Email marketing is an effective way of marketing your business and keeping your name and brand in front of your customers and prospects. It is the most effective way to reach hundreds, even thousands of people with a click of the mouse. As a trainer of email marketing, I am often asked, “What is the key to getting emails opened?” For the record, a good open rate is 20-30%. This article outlines seven steps to increasing open rates and ultimately increasing business through your email marketing campaigns.
1. Your list.
Certainly one of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign is your list. Are your names recent? Have they agreed to be on your list? Have they shown an interest in products or services you offer? Make sure that you are using a list you built rather than buying a list. Begin today making a concentrated effort to build your list. When networking ask your new acquaintance, “Is it okay to add you to my mailing list?” Be sure to tell them the value to being on your list. What will they receive? I tell my potential listers that they will receive a weekly newsletter that gives them an update of who will be on my show, upcoming events, motivation, inspiration, education and transformation.
2. Your subject line.
Does your subject line grasp their attention? When I poll my classes most of the participants say that the subject line is most likely to determine whether they open the email or not. You have approximately 10 seconds to grab your reader’s attention and the subject line is the most effective way to do so. It is important to keep the subject line short approximately 5 to 8 words. Remember, most subject lines get cut off in the email list. Put the most important information at the front of the subject. Use the three S’s – shock, surprise and sense of humor to grab your audience’s attention. For example, if you are advertising a health seminar, your subject could read, “Get Off Your Meds Today!”
3. Your From: information.
What information appears in the From line of your email? Will your recipients recognize it? Do they want to hear from you? Use your name or company name whichever is most recognizable in your From line. Oftentimes, emails are deleted without ever being opened due to an unrecognizable From name. Your From name should be brief and easily understood.
4. Track your results.
The most valuable part of having an email service provider is reporting and tracking. Tracking allows you to determine who opened your message and clicked on a link or multiple links within your email. By determining what worked and what didn’t, you can replicate success on your next email. Tracking is particularly important when testing subject lines, imbedded links, and other direct response vehicles.
5. Allow unsubscribes with comments.
The CAN-SPAM act of 2003 requires that all email messages contain clear directions on how to opt-out from subsequent mailings. It is a good idea to allow your unsubscribers to share with you why they opt out. This way you can use their comments to improve your emails. If recipients no longer want to hear from you, it is in your best interest to remove them from your list.
6. Link your images to your website, blog or social media.
Every image in your email should have a link to somewhere. Ideally, you want to drive traffic to your website by adding links to your images. Make sure that you have social media links in your email so that your audience can Friend you (Facebook), Follow you (Twitter) or Connect with you (Linked In). This tip will surely increase your social media traffic.
7. Test, Test, Test!
No matter what your involvement with email marketing happens to be, it is essential that you follow the above for successful results. In addition, the key is to test, test, test! After each email campaign, measure your opens, click-throughs, and purchases. Document the specific date, time, list, subject line, and content used to produce your results. Refer back to your documentation prior to your next campaign.
Email is an easy and affordable form of marketing. There are many best practices you can follow and some simple rules that ensure effectively delivery, open and conversion. By following the simple rules presented in this article, you’ll not only deliver an effective email campaign, you’ll discover a consistent method for generating revenue for your business.