5 ways to win with email marketing

Email is one of the best marketing tools today. Not only can you reach a large number of people, but email gives you the opportunity to personalize your message in ways that other channels don’t. Best of all, email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel – if you do it right.

Of course, an email that gets stuck in the junk folder won’t do you any good. So follow these 5 steps to make sure your email campaign succeeds as soon as you hit send:

1. Tailor your message

Customers come in all shapes and personalities, and whether it’s shoes or sales – there’s no such thing as One-Size-Fits-All. Instead, create relevant, personalized messages that fit smaller groups of your readers. Segment your contact list by:

  • Demographic – such as age or life stage, gender, income or marital status
  • Geography – such as local, regional, national or international
  • Attitude – such as personality traits, interests, values or hobbies
  • Behavior – such as buyers, sellers, referrals or past clients

Segmenting your contacts means that readers will be more interested in what you have to say, so they will be more likely to open your emails, click through and convert.

2. Time it right

It is important to send your emails at the right time to increase your conversion rate, but fortunately, getting the time right is easy. For the last two years, two timeslots have been the clear winner for best open and click-through rates: 9-11 am and 3-5 pm.

And getting the day right is even easier, since statistics show that the day of the week doesn’t seem to matter at all – as long as it’s not a weekend. So pick a day of the week and find a way to make it your own. Come up with an idea like ‘Monday’s Market’, ‘Tom’s Tuesday Tips’ or anything else that will make readers look forward to your emails on a regular basis.

3. Double-up for quality

You know that quality beats quantity, and the best way to improve the quality of your email contacts is to make use of a double opt-in for your email subscription. With a single opt-in, all your readers have to do to subscribe is fill out a form and click ‘submit.’ In a double opt-in method, readers fill out the subscription form and then receive an email that requests they confirm the subscription by clicking a link, and only then are they added to the subscription list.

Although this may slow the growth of your list in the beginning, using the confirmation of a double opt-in will outperform single opt-in systems in the long run. You’ll have half the unsubscribe rate of a single opt-in and half the amount of ‘hard bounces’ – or emails that fail to deliver for permanent reasons such as an invalid address. Confirmed subscribers will be less likely to report your emails as spam, which could affect your sender reputation and hurt email deliverability. But best of all, you’ll have a more engaged list of readers, since subscribers will have had to confirm that they really wanted to sign up.

4. Focus on mobile

Worldwide, four billion people use mobile phones, and that number is expected to climb to five billion by the end of 2019. However, most email campaigns still aren’t optimized for mobile phones. Emails that are designed for a desktop or laptop not only look bad on a smartphone, they are difficult to read – making your audience more likely to delete the message without reading it. So make sure your message is mobile-friendly:

  • Keep your subject lines short since a mobile phone gives you less space to capture your readers’ attention.
  • Stick with a single-column template, since multiple columns can be confusing to navigate when condensed for a mobile device.
  • Use a larger font size of at least 13 to 14 pixels to make your content easier to read.
  • Include only one call-to-action to get more clicks, and use a button instead of a link to make it easier for readers to click while they’re on the go.

5. Make it engaging

We’ve all been stuck in a conversation that we wish we could just click our way out of. Well with an email, there’s nothing stopping readers from doing just that. So think of your email marketing like a conversation, and make it a meaningful connection that your reader will look forward to.

Remember the difference between mail and junk mail is whether or not the message is valuable to the reader, so engage your audience in meaningful interactions. Keep your wants and needs of your readers in mind, and focus on topics that will be interesting or relevant to them. Share your local knowledge – such as events in the area, new store openings or a review of businesses in the neighborhood – and use storytelling to create a powerful, emotional scene that readers won’t want to miss.

If you keep your email marketing campaign content relevant to your audience, they’ll follow your links for conversions. And every time you send a relevant email marking campaign, your reputation score and email deliverability rate will go up, ensuring that you will always reach the right audience.

How to get started?

Start with a few techniques, and work step-by-step to improve your email marketing. Don’t forget to test your messages and measure campaign performance. Once you find out what your readers like best, you’ve found out what is best for your business!