Improve Email Marketing

“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale”. David Newman

With the onset of social media and other methods of communication, it would seem that email marketing is becoming redundant or at least considered ineffective and not contemporary. This is a huge mistake – statistics reveal that at 91% consumers check their email daily making it the top communication method still. Companies cannot afford to do away with communicating via emails but email marketing must be astute and well-defined. Everything contained in the email – content, length, graphics and even the subject line will determine how effective your email marketing will be. While email marketing is most definitely here to stay, this great medium will be of little use if the emails you send to customers never get opened. Statistics reveal some interesting facts – 33% people open their email simply based on the subject line and those that include social media sharing buttons have a 158% more click rate. An email being opened will guarantee that it will get read – so the opening rate of your email is a crucial measure in email marketing.

What are the methods used by your company to improve the ‘opening rate’ to ensure that the effort being put into email marketing is recognized and rewarded?

  • Ensure that your subject line ‘packs a punch’ and is able to clearly bring focus on what your email is to convey. Customers do not have time to imagine or figure out what your ‘creative’ subject line means. They should be able to derive value and understand the benefit they would receive from reading the email. If not, they would most certainly not open the email
  • Learn from the best practices already in play. Observe the kind of emails you open as a customer and focus on their subject lines. Figure out what gets you curious enough to open a mail and be influenced by the marketing attempts in the mail. Make a collection of such subject lines and then use the combination to create your own subject lines and give your email marketing efforts the impetus it needs.
  • Many marketers get carried away in their attempt to put forth the products. They forget that email marketing must be precise, clear and gripping. Before sending our communication, companies must ensure that the content is carefully read and re-read and any unnecessary and flowery language and words are removed. Produce the communication in a format that is easy on the eyes and flows smoothly allowing the reader to go from one point to the next with ease and interest. Do away with the ‘faff’. Use a dictionary to see which words can be replaced with more impactful ones that will get home the message and stay with the customer.
  • Figures and statistics play a key role too – use actual numbers (Top 10 works better than Top Ten) in the subject line. With customers being bombarded with so much information from all quarters, you need some ‘stunning’ numbers to stop them in their tracks and get on to reading your email. No point of email marketing if no one sits up and takes notice!
  • Convey urgency – a thrill through the subject line. People get enthused and curious to know what the ruckus is all about and human nature is such that it is satiated only when an answer appears. Use this to your advantage and create hype through the subject line to start with and then reach a crescendo through the contents of your mail but ensure that the content actually plays out the urgency created in the subject line else the next time customers will ignore such ‘urgent’ emails.
  • Use email marketing to create exclusivity. Let the customers know that it is only by engaging with the company through email for the current offer, can they avail it. Offer great deals to ensure that your customers know that you are serious about using email as a communication tool. Make it easy for the customers to respond and take action on the offers / deals in the communication. Allow them to be able to share the email via social media with the message that the offer is valid only via email subscription. This way your offer receives publicity and you also use email marketing to its optimum.
  • Personalize the content of your email as much as possible. Use the trusty method of customer segmentation depending on what works best for your target audience. Take into consideration various factors like demographics, age groups, location, past history of likes and preferences and other such key differentiators. For example younger customers would probably be more interested in fashion, music, career related information and related topics.
  • Ensure that those responsible for email marketing understand the strict correlation between the subject line and the summary of the email. This is basically the first sentence of the email that is visible when the email hits the inbox. This sentence must match the punch and excitement of the subject line adding to the interest the customer would have to open the email and read it in its entirety. The subject line and the first sentence must together make for an impactful value statement compelling the customer to take notice and ensuring that they react positively to the contents and also share it to others who they feel might be interested.
  • Email marketing allows a company about 2-3 seconds in which to capture the customer’s attention. Make it worth their while and avoid slangs and jargon. Spell out what the offering is all about and how it will benefit them and or their business and let them know of any special features of the offer. Customers need to understand and fully understand what the offer would mean for them, so ensure that the contents are customized and personalized to have the appropriate impact.
  • Connect the contents of your email directly to your website. Make it possible for the customer to be directed to your website where they get a clearer picture of what your company is all about and the other offers and products that you have. This must be easy for the customer to navigate – they will not make the effort to search and your email will miss the chance of having the impact it was meant to even if the offer is really good and beneficial for them and you.

Email marketing can be a highly potent means of getting customer attention but must be used judiciously. This means that you refrain from bombarding your customers with information and also sending them mails daily – this tends to irritate customers – I know this from experience – as a customer I have unsubscribed from many an offer because they were sticky and emails were coming regardless of whether the offers were suitable to me or not.

Use your emails as suggestions, ending them with an element of surprise and in a way that leaves your customers asking for more and eagerly awaiting the next email from you. By increasing the interest, you are furthering the chances of your email getting opened and read, thereby deriving optimum use of your email marketing endeavour. Emails offer a huge scope and business opportunities as discussed at the beginning of this write up – don’t waste it.

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