Steps-by-Step Guide to Getting Better Email Marketing Results

Email Marketing
Getty Images / Yuri_Arcurs

Marketing has undergone a massive change in the last few years. Every product, idea or service must announce itself to the online world via email. No new business can survive without it. But how do you distinguish yourself from the thousands of emails being delivered every day?  

The secret to an effective email campaign is to have a plan. And to stick to it. Here are 10 steps to consider when thinking about a new email marketing strategy.

  

  1. Design for mobile reading. Today the majority of emails are . This presents a new challenge for creating email format. Content must be designed to be read on a small screen. Main ideas must be presented in the first few sentences. If a reader has to scroll down to find the message, he will most likely click 'Delete' instead.  

  2. Create an effective subject line. As they say, you only get one chance to make a good impression. The same applies to Subject Lines. It must capture your reader's attention. Quickly. Find your tone. Be persuasive. Or humorous. Or intriguing. Create a short, catchy phrase in whatever tone you choose and grab their attention.   

  3. Address your audience personally. Personalize your message as much as possible. Include things such as first names, birthdays, make of car, etc. People like to feel connected to the message they are receiving. 

  4. Find 'your' best time. Studies have shown that the day and time an email is sent will impact the open rate. For example, the majority of email opens occur between 2PM and 5PM. Tuesday and Thursday are the most popular email days. Review the market data to determine the best time for your message. Monitor it often because trends can and do change.  

  1. Use video. Nothing grabs the attention of today's consumer like a short video. No longer do readers have time to read through paragraphs of information. Give them a video with audio and they will take notice.  

  2. Brevity is best. No one wants to pour through sentences upon sentences of descriptive words....when a few bullet points will work. 

  1. Use buttons. Engage your readers by asking them to 'do' something. Have them click a link, start a video, open another web page or even share the content. Just providing text can sometimes feel like you are listening to a sermon. Asking someone to take an action involves them in the topic. 

  2. Offer alternatives to unsubscribing. No one is going to want to receive every email that lands in their inbox. But instead of simply giving the option of unsubscribing, give them choices. Allow them to choose the frequency of emails. Or, perhaps offer the choice of several email topics. Of course, ultimately give the almighty 'Unsubscribe All'.  

  3. Repeat your offer....often! There is nothing wrong with follow-up emails. Say the same thing but in a different way. Individuals have different comprehension levels. Sending a weekly or bi-weekly email with the same message stated differently will increase your chances reaching your audience.     

  4. Offer something in return. People want something in return for their time. Offer them a free ​newsletter. A free trial. Even if it's only the option to click a link to a related website, people respond when you give them something they did not expect.