action near the end of the email.
3. Build Your Email Subscriber List:
This one goes without saying. The more people you have on your contact list, the better. You can ask for these email addresses on your website, on intake paperwork, or in person with clients. However, while it is important to grow your email marketing list, there is one important caveat…
4. Target Different People on Different Email Lists:
Don’t just gather every email you can and then send out spammy emails to that entire list. Remember, the goal of email marketing isn’t to send out emails for the sake of sending out emails; it’s to communicate with a qualified audience. Make sure that you’re growing your list with the addition of QUALIFIED leads.
In that same vein, your customer base is probably pretty diverse. Don’t use cookie-cutter emails to speak to everyone on your list. Target the different segments within that list with different promotions, imagery, and copy for best results. The owners of Ristorante Dulce, for instance, could create a list for “Wine Enthusiasts “to alert them of changes in the restaurant’s cellars and “Wine of the Month Club” while also sending out the monthly newsletter to the entire list.
5. Use Branded Imagery & Videos in Your Email Body
The verbiage you use in your email copy is critical. However, don’t spend hours perfecting every word and then forget to include a high-quality, high-resolution image or video that will catch your reader’s attention. For bonus points, make sure that you include an image that shows off your branding. Even better, include a video. Emails with video have a 19 % higher open rate and a 65% higher click-through- rate, according to Campaign Monitor.
6. Use Email Automation For the Little Things
While there will always be set up work and fine-tuning involved, email marketing can be automated. For instance, let’s say a jewelry store has an e-commerce option on their website. By enabling an automated email campaign that automatically sends out promotions every month, they can grow their business without investing a ton of work! Automated email campaigns can also be staggered so that different users receive different emails at different stages. For instance, let’s say 70% of people do not open the initial email. This jewelry store can set up their campaign to resend the initial email of the campaign with a different subject line to JUST those who didn’t open.
Of course, this requires constant monitoring and adjusting on the backend to ensure the campaign is firing. The right automated email campaign can’t just be set and forgotten. However, it can streamline manual work and allow your business to constantly draw users closer to purchase with less effort. At JSL Marketing & Web Design we’d much rather focus on strategy over “busy work” and automated email campaigns are a great way to live that philosophy.
Award-Winning Email Marketing Services
If you have any further questions about how to use email marketing to reach your customers, never fear! Our team is on standby to answer your questions. We’ve been growing businesses with our award-winning digital marketing services for years and would love to do the same for you. Call us at 877-514-0276 to discuss further.