Email marketing comes with a bad reputation. We have all been on the receiving end of spam. Unsolicited emails can range from a minor nuisance to an outright danger to your hardware’s integrity. Proper email marketing however, is a useful tool in the world of marketing and communications. Note that we do not endorse the use of spam lists or sending unsolicited emails. Rather these tips should be used for recipients with whom you have cultivated a relationship with or who have chosen to sign on to your distribution list.
Increasing Your Open Rate.
The first thing one needs to understand are the steps to an effective email campaign. Whether you are sending out sales notices, newsletters or thank you notes, none of it will matter if it does not a. reach the recipient and b. get opened by the recipient. Those are the first two challenges one needs to consider and learn to overcome. In this post we will discuss the means to ensuring you first make it through those spam filters and second, get read.
15 Email Marketing Tips.
1. The Subject Line Matters.
This is important for two reasons:
- The content of your subject line will determine how the spam filter reacts.
- The subject line will determine whether people are intrigued enough to open the email.
Consider your subject line carefully. It needs to avoid specific trigger words in order to get through the spam filters, but it also needs to be relevant and interesting enough to warrant the recipient opening the email.
- Unless it is dealing specifically with a topic you have already discussed with the recipient, it should be short. No more than 3-5 words.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative, but be clear and be concise.
- Don’t use the subject line as a sales pitch.
- Be relevant. The subject line needs to have relevancy to the recipient.
- Avoid spam trigger words.
The subject line is your battering ram. It is the first breach into the fortified walls of your recipient. It will determine if you land in the inbox and it will determine what happens from there. This is the first thing anyone sees when the email hits their mail slot. It has to be good. Think of it this way: it won’t matter how great the offer is in your email contents if no one opens it to read them.
2. Timing Your Email.
Believe it or not, there is actually a science to sending out email blasts. Timing can be everything. Remember that your open rate is crucial, it determines your overall success. Here are a few things to consider:
- Promptness of email opens:
- 23.63% of all emails are opened within the first hour of receipt.
- 9.52% within the 2nd hour.
- 6.33% in the third hour
- 4.8% in the fourth.
It is most important then that you time your email to be opened immediately. (Source: socialmediaguerilla.com)
- Number of messages sent by time of day:
- 5.9% of emails arrive between 12am – 6am.
- 38.7% arrive between 6am – 12pm.
- 25.8% arrive between 12pm – 6pm.
- 29.6% arrive between 6pm and 12am.
Most emails land in the inbox in the morning. Therefore it is less likely yours will be opened at that time. People are getting started, they are digging through the email pile and will disregard the less important ones. (Source: socialmediaguerilla.com)
- Best click & open times:
- Top hours for “clicks”: 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 3:00 pm, 8:00 pm.
- Top hours for “opens”: 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm.
- Best days for sending:
- More emails are sent during the week than on weekends.
- Tuesday and Thursday being the highest volume days.
Changing which day you send your emails may improve your open and click rates. (Source: mailchimp.com)
Timing is indeed everything. Try sending out your blasts at different times. See for yourself which works best. Remember that every opened email could result in a sale.
3. Use Your Name & an Authentic Email Address.
Would you open a random email from an unrecognized email address? People are suspicious for good reason, so use your name and business and suggest your recipient add your company to their email to help you avoid an awkward visit to the junk folder.
Earn your recipients trust. If you are embarking on a sustained emailing campaign, such as a monthly newsletter, this trust will be crucial. As you begin to email recipients more frequently you will find yourself developing a reputation for either good content or bad. Keep the content of your emails on target relevant and interesting. Don’t send out emails for the sake of emailing. Don’t waste people’s time. Once your recipients have opened a few of your emails and benefited from them, your reputation will grow and the opens will happen more easily.
5. Keep It Short.
Your email does not need to be your entire sales catalog. Short emails can be the most effective. Interestingly enough it can be the most difficult to whittle down your emails content. It may require time and possibly a lot of it. Pick a single point and focus on it. Whether it is a sale, a new product etc. If you find yourself off topic, erase and start over.
6. A.P. Style Writing.
Familiarize yourself with the principles of A.P. style writing (Associated Press). A.P. Style is defined in purpose as:
The content of newspapers and other mass media is typically the result of many different writers and editors working together. AP style provides consistent guidelines for such publications in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation and language usage. Some guiding principles behind AP style are:
AP style also aims to avoid stereotypes and unintentionally offensive language. (Source)
First off what is spam? Spam mail is not just for male enhancement companies and Nigerian princes. Spam is any form of unsolicited email sent to unknown recipients who did not ask for it. You would think this would obvious, but even reputable companies can be tempted to spam. Do not send out spam emails.
