10 Tips for Emails That Won't Fail

by Amy Turkovich December 21st, 2013 

email

On the 10th Day of Content my Digital Marketing Team gave to me, ten fail-proof email tips!

Email is one of the most profitable marketing channels. According to a 2011 study from the Direct marketing Association, there's an average $44.25 return on a $1.00 investment, it's a tool you should be leveraging. Your greatest challenge is cutting through the clutter. With daily offers and promotions coming from your favourite retailers, restaurants, service providers and much more, it's hard to tell which emails offer value, and which should be going directly to your junk box.

Here are 10 tips to help you create flawless and engaging emails your audience will WANT to read.

1. The 80/20 Rule

Sending out emails is kind of like attending a cocktail party. They can be great, but once you start talking about yourself, and only yourself, people will quickly start to lose interest. An easy way to avoid this is by following the 80/20 rule. Ensure that 80% of your emails are helpful, insightful, and meaningful, while the other 20 % promote your products or services. Focus on benefits NOT features.

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2. Hey You!

First impressions are everything, you need to capture your audience's attentions and pull them in. Your subject line will either make your campaign or break it, with a 33% higher open rate from cleverly written subject lines, a whopping 69% are reported as spam when done poorly. Using a conversational tone is a great way to grab your readers' attention, or by asking them a question you know they're looking for the answer to: Need help checking items off your Christmas list?

3. Testing

Testing is likely the easiest way to optimize the success of your email campaigns. Test design, colour, images, subject line, from address, offer, etc… Send only 10% of these test emails out. Once you know which segment preforms best, send the remaining 90% to your list. You will increase your click-through rate and decrease your unsubscribe rate.

4. Segment

Many industries have several ideal customers, even if you only offer one product or service, you likely have more than one audience. For example, take a plumber, they're going to be sending very different emails to a landlord of a large urban complex than they're to a small home owner. Maybe you will need 3-5 different types of emails to reach these people, but knowing your audiences will greatly benefit you in the end.

5. K.I.S.S (No, not under the mistletoe!)

No, not under the mistletoe! Sorting through countless emails is a time consuming task no one wants to partake in. Make the job less of a hassle by keeping your emails short and to the point, 200 words or less is best. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long see a 58% higher open rate. Offering content that's irrelevant isn't going to benefit anyone, so remember to keep it simple silly!

6. Personalize

Some of the worst emails you'll ever come across are those that are generic and lacking personality. Build rapport with your audience by addressing them on a first name basis.

Software is making this easy, anyone can send email, so make yours stand out. Personalized subject lines see a 22.2% increase in open rates, you can't go wrong there.

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7. It's Me…Again

Constantly bombarding your audience with daily emails is beyond annoying. Unless you've clearly indicated that your emails are going to be appearing daily in your followers inbox, you'll quickly find yourself on their spam list. Try to keep your emails limited to one, maybe to each week. This will keep you in mind, without being a headache.

8. From Who?

clip_image006Email is the perfect way to create lasting relationships with your customers, and what better way to do so than by giving your brand a face. Sign off emails with the name and photo of real person, not, sincerely, the marketing team. Let your followers know there's a real person behind what they are reading, and it will go miles. 43% of emails will be reported as spam based on the from name alone, this is huge number and a simple way to prevent a high unsubscribe rate.

 

9. Be Social

clip_image008Ever since the invention of, well, email, people have loved to share ideas, photos, and thoughts with one another. Now take that one step further and harness the power of social media. By adding social share buttons within your emails, you'll drastically increase your audience reach with minimal effort. What's better? The icons will increase your click through rate, wait for it, 158%!

 

10. Measure

Sure, email marketing is the most profitable marketing channels, but it's worthless if you can't measure and track your efforts. Measuring the way people respond to your emails is critical to ensuring you can track and report on ROI. Ensure you measure total number of clicks and link clicks, number of unsubscribes, increase in website traffic, social media activity and followers.

Creating a marketing campaign might seem like a daunting task, but once you understand how easy it is to harness the power of the most profitable marketing channel you'll be sent straight to the top of your audience's nice list!

What is your biggest email marketing struggle? Tell us in the comments below!

10 Tips for Emails That Won't Fail

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One Response to “10 Tips for Emails That Won't Fail”

  1. Rick Noel says:

    Excellent email marketing tips Amy. You are right that email subject lines can make or break a campaign. We all scan email subject lines the same way we scan news headlines, then decide what to invest our attention in. This is where testing and measuring, then adjusting can be like gold. Thanks for sharing.