The world of marketing is changing faster than ever. Every day, new tools and technologies emerge. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an explosion in email marketing. If you’re like most businesses, you’re probably making use of a combination of digital approaches: pay-per-click; social media marketing; and more.
But at the end of the day, nothing provides the return on investment (ROI) of email marketing. Email marketing continually outperforms paid search ads, social media, display network ads, direct mail. And practically any other form of marketing available. An increasing number of people utilize social media daily and complain about emails clogging their inboxes. However, reaching out to your customers via email continues to be your most powerful tool. It turns leads into conversions and increases your customer lifetime value.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, though, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest trends. If you’re not applying best practices to your email marketing strategy, then you’re missing out on potential returns. With 2018 just around the corner, we’ve put together a list of our top 3 tips for best practices. Take a look to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of email marketing in 2018.
Write great subject lines
According to HubSpot, nearly half of email recipients decide whether or not they’ll open an email based entirely on its subject line. This statistic alone demonstrates just how important subject lines have become. With so many emails ending up in your customer’s inbox each day, you’re competing for real estate with thousands of other companies. A compelling subject line will dramatically increase your open rate.
On the one hand, the type of business you’re running will determine what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to your email’s subject. There are a few important guidelines that apply across the board, though. First, keep the subject short. Less than 50 characters is ideal, as anything longer will be cut off on mobile. Next, ensure that the “from” field is populated by something your customers will recognize. If they’ve just signed up for your list, you’ll want the email to come from a name they’ve already been exposed to. Lastly, make sure you’re segmenting your list. Customize your subject lines as much as possible based on the existing data you have about a customer.
A/B test your email marketing campaigns
Companies are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to their email marketing campaigns. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you should assume that your competitors are on top of things. Gone are the days of simply sending out an email, hoping it lands well with your customers and generates some revenue. Your competitors are likely A/B testing, and you should be, too.
Email marketing A/B testing doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply a matter of trying to determine which elements are most effective at increasing open rate and click through rate. To notch up your open rate, trying A/B testing different subject lines. Over time, you’ll start to see trends unique to your particular industry and list segments. For instance, certain words might increase open rate, while others may have the opposite effect. Take note of these trends, as they can lead to a significant increase in revenue over time.
When it comes to increasing click through rate, you’ll want to make changes to the text of your emails. Remember, though, that it’s important to only change one thing at a time. If you reorder the contents of an email, change the wording in several paragraphs, and switch out some colors, it’ll be impossible to know which change made the email more effective. Keep it simple, and take note of your results.
Validate your emails
With so many other companies vying for space in your customer’s inbox, it’s essential that you do everything you can to maximize your email deliverability. The last thing you want is for your emails to end up in a prospect’s spam folder. Sending emails to undeliverable addresses can hurt your sender reputation over the long haul, which can cause major problems down the road. Some email platforms will even suspend your account if a large portion of emails don’t make it into the recipients’ inboxes. Consider using an email validation service to clean your list periodically: it’ll save you a lot of headache in the long run.
Email marketing is becoming increasingly competitive, but it still provides the best ROI of any digital marketing platform. By writing great subject lines, A/B testing your emails, and validating your list of recipients, you’ll put yourself ahead of the marketing curve.