6 Easy Tips To Improve Your Email Marketing
If you’ve landed here, you probably already know that email has the potential to power your marketing efforts, but did you know how effective it can really be? According to Oberlo, one of the leading drop shipping companies for Shopify, sending three abandoned cart emails can result in 69% more orders than a single email! And on the whole, you can expect an average ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend on your email marketing budget — that’s an incredible return.
Let’s take a look at some very important tips you won’t want to miss when it comes to your email marketing strategy.
The 6 Top Email Marketing Tips
Not all email campaigns are created equal. Let’s take a look at some common things people miss when it comes to email marketing. These tips will lay a solid foundation when you create email campaigns for your shoppers, and I’ve also peppered in email marketing platforms you can check out along the way.
1) Include A Strong Call To Action
A call-to-action phrase is a short line of hyperlinked text that speaks directly to the reader. The best CTAs make use of strong action verbs and also convey a benefit.
Here are some examples of a good CTA to help get your creativity flowing:
- Explore Your Options
- Reserve Your Tickets
- Download The Free Guide
- Find Your Perfect Pair
- Claim Your Coupon
Whether your campaign is focused on a sales promotion or providing value with a free resource, you’ll ultimately want your reader to click back to your site, and the call-to-action phrase makes that next action stand out.
2) Make It Personal With Segmentation
Even though you can send out mass, one-size-fits-all emails to your entire list, that doesn’t mean you should. According to a stat we found on Hubspot, email campaigns segmented by user interest see a whopping 74.53% higher click-through rate! When you are shopping around for email marketing software, pay special attention to automated behavior triggered email features as well as the ability to tag and segment contacts.
I should also point out that email automation can be simple or very complicated. I’ve met with clients who have taken weeks to hammer out customer segmenting and email sequences for every one of their marketing and sales verticals. These workflows can be time-consuming, but if you have the budget, they can also be a very effective marketing tool to bring more people into the sales funnel — especially if your business has a long sales cycle. Salesforce is probably the most quintessential platform for segmenting sales leads.
You can also utilize omnichannel tracking to hone in on very personalized messages. If you have a product you sell and have an eCommerce business, for example, the Drip platform allows you to set up tagging and tracking for your contacts across multiple channels, including email, social media, and your site, so you can extrapolate all different kinds of data based on how they interact with you. If they’ve browsed something at your site and put it in their cart but didn’t purchase, for instance, an abandoned cart automation email sequence reconnects with and tempts your customer to go back and finish the purchase. Many email platforms also integrate with social media, so you can deliver highly targeted ads in this way, too.
It doesn’t always have to involve tracking or complicated workflows, however. Even simpler platforms, such as Square Marketing, used along with Square POS, can help you set up an automation that’s based on an event, such as a birthday, or segment and market to lapsed customers who haven’t purchased from you in a set amount of time.
3) Split Test For Messaging
According to a recent statistic from Litmus, companies that A/B split test every email enjoy 37% higher returns than brands that never A/B test.
Split testing requires a more thoughtful strategy overall. Because you learn something new each time you run a test, you inevitably deliver more relevant messaging as you send out more emails. Not all email marketing platforms offer A/B split testing features, but many do at some price point, at least. I like that Mailchimp provides A/B testing at the lower-priced Essentials Plan tier because it helps businesses with even a small marketing budget play around with split testing emails to get better results.
Keep in mind that when you set up a split test, you should only test one aspect at a time for best results. For example, don’t significantly change your email design and your call-to-action button text. You’ll get muddy, inaccurate results if you do.
4) Subject Line Best Practices
According to a stat on Hubspot, your email is 50% more likely to be opened up if it is personalized, yet only 2% of companies do it! When you set up any automated workflows or triggered emails, think about how your subject line can be personal and engaging for your shopper.
If your email marketing platform doesn’t make this easy for you, there are some other ways you can make your subject line more apt to stand out. For one, emojis do add some much-needed personality and can boost open rates by over half (Coschedule). There is a cautionary attachment, however, as you want to avoid the over-use of emojis. One aptly placed emoji at the end of your subject line is best to convey some warmth without going overboard, like the example you’ll see below.
Probably the most important thing to remember about your subject line is to focus on the benefits your customer gets when they open it. What will they gain? Slick or over-hyped messaging should be avoided and instead focus on concise, action-oriented verbiage that reads like a good headline. And yes, keep it short and sweet. Make sure you take note of how your subject line appears during any previewing to ensure your message didn’t get cut off.
After the subject line in the image above, note that there is more text visible in the subject line — that’s your preheader text — and you’ll want to use this space (40-70 characters) to convey a little bit more about what’s in the email to entice your customer to click.
One final thing — if you A/B test, split testing your subject line can help you hone in on what works best with your customers. Again, just make sure you are only testing one variable at a time in your emails for accurate results.
5) Creating Visual Appeal
The two most widely used visual formats for emails are the inverted pyramid and the one-column format. Both of these can effectively draw the reader into the next action, and they both provide an excellent balance of text and imagery.
Here is an example of an email created with Square Marketing using one of their free email template designs. This is an inverted pyramid design example — note the eye-catching banner image with short, concise text and a clear CTA button at the bottom. These elements also make great use of white space for a clean design.
Here at Merchant Maverick, our newsletter provides a great example of the column design. This design works great on both desktop and mobile and provides clear information to help our readers navigate to what they want to read, without overwhelming them in the process.
Also, notice our CTA buttons give our readers information on exactly what they will get when they click!
Creating an email that’s easy on the eyes is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of your email. Mailchimp is one of our highest-rated email marketing platforms that has a great library of templates along with editors that will help you create something on-brand for your business.
6) Build Your Email List The Right Way
Because email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach potential customers, companies sometimes look for less than ethical methods of building their lists. I’m talking about buying lists, and while not necessarily wrong, it is probably not going to give you the results you’re after. Instead of buying email lists that are often fraught with old or inactive emails in the first place, focus on building your email list with the long game in mind. So how do you build an email list chock full of contacts who want to hear from you?
You first have to ask them. Getting explicit permission through an opt-in offer is one way to make sure your list is as healthy as it can be. An opt-in offer is often sweetened with the promises of a nice discount as in the case of Shein’s offer below:
If you are a content-driven site like we are here at Merchant Maverick, you can also offer to provide a valuable resource like this Beginner’s Guide To Starting An Online Store eBook:
Another effective way to build your email list is to offer a weekly or monthly newsletter. In this form below, you can see we also encourage our readers to customize the content they are interested in receiving, so we can better target their needs:
Opt-in forms like the ones above make sure your list is healthy, and what that means is that all of your emails are more deliverable and welcomed. That reduces your chances of being marked as spam as well as a dreaded hard bounce — meaning it gets returned to the sender. If you get too many hard bounces, your deliverability to all of your contacts can be at risk, so use these tips for the best results.
Take Your Email Marketing To The Next Level
Whether you are new to email marketing or you are honing your strategy, keep the six tips above in mind for the most effective results. There is a lot more we can talk about when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign, so check out How To Create A Successful Email Marketing Strategy as well as The Best Free Email Marketing Software Programs to help you test the waters and find what works best for your small business. Do you have questions about email marketing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.