The author’s views in this article on email marketing are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of Ranking By SEO.
Nothing has transformed the way modern communication is done as much as email.
This revolutionary step into the future can actually be deemed as the first ever social media platform. But email is not just a simple communication platform. It is the best marketing tool at your disposal.
Why is email marketing so powerful, despite the presence of other mega social media platforms?
Let’s use find out.
The Power of Email Marketing
Email is still king of all marketing tools despite all other marketing channels trying to claim otherwise. But what exactly does email have that other marketing channels don’t have?
Following are the advantages of Email
Easy to Set Up and Run
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of email marketing is the way it is so easy to set up and run. In fact, with email automation, you can run your campaigns on autopilot, freeing you to do other important things.
Of all the other marketing platforms available, email marketing has one of the highest ROIs – $40.00 for every $1.00 you spend. The reason for this is simple – your list is already warm and engaged. This is targeted marketing at its best.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who make millions using social media marketing. Take Sam Ovens for example, a millionaire consultant in both senses of the word. He has built a multi-million dollar business mainly through Facebook advertising.
But despite success stories like this, email still remains the best platform to build your business on.
If you are looking for a secure marketing strategy and platform, email is it.
Unlike websites and social media platforms email is the only marketing platform that is truly yours. You own the list.
Social media platforms on the other hand are someone else’s property. You have no control.
I love a statement Anne Handley made at Inbound18
Email is the only platform still controlled by humans and not algorithms.
Email marketing is one of, if not the only, marketing platform that gives you the ability to relate to your prospects on a more personal level.
From addressing them by their name to emails tailored specifically for them, it gives you access to your prospects space their friends only have.
So how do you make sure your email marketing produces the results you are after?
You have to tackle the 2 barriers that every email you send has to break through – open rates and click through rates.
Three Simple Ways to Increase Email Open Rates
There are 124.5 billion business emails sent, wait for it, every day. That is 16 business emails per person per day or 6000 emails a year. And that number is projected to more than double in 2019, reaching 2.9 billion.
No matter how much you love receiving emails that is email overload.
The result is that a lot of emails go unopened.
In fact, according to Constant Contact, only 18.16 percent of those emails are opened.
That means 22.6 billion emails go unopened every year. And that is why you need to ensure that your emails don’t suffer that same fate.
So how do you increase the chances of your emails being opened?
1. Master the Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing your recipients see.
It’s a brief window that will either lead the recipient to open your email or…trash it.
According to research, 47% of email recipients open emails based solely on the subject line. And frighteningly, 69% report an email as spam because of the subject line (a poorly crafted one that is).
In order to create an email subject line, you have to make it short, sweet, and strongly moving.
- Short- This is because most people open their mail from their mobile devices. This means you need to use no more than 10 words in your subject line.
- Sweet- People are selfish by nature. The first question that crosses their mind when they receive an email is, “what’s in it for me?” Make sure your subject line highlights exactly what’s in it for them.
- Strongly Moving- In the limited number of words you have, use persuasive language to get your recipient to open the email.
Take a look at the screenshot below of an email from superstar marketing copywriter , Jacob McMillen.
It’s a classic example.
It’s short, it’s sweet (who wouldn’t want $500.00 off anything?), and it’s strongly moving (everyone wants to achieve their goals faster).
One other tip to make your subject line attractive is to use emoji for more visual appeal.
But the subject line is just part of the battle to get your emails opened.
2. Nail the Pre-Header Text
If the subject line is the bait that gets prospects to give your email a second thought, the pre-header text is the hook that draws them in.
The preheader is that short snippet of text immediately under the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox.
When it comes to email marketing, that snippet is prime real estate.
The preheader serves the purpose of supporting the subject line and giving the recipient a teaser or summary of what is in the email.
Like the subject line, it has to be persuasive. It has to succinctly show the recipient what they benefit from opening your email.
