Despite the ever growing popularity of Social Media and advertising through websites, email marketing remains the most engaging medium to this very day.
If you never took advantage of email marketing before or if you need inspiration for your next email newsletter strategy, check out the following 5 steps that will dramatically boost your next email campaign.
1#: Compelling Subject Titles.
How many emails do you receive on the regular that you never even open or move directly to the spam folder? Probably too many.
However, since you want to actually reach out to your potential email recipents, you have to make sure that your email is compelling – which starts with the subject line:
It has been proven that a sense of urgency in subject titles creates interest.
This is probably the case due to how we consume emails in general:
Most of the time, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of incoming mails. They might even distract you from being productive, which is something we discussed in a previous article about:
Therefore, we tend to promise ourself to review emails that are not that urgent later – which usually never happens.
That’s why a sense of urgency will motivate the recipient of your newsletter to open the message.
Did you know?
Generally, we could define our inbox as a neat organisation system of other peoples proposals, which is why your chances of being ignored are rather high – unless your subject line creates a sense of usefulness as well.
Your subject line will be successful in most cases if the potential reader feels that the information awaiting him will benefit his intentions.
Another important aspect that we need to consider is the level of intimacy:
What I mean by that is simple: Due to the distrust caused by all of these fishy emails we all receive regularly, it is important to identify yourself.
In my own experience, using your first name instead of your company name will work wonders.
People are much more likely to open the message this way, since they don’t feel like they are getting approached by a company that probably just wants to hard-sell their latest product.
Create a sense of intimacy but make your intensions clear as well.
Reading your email newsletter should feel like you are genuinely interested in giving away information about a specific topic.
Soft selling works much better in my own experience than hard selling when it comes to email marketing but it highly depends on your target audience.
2#: Images: Make Or Brake Your Success.
Another important aspect to decide, is whether you want to make use of images in your email newsletters or not.
Considering the amount of emails each and everyone of us receives on a regular basis, making use of graphics can definitely make your brand stand out more.
However, take into account that high quality graphics take up a lot of space and cause increasing loading times upon opening.
Depending on what images you use and where you place them, your newsletter might also appear cheesy or look like spam.
Moral of the story:
Be very cautious of graphics and images in case you plan to include them in your newsletter.
Always make sure that you optimize and compress image files in case you do want to use them and pay extra attention to the appearance of the images:
If they don’t add anything meaningful to your presentation, it’s often better to leave them out.
3#: Understand The Sales Cycle.
What I mean by that is simple:
Do you know the people that sign up for your newsletter?
More specifically: Do you know their interest and most importantly WHERE and WHY they signed up for you?
You might offer your newsletter through several sources.
Some may sign up upon browsing your website and feeling that you have valuable knowledge to share.
Others might sign up after buying one of your products,etc.
Depending on your individual situation, this list can be complex.
That’s why it is even more important to know where your email recipents are “coming from”.
You don’t want to sent out a service proposal to someone that signed up through your blog immediately.
This approach will make you appear pushy and your potential future customers will be scared away.
My advice would be to write at least 3 newsletters where you share information about a certain topic before you let them know about your services or products.
4#: Device Optimization
Personally, I receive many emails regularly that are clearly not optimized at all, especially when I view them on my phone.
Unfortunate text formatting, images that take up the whole screen or html code that was apparently copied from a template are just a few issues that I encounter regularly in emails.
While mistakes may happen, a lot of people simply forget about mobile optimization.
Did you know that people in the US already spend more media time on their mobile phone than their desktop? (July 2015)
As you can tell, proper media optimization for mobile devices such as smart phones as well as tablets, is essential if you want to run a successful
newsletter campaign in 2015.
In case you avoided this particular topic until yet and don’t know where to start optimizing your mobile presence, what follows now is a short list of online tools that can help you:
You probably heard of the name already if you don’t use it yet.
Mailchimp is an online email tool that helps you design better emails.
Furthermore, they give you important insight about your newsletter statistics such as bounce rate and many more.
One of the great features is their intuitive, easy to use design builder that will also help you with optimizing your newsletters for mobile devices.
Their service is free for up to 2.000 subscribers, which makes it the perfect solution for startups or new bloggers.
Alternatively, you can also get your hands dirty and create a stylesheet specifically for mobile users.
This method requires an understanding of HTML and CSS though.
A stylesheet will help you define certain key elements of your website such as width, height, text alignment or spacing.
If you feel confident enough to use this method, check out this extensive article about this topic.
5#: Call To Action.
Alright, you took care of all the important aspects of your email newsletter and feel ready to hit enter.
Did you define a Call To Action yet?
A Call To Action basically describes a method to motivate your audience to engage with your content.
You might want to ask why is this necessary?
Even if you convinced your newsletter recipents to open and read your email, chances are they will leave immediately as soon as they are finished.
In order to gain any return on investment regarding your email campaign, you need to let them know what you would like them to do.
In this case, you have several options available:
1. You could include your social media links such as Facebook or Twitter at the very bottom of your email.
2. If you were talking about a specific topic in your newsletter that you also covered in several of your blog posts, link your readers to those articles.
3. Are you also producing a podcast or additional media content on Youtube, Vimeo,etc? Link your readers to those sources and excite them about your latest episode.
A lot of people are still not aware of the potential of a newsletter campaign but the evidence is clear:
The increasing amount of media time spent on mobile devices is not a coincidence and will continue to grow in the future.
If you pay attention to the most important aspects mentioned above, it is more likely for you to be successful and I hope that this article motivates you to try it out.