Article

Chloe Basterfield
Chloe Basterfield 26 February 2014

Stop! Before You Hit Send: 6 Tips to Make Email Marketing Engaging

Six things you need to do to maximise the full potential of email marketing.

Email marketing is a powerful sales driver – one reason why 66% of in-house marketers rate it as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ Return on Investment in Econsultancy’s 2013 Email Marketing Industry Census.

 

Yet when it comes to rating their own performance it’s a different story. Almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents describe their company’s email marketing performance as ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

 

The message is clear: marketers must work harder to maximise the full potential of email marketing. So consider the following tips before the next time you hit ‘send’.

 

1. Get personal

A personalised subject line and sender name are critical for email marketing success. Research has shown that top performing emails are those personalised with a recipient’s name and an additional data point, like location. By personalising email signatures, open rates can be boosted by five times and click-through rates by nearly three and a half times.

 

2. Shout loud (and clear)

While your audience may not know who you are, a direct and descriptive subject line can make the difference between an open and a delete or ignore.

Use a single sentence headline in the email to encourage the recipient to read the entire email and a pre-header or snippet text above the header image – on smartphone especially, as this is the first bit of text that will be viewable.

Make copy scannable by breaking it into short paragraphs with sub-headings. And exploit the power of the postscript. PSs create stand-out for a tantalising titbit strategically positioned at an email’s end

 

3. Be timely

86% of respondents to a recent real-time marketing survey reported consumers increasingly expect companies to know where they are and what they are doing, to deliver more relevant communication. It therefore pays to consider carefully the timing and frequency of your email marketing.

For example, emails sent at weekends generate a better response than at any other time during the week, with a click-through rate of more than 25%.

 

4. Make it social

Email still drives more traffic than social media referrals, though social media referrals are growing, fast. So imagine the power of combining the two.

However, successfully socialising email marketing doesn’t just mean sticking share buttons into emails. You need to watch and learn. Play with your content to see what gets most shares.

 

Tactics to make your email marketing content more shareable include making it more dynamic – a step which can improve conversions by 50%. When email marketing is combined with the power of social networking, average click-through rates can rise by up to 158%, according to a study by GetResponse.

 

5. Think mobile

Mobile email opens exceeded desktop opens for the first time in 2013 – a trend set to continue, according to Econsultancy’s digital and ecommerce predictions for 2014.

So everything you send should be mobile-friendly. 63% of Americans and 41% of Europeans said they would either close or delete an email not optimised for mobile, Forbes recently reported.

 

6. Be balanced

Don’t over-focus on the design of your email marketing at the cost of optimisation and data.

 

Clean and up-to-date lists have the biggest impact on improving email marketing deliverability rates, Econsultancy’s 2013 Email Marketing Industry Census shows.

 

Remember:

  • Personalisation gets results.
  • Use a direct, descriptive subject line, and break up copy with subheadings.
  • Emails sent at weekends get the best response.
  • Combine your email marketing with the power of social networking.
  • Mobile email opens now exceed desktop opens.
  • Clean up your data list, rather than focusing on design.

For more essential tips, blueprints and strategies for success, download the eGuide: The 5 Tenets of Modern Marketing



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