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Is Your Email Marketing Working for Your Business?

By Kelley White, Inbound Marketing Specialist, - May 24, 2016


Is_Your_Email_Marketing_Working_for_Your_Business.pngIt is said that contact databases decrease on average by 22.5% every year.  Email addresses change, and unqualified leads unsubscribe from your email communications.  You must replenish your contacts database with fresh leads, or your marketing strategy will be pointless.  It’s important to use best email marketing practices in your business strategy.  I’ve put together a few best practices to help you move the proper prospects to the next stage of their lifecycle in the buyer’s journey.  Once a lead, you don’t want to lose their interest or lose them forever because they unsubscribed due to some small flaw.

Following are several suggestions to ensure quality email marketing for your business:

1. Segmenting to ensure your messages are sent to the right prospect.

It doesn’t matter what your company has to offer, segmentation is a great way to make your life more simplistic.  As your prospects and leads move through the buyer’s journey, you want to ensure that they are receiving pertinent information.  One way in doing this is to be sure they are segmented in the correct lifecycle stage.  Internally, we are able to better segment lists by category and lifecycle stage, and ultimately personalize messaging based on specialty.  This allows us to be more creative and better target our prospects.  

2. Make it Pop! (Subject lines).

Part of effective email copy is nailing the subject line.  The subject line is the gatekeeper of your message: No one will read your killer email copy if you don’t reel them in with that one line! Your research and time spent will go to waste if a prospect deletes your message right away. 

The best email subject lines are creative, interest provoking, and informative without giving too much away.  Questions are a great way to focus your readers’ attention and pique their curiosity.  Don’t stress over making your sentence funny or clever, being direct with your recipients is far more effective.

3. Align your subject line with your message.

What your email subject line promises, the email message should deliver.  When readers don't get what they're promised, click-through rates will take a nose-dive.  Successful email strategies are not just based on fancy marketing email, it must include well-written content.  Subscribers will stop opening and most likely end up unsubscribing from your emails.  Develop subject lines after your email offer is created. 

A high email open rate means nothing without any click-throughs. Recipients are already overwhelmed with irrelevant email.  Nurture trust in your customers by keeping your subject line consistent with your body text.  Don’t damage your business reputation by writing contrary content.  Develop trust in your sales funnel by staying consistent with your messaging.

4. Testing, Analyzing, and Improving. 

A/B test your email body content.  Send your email to two (or more) segments in your email contact list.  Check your views, opens, and click-through rates.  When A/B testing, be sure you’re testing strategically and long lasting elements of your emails.  When switching things up, think about whether they are repeatable tactics, and that you can pinpoint what is making the difference in email rates. 

Spelling, grammar or factual errors are the worst, and you don't want thousands of people at once undermining your message.  Have you received a message with the subject line, “Correction... ” or “Update to previous email...”?  Retraction emails don’t look great for your brand, so take the time to proofread before sending.  Also, be sure before sending, you always test to see what the email will look like to recipients with your “Send Test Email” option.

5) Talk about the benefits.

We know the value of our own email, so make sure that you make it clear to the recipient.  Far too many emails explain the feature they are offering and not the benefit.  

Brainstorm the needs and wants of your targeted recipients that would motivate them to act on your message.  Accommodate your content to connect with each segmented piece, and you’ll increase your click-throughs.  Just to name a few benefits of email marketing:

• Segmentation

• Brand Awareness

• Shareable

• Measurable

• ROI

6) Keep it Short & Sweet.

One of the worst mistakes email copywriters make is trying to shove too much into an email message.  Think about when you open an email in your inbox.  I don’t know about you, but I usually just skim an email looking for its main purpose and decide whether or not I need to take any action.  Your audience is skimming your email.  Be aware of this behavior as you write your email copy.  The better you can format your content for scanning, the more likely your customer is going to read your email.  Find a way to summarize what the reader will get in a compelling way, and let them click-through to other pages and offers on your website. 

Keeping your message on-point is the key to writing brief email copy.  Why was your email created?  If you know the action your email is supposed to drive -- recipient downloads free eBook, recipient subscribes to blog, recipient purchases a product-- then creating email copy that remains focused on that one end goal will begin to come relatively easy.

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