Creating an effective email campaign means you’ve got to get it through the spam filter, found amongst the deluge, clicked on to be opened, then clicked through to conversion. And that’s if you’re sending it to the right people on a good list.
What are the key things that need to be in place for these stars to be aligned? Read on.
1: Win at Opt-in
Keeping a clean list is good business. This means making sure that those who are on your list really want to be.
When someone opts-in, send a follow up requiring them to do it again. This makes sure they haven’t accidentally opted-in and lets them know what they can expect in terms of general content and frequency.
Make it easy to contact you on email, phone and socials, and make it super simple to unsubscribe with one click from a link in every email.
2: Consider the Subject Line the most important part of the email
It’s easy to think that the contents of the email are most important. But they must see it first. And that comes down to the Subject Line.
Great subject lines are descriptive of what they can expect, and personal for the extra connection to your recipient. Top tips include:
- Be personal: use your merge tags for the subject line to catch the eye
- Be descriptive: focus on the benefits of your promotion
- Be aware of length: think about mobile users, shorter might be better
- Be non-spammy sounding: spam filters look for excessive capitalisation, exclamation points and gimmicky sales words, anything like infomercial-speak.
- Be a split tester: this will tell you what content resonates with your specific list.
3: Split test Subject Lines to maximise your campaign success
A/B testing is critical to understand what your list likes and doesn’t like. Tiny changes can have a big impact on performance, so initiating the A/B split test will send multiple versions of your email with different subject lines to random parts of your list.
A marketing automation platform such as Traction will then show you which version got the highest open rate to help teach you what your list likes.
4: Send a Test Email, then send another one, just to be sure
You have a Test Send functionality. Good marketers use it. Bad marketers have regrets.
Before you even do this, preview the email so you can see how it will look on mobile, tablet and desktop. This should inform you of any major changes that are glaringly obvious.
The Test email is often overlooked. Especially if you’ve already read through it several times during the creation and approval process.
Here’s a tip: No one has ever said “I’m so glad I didn’t bother wasting that extra 60 seconds sending a test email.”
Treat the test as your last look. Read it aloud, get someone else to go over it. You’re looking for:
- bad links
- merge tags
- image display
- wrong information
5: Have a clear call to action in EVERY email
Each email should have a point, something to do, a call to action. This doesn’t mean that every email should be salesy. Confused? It’s tricky.
Depending on the frequency of your emails, you should strive to strike a balance between selling new promotions, and providing engaging content (informative, educational, entertaining).
This applies to service businesses as much as product businesses. Even if all you do is sell stuff, your email should offer more than just stuff to buy because your list won’t buy everyday. But they might engage with your content if it’s relevant. That creates loyalty and a predisposition to buy when the time or items are right. If all you ever do is offer a range of products day after day, your audience will skim and occasionally stop to consider if they really need that spur of the moment item.
But if they genuinely enjoy the regular emails even if you’re not selling things they’re offering at the time, they can still be valuable when the time is right – either when the product suits, or even forwarding it to a friend they might think would enjoy the sale item.
That won’t happen if the daily routine you establish is a listing of new gear, and their habit is to skim and see what you’ve got. That’s not an engaged audience, that’s a fleeting audience with no loyalty that eventually moves on to the next thing.
So what’s a good CTA if you’re not selling? Link to another blog or video, sign up to a mailing list, mark a date in their diary.
Good CTAs are often posed as an active question: Isn’t it time you did X instead of Y.
Clarify your real numbers. Send an email to your list to check they want to keep receiving stuff from you. Let them know you’ve got an amazing calendar of cool stuff coming up exclusively for subscribers and that you want to make sure they’re still interested. Then actually create a cool calendar of content and exclusive offers. This is your Winning at Opt-in strategy.
Yes, it’s risky, but the ones you lose weren’t engaged, and it gives you a good gauge of the real numbers you’re talking to. If nothing else, it might inform you that your next campaign needs to be a targeted email list building campaign.
Next: Spend time crafting your subject lines. Write and rewrite and crystalise the best way to represent what you’re sending. Then split test your subject lines. Build these crucial factors into your production process.
Clarify a single call to action for each email. Don’t make an email about too many things. One email, one theme, one CTA.
Notice what people respond to and give them more.
If you want to know more about boosting sales with email, check out our blog 4 email tips to boost sales after the holidays.