Email marketing, a marketing method most brands use to reach out to their prospective and current customers, can easily become an annoyance customers runaway from. So how do we as brands enable our email marketing to work for us, and not against us?
Let’s look at some email marketing best practices that will help optimize your efforts…
Look and Feel; Think Mobile First
As with websites and social content, it’s important to consider mobile when deciding on your email content, the design, and your messaging. Responsive email design is helpful because it allows your email to be read on both desktop, mobile, and tablet.
However, to ensure that your design works for each device it’s important to test your content. For example, test to ensure your images show up correctly, your headline is able to be read clearly, and the primary messaging is easily scannable, consumable, and shareable.
Use an Editorial Calendar
Your team probably already has an editorial calendar, which allows your brand to schedule out your blog posts, tweets, FB posts, and pins. Adding your email content within this calendar will help see a large-scale view of the content you are putting out, the types of customers who receive it, and what channels are distributing it.
Overall it will keep you organized to know which topics are being published, and in turn which ones do the best. It’s even more helpful the following year when you look back to see what worked the previous year. For example if product sneak peeks were a hit, than the next time around you’ll want to make sure you do it again.
Personalize your Content; Start Simple
Personalizing content for email can go in many directions, especially if your audience is segmented in multiple ways. However, it’s often easier to start simple. Perhaps to do some a/b testing to see which content performs better for different regions of the country, gender, and/or age group for starters. That way you can ensure that Texas is not receiving the same winter content that Maine would get in January.
No customer wants to open up a generic email sent to the masses – it’s always nice to see one that is at least slightly catered to their interests, location, and who they are as a customer to your brand.
Pay Attention to the Details
The details, sometimes overlooked, are key when it comes to email marketing messaging. Your team needs to ensure that the email subject line, headline, first couple sentences (which are seen in a preview), and images are all put together in a way that not only entices the reader to read the email, but spend time with it, and potentially click your call to action – whether it leads them to your website, an offer, or your social media channels.
You knew this one was coming. If you aren’t measuring, you aren’t learning, and if you aren’t learning, you aren’t optimizing and catering to your audience’s wants and needs. And that would be a “yikes!”
Measuring allows your team to know which email subject lines are working, which calls to action are being clicked on, and which emails from your a/b test are working harder for your brand. In the end, it allows you not to waste time on content that isn’t performing and more time leading your customers to the content they enjoy consume (and hopefully sharing).
Speaking of sharing, here’s a bonus tip…
Social Media is your Email Marketing’s Best Friend
Not only is it valuable to allow your consumers to have easy sharing functions within your email, it’s also important to cross-promote your email efforts within your social media marketing.
For example, perhaps your Twitter audience wants more content on a regular basis they can subscribe to. Allow them to be aware that the opportunity exists and they can subscribe today. Awareness helps your audience know where they can consume your content and then they can choose which channel or channels they prefer to do so. Give them the option and learn what works best for your brand and your target audience.