So you've learned about producing quality and relevant content, now it's time to go into more detail and learn how to get your emails not only opened, but read and even clicked. For many small businesses, email marketing (monthly newsletters, email announcements, etc.) is a primary medium for communicating with customers. There are several elements that go into getting your emails opened, each equally meaningful.
For email marketing beginners, subject lines are the first thing your recipients will see; it's arguably the most important factor that goes into a successful email. The subject line and sender determines whether or not the email will be opened, regardless of the content inside of the email. No one will get to see that great content you've written if the receiver doesn't open the email.
Expanding on what I talked about in the Email Marketing Step #1 post, targeting your emails to the right people and catering to your different types of consumers will definitely improve open rates. Email marketing services include features that allow for you to segment your subscriber lists, sending targeted content to each group. When certain consumers have expressed more interest in one service/product over another, then send them emails focused on what they want! For instance, send follow up emails that are customized to the items they clicked on in the earlier email. Note that automation tools exist that will automatically send these follow ups based pre-defined actions in your previous email.
Another important factor is timing – especially when it comes to getting subscribers to open and read your emails. There are many different theories on best/worst time to send email newsletters. For instance, try to avoid sending your emails out on weekends; more importantly on Mondays because that's when people are flooded with emails they've collected over the past two days. Yet, we have clients who sell hobbyist products that get the highest open rates on Sunday afternoons. Mailchimp says that Tuesday and Thursday are the two most popular days to send email newsletters, suggesting that 2pm is the optimal send time. Okay so now you know, send your emails mid-week and mid-day, but also keep in mind that there is no single "best time" to send an email – it all depends on your audience. The best way to find the optimal send time/day for your business is through A/B testing. A/B testing, also known as "split testing," is a way of working out which of two campaign options is the most effective/successful in terms of opens or clicks.
Okay, you've learned about subject lines and targeting/timing, now our final piece of advice: keep your email content simple and get right to the point. Most people scan through their emails, so the best way to get your email read is to keep the content easy flowing and short!
A good way to do this is to provide a link and the end of your short paragraphs. For example, if you feature some of your blog posts (from your website) in your email newsletter, you can write a sentence or two about what the post is about and provide a link to the full post, so if their viewer wants to read more, they will click. To the left is an example of a featured blog post in our email newsletter and how we include a link for those who want to read more. This is beneficial for two reasons:
Email marketing can be tricky, but also very beneficial. For further questions or inquiries contact Igniting Business for a complimentary email marketing evaluation. Look out for the last blog post in this series next month, Email Marketing Step 3: Email Marketing Best Practices.