Email Marketing Top Tips
Email is an extremely powerful marketing tool, but only if you build and maintain your database correctly.
The value of your customers’ data depends on what you collect and how you use it to develop your relationship with them.
Read on to find out more.
Why Use Email Marketing?
Email is an incredibly useful marketing strategy – providing you use it correctly. It allows you to target customers accurately, so you can really focus on delivering certain messages to specific groups.
However, researchers have found that humans have an attention span of around eight seconds, a second fewer than a goldfish! So, how can you make sure you are:
- Sending to the right people
- Gaining your recipients’ attention?
Managing Your Database
For an efficient email marketing campaign, you should ideally have a database that is the following:
Relevant / Up-to-date
There’s no point in having a vast list of customer data if the users have no interest in your business. This runs the risk of your emails being ignored, or even worse, marked as spam.
You should also be wary of distribution emails and decide whether you want to avoid general email addresses. Remove any email addresses that contain the word ‘spam’ to give your content the best possible chance of reaching an end user.
A purchased email list may not be the best method to maximise your return on investment (ROI), but it is a quick way to get large data lists.
You need to maintain your database to make sure it is correct. Take the time to check users’ data, looking for any simple spelling mistakes such as firstname.lastname@example.org or bob!gmail.com.
If the data is incorrect, your emails risk bouncing – an email ‘bounce’ is where your email didn’t reach the intended recipient because the user’s email client returned it.
You should also take the time to understand the type of bounce you are experiencing. There are two main types:
- A hard bounce –This is where your email is rejected by the recipient’s email server. This is usually due to an incorrect email address or if a user blocks your email address.
- A soft bounce – A temporary problem, usually with the receiver’s email client server. If your recipients’ email inbox is full or their email server is temporarily down, this is usually a soft bounce.
By learning the difference between the two, you can keep your database as efficient as possible. Aim to remove email addresses that deliver hard bounce reports and consider removing repeat soft bounce addresses.
Top Tips for Growing Your Database
So, how do you gain more email subscribers? As with everything, there is no golden rule! Check out our top tips to give your database an upgrade:
Create Interesting Email Content
Content is king. Your emails should not only gain the interest of the reader but also maintain that interest to avoid the dreaded ‘unsubscribe.’
When creating newsletters for example, consider an eye-catching style and layout, with content that interests your users. Your aim is to create content that your audience will want to forward to their friends/family who may not be on your database.
And, think of your email’s subject line as your shop window. No matter how interesting your content may be, users won’t see it if they don’t open the email! Try to personalise if you can.
Use Email Sign Up Incentives
Sign up incentives can be competitions, email exclusive offers and discounts. You can then cross promote these competitions and offers using your social media channels. Consider whether this is right for your business first – but it can be an excellent tool for gaining user data.
If you provide interesting content with added benefits, you increase your chances of getting new subscribers and keeping your existing ones.
Your emails should contain sharing buttons for social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter. You can also include an attention-grabbing ‘email to a friend’ button – this is a quick and easy reminder to share your content.
If users want to share, they will promote your content for you (without realising it). Exposing your content to a new audience is a sure fire way of gaining new subscribers.
Try using a simple ‘subscribe’ CTA (call-to-action) on your emails, and make the sign up process as simple as possible. If new readers discover your content, an over complicated registration may put them off.
Include an Easy Opt Out Option
This is a bit of a tricky one! Ultimately, if a user wishes to opt out then you should make the process straightforward. This will develop trust from your users and prevent any negative brand reputation.
To prevent unsubscribes, you should always be honest with your users. Make it clear what they will receive during the sign up process, so they won’t be surprised later on. You should also make your anti-spam policy clear and reassure subscribers that you won’t share their personal data with others.