Email marketing is one of the most powerful online marketing methods you can use. When done right, it allows you to reach thousands of prospects in seconds, follow up with your customer base, and can be very cost effective if you understand how to build your list organically. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood marketing methods, and in many cases, seemingly subtle mistakes could ruin an email marketing campaign completely. In this article, we’re going to enumerate some of the do’s and don’ts of building a newsletter that works.
Do – Get your Subscribers’ Explicit Permission
Getting your readers’ consent before you start sending them mailings is not only proper etiquette; it is also very important if you want to remain compliant as well. You are obligated by law to not only explicitly get their consent but give them a clear way to unsubscribe as well. This is why you give them an easy way to unsubscribe to your newsletter and confirm quickly that they did subscribe. This will ensure that you avoid legal issues and that you’re sending emails to a responsive audience.
Don’t – Send Emails with Vague Subject Lines
Your subject line is probably the most important part of any message. Knowing how to formulate subject lines correctly could make or break your newsletter and make a huge impact on your response and open rates. Your subject lines should tell your readers exactly what’s in it for them if they open your message. They should also be as precise and concise as possible to get their attention quickly, so make sure that they don’t get truncated when they get to their inbox.
Do – Understand the Importance of a Clear Call to Action
All your messages should have an intention, and you should make that intention clear at the end and throughout your message as well, if possible. Do you want them to download a new case study? Or get a copy of your free book? Or read on to see a recent blog entry? Whatever it might be, make sure that you have a clear link or image along with a call to action that will prompt them to follow through with your instructions.
Don’t – Overlook Analytics
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is how much data it allows you to gather and how you can optimise your campaigns to get the best results. You’ll get information on things like click-through rates, bounce rates, open rates, etc. These will allow you to get some information on what you’re doing right or wrong. If, for instance, you’re having a high bounce rate on your welcome email, then you could do some A/B testing and try different types and see which one works for you. Test different types of calls to action and subject lines and formats and see where you can improve.
Do – Make your Messages as Personal as Possible
There’s nothing more infuriating than receiving an irrelevant and copy pasted message that was obviously blasted to thousands of people on a list. These kinds of messages are the perfect way to get your list unsubscribed to. Successful email marketing is all about building a trusting relationship with your readers, and you will lose all their trust if they realise that you’re just another email on their list.
One of the easiest ways to personalise messages is by making sure that the recipient’s name is clearly displayed in the message and subject line. But make sure that the tag is actually working. Seeing “%FIRSTNAME%” at the beginning of a message or subject line can be just as bad as having no name at all. Segmenting your list is also a great way to keep things more personal by sending messages that actually matter to the recipient. The more targeted your messages are, the higher conversion and lower unsubscribe rate you will get.
And you should also make your messages personal to you as well. Make sure that you use your own voice and share stories and anecdotes with your readers. Make them feel like they’re your friend. It’s all about building a connection. Making your messages seem as human as possible will do a great deal in building solid customer relationships and building a responsive audience.
Don’t – Overflow their Inboxes
This one is a tricky one. You should do everything in your power to not overdo it with the messages and find a happy medium your customers will be satisfied with. Most of the time, company messages will be sent on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis and nurturing messages that focus on providing value will be sent more often. You should test as many different mailing frequencies as you can and see what works for you. It all depends on the nature of your list, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how much your subscribers can actually tolerate.
Email marketing can be one of the most effective marketing tools out there once you understand the basics of what constitutes a good email marketing campaign. Make sure you that you keep these few tips in mind next time you launch your own campaign if you want to get the best results possible.