Even though it has now been around for decades, email marketing is still one of the least expensive, most effective forms of digital marketing. That’s good news because it means you can connect with your target audience without breaking the bank.
You already know the basics of email marketing, but you may not know how to get the most for your email marketing investment. Here are tips from email marketing pros to help you.
Maintain Your List
Email list hygiene is a must if you want to avoid wasting money. Some people aren’t going to open your emails. Others may abandon email addresses or provide fake addresses when they complete your opt-in form. Either way, cleaning up your list can help you save money.
You can do it by using a two-step subscription process where leads must enter their email address and then confirm the subscription by clicking a link. Research shows that this process increases open rates. For existing subscribers, send an email asking them to opt in for further emails – and delete anybody who doesn’t respond. I know this may counterintuitive but trust me when I say getting rid of the dead wood is a best email marketing practice.
Send Emails Regularly
You may have heard this tip before, but a lot of companies follow it imperfectly and it hurts them. When experts suggest sticking to a regular email schedule, they don’t mean “send an email two or three times a week and don’t worry too much about the timing.”
What they mean is that you should create an email schedule where emails are sent on the same days, and at the same times, every week. If you decide you want your B2B emails to show up at 9:00 am on Mondays, that’s when they should go out every week. That way, your subscribers know that they’ll be hearing from you. We are all creatures of habit – so let people know what to expect by sticking to a strict schedule.
Reward Loyal Subscribers
While email has a higher ROI than many other types of marketing, that doesn’t mean you can take it for granted. You probably have some subscribers who open every email you send – and they should be rewarded for that!
Every once in a while, the pros recommend sending out a special discount code or coupon that’s just for people who open your emails regularly. That means you won’t hype it in the subject line. It’s there for the people who open your emails even when there isn’t an obvious reward. The benefit is that a casual opener will see it too – and may be more likely to open your emails in the future.
Give Subscribers Control Over What They Receive
Even people who love your emails probably see an occasional message from you that doesn’t apply to them. Allowing them to self-segment and choose what to receive can increase your open rates – and conversion rates – by making them feel like they’re in control.
Segmentation can be handled easily with a robust marketing email solution. You can send a survey that allows people to opt into various topics or types of emails, or you can allow them to opt out by including a link to your segmentation survey at the bottom of every email.
Don’t Sweat Unsubscribers
Speaking of putting users in control, a lot of business owners fret when people unsubscribe from their lists. Pros don’t do that because they recognize that hanging onto a bunch of uninterested subscribers doesn’t help them.
When people don’t open your emails, they’re more likely to get flagged as spam. Ultimately, you want your emails to be going to the people who are eager to get them – and thus, more likely to buy your products or sign up for your services. When someone unsubscribes, let them go. They weren’t helping you anyway.
Use Alt Text
It drives us crazy when we get a marketing email and the images don’t load – especially if there’s no alt text to tell me what we are missing. Don’t make that mistake.
Every image you include in a marketing email should have alt text attached that describes what’s in the image. That way, users with a slow internet connection can see them. It also helps vision impaired people who may be using a reader. The reader can understand alt text, but it can’t understand images. This is an easy fix that ensures every recipient will be able to understand your content.
Use Link Tracking
If you include links in your marketing emails, you’ll need to track them to find out how many of your readers click the link. Most email automation services include a link tracking option.
Tracking links can help you fine-tune your email marketing campaigns and include links that are relevant to your readers. Without tracking, you won’t be sure whether your links are getting any traction at all – and that’s a mistake.
Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly
More people read their emails on mobile devices than on computers, and that means that every marketing email you send must be optimized for mobile users. That means:
- Single column content that can be easily scrolled
- Buttons that are large enough to be tapped by a finger
- Subject lines of no more than 25-30 characters
- Pre-header text that shows readers what’s in the email
- CTAs that are easy to find
You should use responsive email templates that adapt to any mobile device. That way, a user can access your email on a laptop, tablet, or smart phone and get the same experience each time.
Keep Files Small
Are you attaching photos or files to your emails? If so, keep the file size as small as possible. This step is extremely important for mobile users. If they’re using data to read your emails, you don’t want them to blow through their monthly limit because you couldn’t be bothered to resize an image or zip a file.
You should always look at the total file size of the email and adjust it accordingly. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for images to be under 1 MB.
As a business owner, you need to make the most of your marketing budget. These email marketing tips from the pros will help you do that – and to increase your ROI and profits.
Charles Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009) along with his wife Linda Musselwhite. Together they are “CaLM” (Charles and Linda M). Charles is an Ontraport Certified Expert and a previous DigitalMarketer Certified Partner holding several DM certifications.