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With the rise of search engine optimization and social media marketing, email newsletter marketing might seem like the fanny pack of inbound marketing strategies—outdated and unattractive. But like a fanny pack, email marketing is still appealing to certain demographics, and it’s pretty damn practical when you think about it (Do you need to carry a more than pocket-size but less than back-pack size amount of items with you while retaining the availability of both hands? Do you also want to look as un-stylish as possible while doing so? Alternatively, have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a kangaroo? FANNY PACKS.)
Realistically, we all still use email and there’s no reason to write off email marketing as an ineffective marketing strategy. And when done correctly, email marketing can complement and enhance your other marketing strategies like pay per click, SEO, print advertising, and more.
Building a Better Email Newsletter
- Subject lines. Judging an email by its subject line is kind of like judging a fanny pack by its cover. (Sorry I’m not very good at analogies.) According to a study by Convince & Convert, 35 percent of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. Additionally, 69 percent of email subscribers mark emails as spam based on the subject line. Most email platforms will cut your title off after about 50 to 70 characters, so make sure to keep your subject lines relatively short. Some popular choices for email subject lines include recent news, how-to’s, top 10, questions, offers, testimonials, comparisons, bold claims, or problems and solutions.
- Content. Keep your content short and make sure to avoid large, unbroken blocks of text. Place your call to action in a very prominent and obvious place, and consider linking to your landing pages throughout the text. Finally, you can improve click through and conversions by personalizing your emails. Most email marketing software allows you to customize email templates to personalize your emails with the name of the intended recipient.
- Design. Make sure your content is readable even if the ‘show images’ option is off. If all of your content is locked in an image, your email will appear blank to e-mail platforms that don’t automatically display images. This also makes it important to use image alt tags for all of your images. And since many people now check their email on mobile devices rather than desktops, it’s increasingly important to design email newsletters that are mobile-friendly.
Choosing Your Recipients: Opt for Opt-in Email
Rather than purchasing a list of largely irrelevant contacts and email addresses, build your list from people that are actually interested in your brand with opt-in email marketing. Opt-in means sending your messages to people that have chosen to receive them—whether they are existing customers, prospective customers, vendors, etc. Using opt-in email marketing rather than sending unsolicited messages to unsuspecting random prospects will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.
Additionally, you’re going to want to segment your list. Because it’s impossible to please everyone, segmenting will help you target specific audiences instead of just trying to appeal to the masses. You can segment your prospects based on a few factors, including geography, demographics, people who wear fanny packs, and more. You can even segment your prospect list based on what phase of the buying cycle your intended recipient might be in.
Tracking Your Email Marketing Success
Use analytics to track the success of your email marketing campaign. Test out different emails to see which ones convert the best. Some things you’re going to want to measure include:
- Delivery rate. Did your email go straight to trash or spam? And if it did get delivered, what was the open rate?
- Click through rate. How many people clicked a link to your landing page? Follow this by tracking landing page bounce rate and landing page conversion rate. This will let you know how successful your email marketing campaign is, and whether or not you should tweak it and test out a different strategy.
- Unsubscribe rate. Finally, if a lot of people are unsubscribing from your email newsletters, that’s probably a pretty good indication that you’re not doing it right. Keep a close watch on your unsubscribe rate.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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