Get more people to open your marketing emails

When your marketing email lands in the recipient’s inbox, is it going to make their day? Let’s face it, your email is going up against a lot of tough competition like Nigerian princes promising untold riches, friends, family and their favorite brands. What’s going to make them open yours?

What makes email marketing so great

Used thoughtfully, email marketing can be used to build loyalty and trust in your brand. Build relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers by speaking directly to them, in their inbox, at a time convenient for them.

A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85% of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics. Here are just a few of the benefits of email marketing:

  • It’s cost-effective.
  • ROI is measurable, especially when using it to market immediate purchases, solve for shopping cart abandonment, and the like.
  • You retain control over your data.
  • No unpredictable or rising costs, unlike social media advertising.
  • You can test and optimize your results.

With all these benefits, and with little financial outlay, email marketing can be the “glue” that holds your multiple digital channels together.

What a successful email marketing strategy looks like

Your email marketing must cohere with your existing marketing strategy, goals and brand. Here are some ground rules:

  • Get the basics right: Good opt-in data, a clear and consistent voice, and branding.
  • Be engaging: Ensure your tone of voice has personality that speaks to your audience.
  • Target effectively: Use behavioral and demographic segmentation.
  • Time it right: Respond to your recipients’ behavior (such as abandoned shopping cart emails, etc.) and ensure you have the capacity to respond.
  • Test: And keep testing. Approach email marketing with a philosophy of continuous improvement. Email’s rapid feedback metrics are a results-driven marketer’s dream.
  • Optimize for mobile: The number of your customers who are opening emails from you on their mobile device grows every day.

Email is a flexible tool. But, like any marketing tool, it needs to be used within the context of your wider marketing strategy. We can show you how.

Before hitting “send”

You can’t go far wrong if you remember Seth Godin’s advice in his seminal 1999 marketing book “Permission Marketing” and understand that attention is something very valuable – and it has to be earned.

If you want to maximize the success of your marketing emails, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is the hero of this email? If it isn’t the recipient, it’s time for a rethink.
  • Get the offer right: Why are you emailing today? How are you going to surprise or delight your recipients?
  • Get the “from” line right: Which has the strongest brand promise – your name or your company’s name?
  • Get the subject line right: How will you stand out in the inbox? The words in your subject line have disproportionate importance – make them emotionally stirring.
  • Split test every email. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on valuable information and squandering the opportunity to improve the open rate of your next email.
  • Get the top line right: How does the text that appears in the preview pane reinforce the killer subject line you’ve just written?
  • Keep it simple: Is your message powerful enough to reach even those recipients who scan-read it?
  • Differentiate yourself with a memorable proposition: What makes you different?
  • Back up your claims: Include at least one piece of demonstrable data that makes your case. Does your reader know what to do next? Back up your oh-so-doable call to action with an emotive reason for doing it.
  • Double check: Is your email really adding value for everyone who opens it? How are you going to make their day?

Crafting email marketing is a skill. Maximizing engagement is hard – but with consideration, evaluation of what works, and the application of learning, it can be done.

Looking for inspiration? Check out Really Good Emails and filter by type of email, industry, and the like.

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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