By: Nikith Deo
While most people check social media more frequently than email, email isn't dead. It is still an essential form of communication that is used by many professionals across the globe. Email marketing can be a great way to reach a lot of interested people and get a lot of clicks leading to purchases. How do you win at email marketing? This blog seeks to provide answers!
3 Common Types of Emails
Before we jump into how to write marketing emails and how to run email marketing campaigns, let's first discuss three common email types that you may end up writing or may have come across in your own Inbox.
- Marketing Emails - These are usually promotional emails that get sent to people who ask to be "kept updated". Most of the time, they are used to send newsletters, sales promotions, announcements, press releases, follow-ups, and surveys.
- Transactional Emails - These are usually automated emails that are triggered by customers' activities. Welcome messages, order tracking, payment receipts, and confirmations of registration are all examples of transactional emails. These are very important, if a customer receives a transactional email, it's because they've already completed one of your intended actions (such as a purchase), showing that they are likely to engage again. That's why transactional emails tend to have higher open rates.
- Operational Emails - These emails are informative, containing updates about your business. Examples include changes to hours during the holidays, website maintenance, or changes to your products or services. While it may be tempting to skip these types of emails, especially if you frequently post operational updates on social media, operational emails are still important! They can be used to increase sales by improving your brand image. If your website may be down to maintenance, emailing users about how long it'll be down for and what new features you will be providing will remind users that your product/service provides value to them.
10 Tips for Email Marketing
- Use the "Double Opens Strategy" - The double opens strategy states that you should send the same email with a different subject line to people who haven't opened your first email. With it, your emails will get opened more, increasing your opportunity to make money! This is because roughly 70% of people in your mailing list will not open your email the first time. If a subscriber hasn't opened your email within 3-5 days of it being sent, try re-sending the same email with a more captivating subject line. If the email wasn't even opened in the first place, the subject line was the problem, not the content!
- Make your subject line a Cliffhanger - Cliffhangers increase curiosity. This is why many TV shows and movies end abruptly to keep you wanting more. While subscribers may not want more email from you, using cliffhangers in the subject line increases curiosity and can lead to more opens. Incomplete subject lines followed by ellipsis are compelling. For example, "The secret to social media success is..." may compel people to click. Warning, do not overuse this! It can lead to frustration as it may seem forced. Use this strategically and infrequently for the most success.
- Don't forget the Preheader - Preheaders are an important, yet often overlooked part of the subject line. As many marketers neglect this, using preheader space effectively can greatly boost email opens. Preheader space comes before your subject. It can help catch a subscriber's eye and is displayed in bold. Use preheader space to supplement your subject lines.
- Don't use a boring or common CTA - "Buy Now" is so common! As is "Shop Now". Instead, use CTA's that are descriptive, actionable, and obvious. If your subject line mentions "50% off, TODAY ONLY!" then make your CTA button "Shop One-Day Sale". This CTA creates urgency and ties in well with the subject line.
- Prioritize Engagement - The same advice that applies to social media marketing is also applicable here. Engagement over sales! If you have high engagement rates, sales are bound to follow. Think about it this way, people subscribe to mailing lists to stay updated. They want to know more about your company. If someone just wanted to buy products from you, they would visit your website, complete a purchase, and be done with it.
- Keep subject lines short for mobile users - We are in an era where we need to design for mobile interfaces; shorter subject lines look better on mobile devices. As you can't guarantee that your emails will only be opened by desktop users, stick to using short subject lines as a rule of thumb. Use numbers, symbols, and emojis to keep subject lines short.
- Utilize Frequency Capping - Almost 46% of your subscribers will mark your email as spam or even unsubscribe from your mailing list because they are emailed too often. Other reasons why emails get marked as spam are because they are impersonal or irrelevant. To make sure subscribers don't get frustrated because you are flooding them with emails, use frequency capping. It limits the number of emails a subscriber will receive over a set period. This can prevent subscribers from being sent a promotional, cart-recovery, and welcome email all in the same day.
- A/B Test often! - As with social media marketing and advertising, A/B testing is still important. As you test more, you may notice certain emails get opened more. Spotting and capitalizing on any patterns you may spot will increase the success of your campaigns. The from line, subject line, preview text, email copy, and CTA are all elements of an email that you can A/B test. Run what works!
- Maintain email lists - So much effort gets spent on growing email lists that maintenance gets overlooked. You want to remove the "bad addresses" frequently. There is no point in having a large mailing list if your emails don't even reach your subscribers' inboxes!
- Keep emails Short! - The shorter the email, the more likely it is to get displayed in the "Primary" tab, as opposed to in "Social" or "Promotions". You can A/B test various post lengths to see what appears in the "Primary" tab and has the most success. Subscribers aren't likely to click on the "Promotions" tab to view your email, making it all the more important that your email shows up in the "Primary" tab.
It may take time to have hugely successful email campaigns consistently. This shouldn't discourage you from giving it a shot. Emails are a great place for you to express your creativity. The emails with the best subject line get opened and the emails with the best email copy and CTA get clicked. Adopting the tips in this blog is a great place to start your email marketing journey!
About the Author
Nikith Deo is the Digital Marketing intern for Sparrow Marketing. He is a senior marketing student at San Jose State University.