Some may believe email has become an outdated form of marketing, in light of social media. However, according to a study by SocialTwist, which monitored over 100 referral campaigns by leading brands and companies over an 18-month period, 50.8 percent of new customers has been reached through email, followed by Twitter with 26.8 percent and Facebook with 22 percent. A gap that wide, makes it clear that email is still an incredibly effective form of marketing that you and your small business should take advantage of immediately. Here are a few tips to increase your open-rate and click-through rate (CTR):
- Be exciting: The first thing everyone sees when they receive your email is the subject line. It doesn’t matter if the inside of your email includes the key to world peace, if your subject line doesn’t catch the eye of your reader, your email will get lost in the jumble of his inbox. For years, the go-to subject line length was generally between 60-70 characters. However, a study conducted by Adestra, tracking over 900 million emails, showed evidence that there was no increase in open rates or CTR with the 60-to-70 character rule. Conversely, Adestra’s study actually showed that subject lines fewer than 10 characters had an open rate of 58%. Whether your email’s subject line falls under or above the classic 60-to-70 subject line, focus more on writing something intriguing and informative, rather than structured.
- Get personal: Customer’s like when their emails are clearly personalized. However, personalization can backfire if done incorrectly. “Dear so and so” might seem like an easy way to make emails more personal, but it could come off to a reader as a bit presumptive. You haven’t established a relationship with this customer, so he might feel wary of a business that quickly jumps to using his name. Furthermore, calling someone by a different name in an email is practically a sure fire way to get him to hit the unsubscribe button.
- Personalization should appear within the body of the email. You can personalize these emails using a customer’s previous purchases, links he’s clicked or demographics. Individualization on this level makes a customer feel unique and presents them with material they are most likely to be interested in, leading to a higher CTR.
- Most marketing emails are written in third person, so set yourself apart by putting your own signature at the end. Use words like, “We,” “Us” and even “I,” to create an intimate relationship with your customer. This shows that you stand behind your company and its cause, increasing your credibility.
- Format strategically: Content is the most important part of your email, however, formatting plays a key role in whether or not a customer will feel compelled to engage with your email and therefore, company. Make sure your email isn’t too cluttered with links, images, texts, or buttons. The majority of successful marketing emails are fairly simple. If questioning whether a part of your email is essential, chances are you should cut it. (Remember: KISS).
- Although you want to make sure you cut out all the clutter in your email, it’s still necessary that you make it interesting to look at. Add images or bolded texts to break up the content and help make it simpler for your audience to identify the important parts.
- Be consistent: If you promise to send out a daily newsletter, you cannot send out a weekly newsletter. Likewise, if you promise subscribers a weekly newsletter, you shouldn’t spam them on a daily basis. You should always tell people what they are signing up for right away in order to alert them about the frequency of your newsletter. This avoids later conflicts and keeps your carefully crafted emails out of the trash. However, if you promise a daily newsletter and your soon find you don’t have enough material each day to put together a well-balanced email, don’t push it. Quality is always better than quality, so if you have to scale back your email campaigns, adjust your newsletter sign-up accordingly.
As with all marketing, there is not an exact science to email marketing. Therefore, it’s important that you test, test, test. Find out what your audience does and doesn’t want to be alerted about. Find out when the majority of your audience opens their emails to increase your open-rate. Find out what trigger words and links your audience shows greatest response to in order to increase CTR. Start experimenting with your email marketing today and watch your small business profit tomorrow!
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