Email marketing takes some trial and error and a fair bit of organization is required in order to make it work. It’s a good idea to have an editorial calendar in place so you can set out a production schedule with deadlines that will allow you to maximize your promotional opportunities for the entire year. And database management is an important part of the process as well.
Here are some other tips for maximizing your success rate with email marketing
- Use straightforward subject lines that simply state what recipients can expect to find inside the email.
- Make sure your company name appears in the “From” and subject line fields of the email so that people will know right away who is sending it – people are less likely to complain of abuse if they recognize the sender’s name.
- Use undramatic language in your email overall and avoid ALL CAPS, dollar signs, and excessive use of exclamation marks—these can trigger spam filters to close the door on your email.
- Make sure your email messaging is consistent with what you’re using in your other marketing efforts.
- Include links back to your website, in particular to pages where recipients have a chance to take action – order a free download, purchase something, watch a promotional video, etc.
- Test to see which days of the week and times of day net you a better response rate. Do you tend to get a higher open rate when you schedule the email for Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. or Friday afternoons at noon a better bet?
- People’s email addresses change, and you can expect that there will be some bounces every time you send a mass email. Keeping in touch regularly gives people a chance to manage their subscription preferences and update their email addresses with you, if they want to keep receiving your emails.
Email Marketing: A Word About Permission
This is a fairly intense topic and I’ve seen a lot of discussions online about it. And I’ve seen a lot of abuse. No matter what country you call home, and what the laws on the topic there are, you are best served by making sure you have people’s permission to send them email. If you don’t have this permission, they might mark your message as “spam”—which translates roughly as unsolicited commercial email. If that happens, your email accounts could be closed and your website suspended. In Canada, you are also breaking a federal law, the penalty for which could be financially crippling.
What’s more, sales works best when there is a relationship involved between the buyer and the seller and that relationship requires a high degree of trust. Do you trust people who do things (like draft you onto their email list) behind your back?
In Canada our laws require a double opt-in process, which means people have to tick a box that says “add me to your email list” and, when they receive an email from you to confirm that they want to be on your email list, they have to click on the appropriate link in that email. And you have to be able to prove that they themselves opted in to your list.
Email marketing is a great way to generate greater brand recognition for your company and it gives your customers and potential customers a consistent opportunity to connect with you. It takes time, energy, organization and a little trial and error to get the maximum benefits from an email marketing program. But the upside can be well worth the effort.
Would you like more information about how my team and I can help your organization implement an email marketing program? Please get in touch!