There are more than 34% people across the world who use email – that’s about 2.5 billion people. And according to the Radicati Group, that number is predicted to increase to 2.8 billion in the next 2 years. The same study also says that there are more than 196 billion emails sent daily – out of which, 109 billion are business emails.
Apart from being the most economic and cost effective, a study by Custora found that the customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the 4 years preceding 2013. This accounts for nearly 7% of all the customer acquisition that has occurred online.
Clearly, email marketing is the most direct, effective and personal way of reaching out to your target audience. But still, this means of marketing doesn’t work for everyone – simply because their campaign is not strong enough or they don’t know how to make the most out of the channel.
Here’s how you can boost email marketing results in just 10 simple steps:
1. Frame attention worthy subject lines
The first thing your audience sees in an email, is the subject line. To grab their attention in the 5 seconds of them receiving the email:
- Use their first name in the subject line
- Include an urgency factor
- Ask a question to pique curiosity
- Insert industry specific numbers
But before you settle in for your way of writing subject lines, try out different versions to understand which one gets you the highest open rates.
2. Use a clear call-to-action
Your business call-to-action button is the most important thing in a marketing campaign. If you want the email recipients to take action on your message, make what you want them to do next absolutely clear. While we‘re not saying the aesthetics of the email should be ignored, using a subtle yet strong button that stands out from the remaining design is always a good idea to grab attention.
Here’s an example from Dropbox’s emails:
3. Have only one primary goal
Most businesses get carried away when it comes to framing the emails. They end up making multiple offers – be it products in different categories or services for different sections of the audience. Stick to following just one goal to avoid confusing the recipient about what it is that you want them to do.
Here’s an example of People Per Hour promoting their ‘up to 50% off’ discount with a subject line that says, ‘Vanhishikha, 7 must haves before Thanksgiving!’
4. Personalise all your messages
People buy from people, not businesses. Similarly, people interact with people and not automated business messages. So humanize the way you sound on emails. Try using the recipient’s first name or middle name not just at the beginning of the body, but somewhere in between as well. This engages the reader on a deeper level. Coming across his own name, slows down the reader enough to think about what he is reading through and why he should make an interaction.
5. Use captivating images
Since visual content gets processed 60,000 times faster by the brain, people tend to interact with them more than text links. If you want your audience to pay attention to what your email has to offer and interact with you, stimulate them visually by including interesting images. Here are a few formats you could make use of:
And here’s an example of Heads Up For Tails using one of the above formats for promoting their new winter collection for dogs:
6. Don’t forget to track your images
In continuation to the point above, use a trackable URL for all your images to analyse how many people clicked on it. This helps you understand what your target audience interacts with more – after all, data is what makes marketing results better.
7. Offer a plain text version for your emails
More often than not, your target audience is travelling and might not have sufficient network coverage to load all the multimedia you include in the email body. But they are your audience too! So ensure you offer a plain text version of your email – a faster loading email to avoid it getting trashed by them.
8. Space out your links
If you’re linking the reader to multiple things in the body of the email, make sure you space them out appropriately. This won’t just make them more readable, but will also increase the click through rate. Conduct A/B testing on link colors, font, spacing, etc before settling down for one format.
9. Don’t always sound salesy
Sometimes a business needs to give away pure value to the customer without expecting anything in return. It is the only way to gain loyal customers who will trust everything the brand says in the long run. Share industry insights or sneak peeks into your business – but keep it relevant to their interests. It has to talk about or solve a topic they have been interacting with or are concerned about.
10. Just be nice and offer free things (sometimes)
Sometimes, it just pays to be nice to your target audience. While we don’t expect you to go all out sending them gifts and thank you notes, sending a new how-to-guide, video or a hack on a weekly basis is a good idea. The trust you gain builds up the engagement for the next sales email you send to your list.
Here’s how Asos wishes customers on their birthdays (read, engages with them):
Over to you
Emails are the best way to interact with your audience the way you want without industry competitors tapping into your strategy. So make the most of it!
What other email marketing tips have you come across lately, and which one of them has brought you the expected results? Feel free to add to this post by dropping a comment in the box below. We’re waiting to hear your hack!
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