And just like the subject line, the preheader has a limited number of characters you can use, only this time, it’s 40–75 characters (8-15 words).
For a more detailed tutorial on how to craft effective email preheaders, you can check out this article published on Search Engine People.
3. Personalization is Key
When it comes to email marketing, nothing gets your email opened faster than personalization.
Remember, you are not the only one sending the recipient an email. They are being bombarded by other offers. In order to stand out from the others you have to personalize your emails.
Carol Tice nailed it on the head in the above screenshot. First, the subject line comprises of 3 specially chosen people. Already that arouses curiosity as to why the 3 of us.
And secondly, she uses the recipient’s name twice. That endears the writer to the email, literally moving him to open the email.
Personalization in email marketing basically means 2 things.
- Use the recipient’s name- Everyone is unique and they want to be treated as such. By addressing your recipient by name, you show that the email is directed to a unique individual who is valued.
- Write as a person- Nowadays, emails from companies are hardly given a second chance. People don’t care about promotional emails anymore. Make sure when you write an email, write it as if it’s coming from a person – one they are acquainted to.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened than those without.
So yes, all the hype about personalization is worth it.
Now that you have your recipient hooked, it’s time to reel them in.
How to Increase Click Through Rate
Getting your emails opened is great. But it’s not good enough. Once your recipient has opened your email, you need to get them to take action.
You will need them to click through to your landing page, product, or anything else you are offering.
Depending on your industry and which research you believe, of the people who open emails, only 1-10% of them actually click through to your offer.
Here are 3 simple tips on achieving just that.
1. Create Relevant and Valuable Content
People are extremely busy. They don’t have time for anything that doesn’t add value to their lives. That is why you need to ensure that every email you send contains something valuable for them. Craft content that will help you gain the trust of those who open your emails.
This means giving them tips, tutorials, and anything that is relevant to them. In order to do this, you have to understand the demographics of your recipients. Once you understand the demographics, it is extremely important that you segment your email list according to those demographics.
When you do this, you will have everything you need to know exactly what to write in your emails.
Establishing trust through relevant content is essential if you are to see an increase in your click through rates.
2. Optimize for Mobile
With more and more people reading their mails from mobile devices, it becomes important for everyone who uses email marketing to optimize their emails for mobile.
Very few people, if any, will revisit your email on their laptop or desktop to go and click on your offer. Unless, it’s uber good.
And even if it is good, many will soon forget about it. You need to elicit a response immediately they open the email.
3. Timing is Everything
Well, not really, but sending your emails at the right time is a sure fire way of not only getting it opened but for your prospect to click on that all important link.
Catch people at the wrong time (when they are busy) and they won’t give your email a second look. Weekend is also a bad time as people usually don’t check emails and even switch off their devices so that they can unwind.
Getting the timing right is quite a tricky affair, but fortunately there are some studies that have helped make it easier to know when to send out your emails.
But the bottom line is that you need to know where your recipients are (time zone) and further segment them accordingly.
Speaking of timing, it’s also important that you consider the frequency with which you send your emails. This is another tricky balancing act because if you send too often, you will soon end up in the trash and if you send too few your prospect may end up forgetting you.
So how often should you send out your emails?
The answer is not that simple, sadly.
It all depends on your industry and the goal of your email marketing campaign.
For example, if you sell air conditioning units, you will send out most of your promotional emails at the end of winter right through to the end of summer.
During winter you’re probably better off sending one or 2 emails to keep in touch with your list.
- The best solution for you would be to track and analyze the response you get from your list.
- For those who open, you can either maintain the frequency or up it a bit.
- For those who open less frequently, you can reduce the frequency.
- For those who don’t open at all, you might as well purge them off your list.
Email Marketing 101 – You’ve Got Mail
Gone are the days when people got excited over receiving an email. And because of that, getting your emails opened, read, and acted upon requires that you be savvy in the way you carry out your email marketing.
With the few tips highlighted above, you are well on your way to see those open and click through rates increase.