Email Marketing continues to be an important part of the marketing mix because it’s valuable in so many ways. When used alongside other social media and content marketing it can not only bring new business, but also help build brand trust and loyalty.

But let’s be realistic, it’s not as simple as writing an email and sending it. People’s inboxes are getting fuller and you need to compete for attention and stand out if you want to avoid being ignored or worse still, going straight to the bin or trash folder. You need to spend some time planning your campaigns if they are to be successful.

Here are our top tips of Do’s and Don’ts

1. Do: Make it easy to subscribe and grow your list
The success of your campaigns is dependent on the quality of your list. Collect data whenever you can and make the sign up process simple. Put a sign up on your website or blog. If a bricks and mortar store give customers the opportunity to sign up in store.

Don’t: Sign people up without their knowledge or permission.
Meeting someone and being given their business card should not be treated as a request to sign up for your newsletter. If you’re running an event and attendees confirm they wish to be kept up to date with your news, then that’s OK.

2. Do: Craft your subject line carefully
You don’t get much chance to grab someone’s attention, Take time to think out your subject lines – you may need to get a little more creative. Consider also whether a snippet of your email will show in addition to the title.

Don’t: Use a headline that’s not relevant to the content thinking it’s a quick way to improve your open rate. It’s a sure fire way to lose subscribers and will generate mistrust.

3. Do: Give your readers the content they want
Think about your customers and what they want to read. What are their questions, problems or issues – give them the answers. Allow your customers to segment themselves or do it for them by using lists. This way you only send what’s relevant to them making sure you send the right messages to the right people at the right time.

Don’t: Send your email without testing it
Make sure your emails look good and are readable on all devices. In addition test your links. There’s nothing worse than someone being interested enough to click on the link only to find it’s broken!

4. Do: Use visuals and graphics to make your content interesting
Statistics show that people respond well to visual messages in content. Make sure you use them wisely. A good email should use images to reinforce your brand or message.

Don’t: Overdo it
Use the right type of graphic so it doesn’t impact on your load times or visibility. Static images, colourful text or animated gifs work well. Flash animation, large file images or simply too many images can be off putting.

5. Do: Make your unsubscribe process clear and simple
This tells your readers you respect their choices and that you value them. Show your commitment to keeping up the quality and integrity of your mailings by clearly showing readers where they can unsubscribe.

Don’t: Get upset if people unsubscribe
If you are managing your email list effectively you are already taking steps to avoid unsubscribes, but it will happen. There are many genuine reasons why someone could unsubscribe. Job changes, personal circumstance or subscription clean ups are all possible.

6. Do: Have a plan and schedule for sending emails
Your emails need to be sent regularly if you want to keep your readers interested. How regularly will depend on your research, business or industry. Weekly offers and coupons may be relevant for some whereas a business monthly update will be better for others.

Don’t: Condense scheduled emails into shorter time slots
If you’ve missed your regular or planned mailing for a week / month or two, don’t be tempted to try and catch up by sending multiple emails in quick succession. You’re more likely to put people off and may even prompt unsubscribes.

Around 10% of business sales are achieved from email marketing so it’s important to take the time to get yours right.

Image Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

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