Email Marketing 2.0: It’s Now a Science
Gone are the days where a business will blast 5,000 emails laced with some snazzy HTML every Tuesday like clockwork. Or the time when businesses used a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. The email marketing of yesterday is no longer an option. Send one email that lacks personalization or doesn’t gel with customer preference and you can turn even the most loyal customer away.
It’s a whole new ball game today. Customer demand is as stringent as ever. And in a world fresh off a recession, businesses can’t stumble. As consumers have become more sophisticated and social, their expectations of email marketers have risen. They want value and relevancy in every interaction with a brand.
That’s why businesses now need to think smarter, bigger and outside the box into the social realm. Email is a channel to strengthen your connection with customers and prospects, keep them intrigued and give them reason to share your message with their friends and family. It's about building brand loyalty.
Email marketing is a science. But unlike most sciences, it can be relatively easy to grasp in a series of steps. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Set a schedule. Pick and stick with one time, whether weekly, biweekly or monthly. After a while, customers will begin to expect and anticipate your e-newsletter or other communication. You’ll lose their attention if you’re inconsistent.
- Get social. Don’t send an email unless there’s a spot for users to share its content via Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms. Not only does this allow you to better engage with your best customers, it also spreads your reach to their friends, colleagues and networks — at no extra cost.
- Make it permission-based. Only send emails to individuals who have opted into your email program on the topic you’re sending. Consumers hate spam. If they didn’t ask for it, they’ll only grow angry and dissatisfied. Include easy opt-in features in all email messages to grow your subscriber base.
- Make the most of your precious real estate. You only have five seconds to grab the reader’s attention above the fold and in the subject line. State up front why your email message is relevant and valuable to the reader. Be clear and concise. Don’t be afraid to throw in a special offer or sale that grabs their attention. Otherwise, they’ve either deleted it or moved on.
- Link, link, link. Each hyperlink within email copy is a valuable chance to drive traffic back to your website. The more links, the higher clickthrough rates you’ll have. As the phrase goes, “if you build it, they will come.”
- Test. Whenever possible, mix things up and test your subject line. Hit 20 percent of your list with two different subject lines and monitor the response. The remaining 80 percent should get the most successful email.
- Go easy on the eyes. Sure, pictures and images are fun to look at, but not everyone can see them. Subscribers have different internet service providers, email providers and computers. Play it safe by keeping your newsletter text heavy. Real text in a message will remain visible even in HTML emails.
Through a systematic, adaptable, yet persistent approach, marketers can create a science out of email. Offering valuable content at the right time via the right tools will not only help you keep your current customers engaged, but also extend your reach far and wide.