Let’s face it, there’s no end of ‘email marketing experts’ out there running workshops and courses on how to deliver a winning email newsletter. In reality there really are no ‘secrets’ to success – it’s all just common sense. From having a plan in place to making your content stand out, a good newsletter is basically all about proper checks and good practice.
With that in mind, here’s 20 very simple email marketing tips you need to know before you send your next newsletter. Nothing complicated, nothing hard – just plain common sense.
1 – Have a plan
A successful email marketing campaign is based on having a plan in place, so work out what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want 100 sign-ups? Do you want 100 click-throughs? Work out what it is you want to achieve and plan how you’ll get there.
2 – Design
When designing your emails, it’s good practice to have 60% text coverage and 40% images. There are also only four consistently web-friendly fonts – Arial, Verdana, Courier and Times New Roman. In order to avoid the junk folder, make sure the biggest size used is only 24 pixels.
3 – Alternative text
Always make sure you are using alternative text in your emails, so even when images are blocked they can still easily see the purpose of your mail.
4 – Mobiles
More and more of us use our mobiles to access out emails, so in order to ensure your newsletter can be read keep it short and sweet. Use bullet points and double spacing to make your content stand out.
5 – Legality
Email marketers have to abide by the law. Make sure you comply with the Data Protection Act, don’t ever disclose recipients’ details and always, always make it easy to unsubscribe.
6 – Welcomes
The moment someone gives you their email you have their attention so make it count. Send a welcome and make it relevant and useful. Give them a special offer as a way of saying thanks – they’re at their most engaged now so are more likely to respond.
7 – Re-send to non-opens
Don’t forget to schedule your campaign to re-send to non opens. Inboxes are busy places, so it’s possible your email just got overlooked and they’d actually be really interested in what you have to say!
8 – Timing
Sending your email at the right time can make all the difference between a campaign succeeding or failing. Most research reveals personal emails are opened outside of office hours, either before the working day or on a lunch hour. Tuesdays are when most people feel productive, whereas you’re unlikely to get much response on a Friday as people are winding down for the week.
9 – Copy
Keep your content short and to the point and always give your emails clear call to actions. Remember, you don’t make money from sending the email – you want people to visit your site and see what you have to offer.
10 – Subject lines
Crucial in improving your open rate is to have a really good subject line. No open = no conversion, so make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance in a crowded inbox.
11 – Cross-channel marketing
To get the best possible results from your marketing campaigns, make sure all strands are working together. Think about what you’re doing outside of email and integrate them – direct mail, social media, SMS… incorporate your message into one for a stronger campaign.
12 – Lists
Bought data may seem like a good idea but it rarely works. Where possible it’s always best to grow your lists organically. Signpost website visitors to sign up, tell them what they are going to get and let them choose how often they want to hear from you
13 – Trust-earning text
Trust earning text lets your recipients know why they are receiving your email and how they can unsubscribe. Having it at the top of your email will keep them hanging round for longer.
14 – Test
Few email marketers test their emails frequently. It should form an integral part of any email marketing campaign, so make sure spam check often. Also be sure to enable analytics so you can ensure you know what recipients have gone on to do after they’ve read your email
15 – Personalize
A personal email is more likely to be opened and read. You could try and use their name in your subject line, use a different color for your email template depending if it’s for a male or female or send targeted offers based on their past purchases.
16 – Reporting
Measuring success of your email campaigns is vital in knowing how you can improve on them and do better next time. Heat maps, device reporting, analytics… there’s plenty of tools out there to let you know how we’ll you’re doing. Record, Refine and Repeat – the more often you look at your reports the more successful your campaigns will become.
17 – Social media
Integrating your email newsletters into social media is key in helping spread the word of your offers, products and services. Use Twitter to grow your email subscribers, put social shares on individual bits of content so they can share the bits they want to – and post a link to an online version of your newsletter.
18 – Checklists
Before you click “send” it’s a good idea to have a checklist for every campaign. Include checks to ensure links are working, there are no spelling errors and it reads well. That way you’ll be more confident that there won’t be any mistakes when it’s opened.
19 – Preference Centers
Preference centers are a great way of ensuring that you’re only emailing subscribers with content that they’re interested in, helping to boost open and click-through rates as well as levels of engagement.
20 – Unsubscribers
Finally, make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your emails. If you hide it away you’re more likely to be reported as spam. Inactive recipients are only going to have a negative impact on your campaigns, so if they’re not on your list you’ll end up getting better results.
This guest post was written by Rechenda Smith of email marketing company little green plane. To sign up for a free trial of the little green plane software please visit the website.