8. Be Consistent.
Depending on the purpose of your email campaign, consistency can be key. If you are developing a newsletter campaign the stick to it. Weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, whatever frequency you choose, stick to it. When developing the campaign, be realistic about how much you have to say and how often you want to say it. Set yourself a schedule and then stick to it. If the schedule dictates once a month, schedule your time properly to allow for it.
It is ok to be semi-formal and it is ok to have fun with your emails. Keep the tone professional and keep it clean but don’t shy away from having a little fun. Recipients are receiving countless formal emails a day, having a little fun on occasion can be ok. Don’t be afraid to show your human side. Be creative, by humorous, just don’t be boring. The more relational you come across, the more likely they are to follow-up with you. Be courteous and be clean though.
10. Be Fresh.
Avoid old news or worn out ideas. Avoid repeating previous content – it is ok to reference it – but do not replicate it. This could (and should) put pressure on you from time to time to send your email out sooner. If yours is the first email in the inbox with new, important or timely information, you will reap the reward of being read. If you are reiterating similar info to previous emails, re-write it. Cast a new light on it, present it in a different away.
11. Engaging Content.
Daily I received about 60 – 70 emails. Most of those are formal and stuffed full of information. By the 3:30 in the afternoon I am beginning to open emails, size them up and then either mark them as unread to be dealt with the next day or dumping them after the first sentence. Try to incorporate content that will draw the viewer in. Keep that in mind when developing your emails Subject and content, and when scheduling it for send off.
12. Begin At The Beginning.
Create your distribution list from scratch. People do not take kindly to unsolicited emails. Build trust. Ask them for permission.
- Provide opt-in opportunities.
- Offer different delivery options.
- Promise privacy.
- Provide a means for them to discontinue from the email.
- Provide links to connect on your website and social media profiles.
- Mention it when visiting them or on the phone and ask if they are interested.
13. Avoid Spam Trigger Words.
There are specific words that trigger spam filters. Familiarize yourself with them and avoid them.
|1. !!!2. $$$
3. 100% free
4. Act now!
5. ALL CAPITALS
6. All natural
7. As seen on
9. Bad credit
11. Best price
15. Dear friend
18. Double your income
19. E.x.t.r.a. Punctuation
20. Eliminate debt
21. Extra income
22. Fast cash
24. Financial freedom
54. Join millions
55. Lose weight
56. Lowest price
57. Make money fast
59. Million dollars
61. Money making
62. No medical exams
63. No purchase necessary
64. Online pharmacy
69. Satisfaction guaranteed
70. Search engine listings
73. T e x t w i t h g a p s
75. Visit our website
28. 50% off
29. Accept credit cards
30. Additional income
32. All new
33. Apply now
34. Apply online
35. Be your own boss
36. Buy direct
37. Call free
38. Cancel at anytime
39. Cash bonus
41. Click here
43. Direct email
44. Direct marketing
45. Don’t hesitate!
46. Drastically reduced
47. Earn $
48. Full refund
49. Get it now
50. Gift certificate
|76. Great offer
77. Home based
78. Incredible deal
79. Information you requested
82. Limited time offer
83. Message contains
84. No age restrictions
85. No experience
86. No gimmicks
87. No hidden costs
88. No questions asked
90. Online degree
91. Online marketing
92. Order Now
94. Please read
95. Risk free
96. Save $
97. Serious cash
98. Special promotion
100. Web traffic
14. First Impression.
Do not make the mistake of assuming you are interesting. You have three seconds to make enough of an impression to last an entire emails length. Remember the rule of the “firm handshake” you may only have one chance to make this impression, so do it right the first time (you may not get a second handshake).
15. Format Your Email to be Readable.
Don’t make people “click-to-download”. Keep it short, focus on your one point, remove clutter and make it readable. If this sounds a little labour intensive, it is because it can be. There are many template sites and examples to be found online with a simple Google search. Coming up with even just one good subject line can be tough and is not always guaranteed to spark the rest of the emails contents. Doing it right requires massive creativity, passion and inspiration. It also requires focus.
If you find yourself forcing it or are running out of time and rushing it, then you are likely better off to not do it at all. Your emails content will showcase you and your business image, for good or for evil. Make sure you are doing it right. For many companies that lack employees with either the time or the skill set it can make more sense to hire a copy-writer or a marketing firm. Get past the viewing pane. Get opened and be read. No one said this was going to be easy, but it can pay off big. Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.