Email marketing continues to reign supreme when it comes to reaching consumers. When compared to Facebook and Twitter marketing, it’s nearly 40 times more useful for acquiring customers. To help refresh your email marketing strategy this year, we’ve outlined four tips to make sure you’re on the right track.
1. Make emails mobile friendly
Mobile is the preferred method for reading emails. According to a study from Mobile Ink, 65% of email is being opened on mobile devices. And that number continues to rise as more people purchase smartphones. From 2013 to 2014, the amount of smartphones shipped worldwide increased by 23.8 percent. By 2018, 1.8 billion smartphones will be used around the globe.
In a perfect world, your emails will pique customers’ interest when they’re on the go, and they will make an immediate purchase or do so when they get to their laptop or desktop.
How to implement: Your emails need to be use responsive design, which means they adjust to the screen size of any device. If you’re using templates in the latest version of VerticalResponse, your emails are automatically responsive, and you don’t need to do a thing. If not, you may want to hire a designer, or it might be time to use an email service provider that provides responsive templates.
Along with responsive design, we recommend using a serif font (those with legs or tails) for your headlines and sans serif fonts for any other text. These are easiest to read on a computer screen. Use font sizes between 12-22pt to make sure your email is readable. Headlines can be 22pt, additional font in the email can be 12 pt or more.
2. Ask your audience what they want to read or see
To get a grasp on what content your audience wants to receive, you have to ask. You can survey them, and then use the results to dictate the kind of content you create. Ask about what kind of content appeals to them, what products or services they’re interested in. You can also ask how often they want to receive email from your business.
Surveys are easy to create with these DIY sites. Just remember to keep your survey short, maybe 5-7 questions so you don’t lose your audience. Once you complete the survey, include a link to it in an email.
3. Measure results
An email marketing strategy is never complete without some form of measurement. You have to know how you did to improve upon your efforts the next time around.
“Create content that suits your audience but also spend time measuring it,” says Jasmine Sandler, an independent digital marketing expert. “You need to measure it as much as you create it.”
How to implement: Here’s a quick list of metrics to watch along with the average rates you should aim for.
- Conversion rate: How many people clicked that call-to-action link you included in your email? How many downloaded that how-to guide you’re advertising? Did anyone make a purchase from the last email you sent? The average conversion rate is five to 10 percent.
- Bounce rate: How many emails that you sent were undeliverable? The average bounce rate, depending on your industry, is between eight and 12 percent.
- Open rate: How many of the emails were actually opened? The average open rate for brand emails is 18 to 25 percent.
- Unsubscribe rate: How many people clicked “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the email? The average unsubscribe rate is .25 percent.
Note: All these metrics can vary based on your industry, your list and your mailing practices. Need more help gauging your metrics? Check out this previous post.
4. Email your blog posts, videos and images
You put a lot of effort and energy into your blog posts, videos, or images. You should include this content in your emails.
“If you’re wise, you can leverage other content that you’re spending money and time creating,” says Sandler. “You could send out a list of the hottest articles of the week or a wrap up.”
Aside from the fact that you’re going to get more eyes to see your content, you can also increase your website traffic.
Look at Carol Tice, who runs the Make a Living Writing blog for freelance writers. The entrepreneur, who boasts 12,000 subscribers to her blog, sends out sections of it to her readers and prompts them to “read more” on her website. VerticalResponse does this successfully with our weekly VR Buzz newsletter.
How to implement: Choose content, images or videos that have already received a lot of hits, likes or attention. It’s a good indication that your readers enjoyed them. Don’t include an entire article in your emails; include only a teaser, and then link to the rest of the article on your website or blog.
There are many factors that go into a successful email campaign. As long as you plan ahead, and are willing to look back at your work to see what you can improve, you will be on your way to a better email marketing strategy.
Kylie Jane Wakefield is a freelance writer and content creator in Los Angeles. She’s written for NewsCred, CMO.com, Forbes, Tablet Magazine, and The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
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