A recent study from the Radicati Group found that 76% of marketers plan to use email marketing in 2022, same as in 2021. But is your email marketing service meeting your expectations? How is your subject line performing? How effective are your emails in engaging recipients and driving them to action?
Before you spend a penny on a new email marketing campaign or service, it’s important to understand how each element of your plan is performing. This includes the look & feel of your emails, the delivery of your emails, the interaction with your email audience and the value you’re providing them. Only then can you determine if your investment in email will be worthwhile and whether it’s time to consider an alternative medium.
Let’s take a look at each area and how you can make improvements to optimize your results.
The Look & Feel Of Your Emails
The look & feel of your email is just as important as the content within it. After all, how you present yourself is how you will be perceived, and you don’t want to give the impression that you’re just trying to up-sale. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in a good-looking email template that compliments your brand.
It’s also important to check the look of your emails on different devices. Some devices are better at rendering certain styles of content than others, so you don’t want to cut it too close to the end and have the text appear blurry or pixelated. It’s crucial to find a balance between the two so that the text appears sharp and clean, regardless of the device on which it’s viewed.
The Delivery Of Your Emails
This refers to how your emails are transferred from one place to another. There are a few different methods to executing a flawless email delivery:
- Make sure your SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) settings are set up correctly in your email marketing software so your emails don’t get held up in a queue. They should go out as soon as possible once you send them.
- Avoid using canned or pre-written emails – it takes time to get to know your audience and learn what they want and need. Build an email list over time and send out useful, personalized emails that they’ll cherish.
- Use a reputable email delivery service. Some companies specialize in email delivery and make it their core business, so it’s important to select a carrier that is known for its impeccable track record.
- Always test different iterations of your emails before going live. This will help you determine which one performs the best and have more effective communication down the line.
- If you’re mailing a physical product and want to follow up with a person later, use a physical address rather than a P.O. Box. This ensures a more personal connection and also prevents your package from being treated like spam. Physical addresses are also required for shipping items on Etsy or other similar sites.
- Choose a send date far enough in advance so you don’t get flooded with spam on the day of the campaign.
- Use a different email address for different types of communications so your inbox doesn’t become overloaded. This way, you can keep track of all relevant emails related to a certain project or initiative and act on them accordingly.
- Make sure to reply to all inquiries as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have the answer right away, it’s good practice to at least acknowledge that you received the email and will get back to them as soon as possible.
- Monitor the opening & click-through rates of your emails. This way, you will know what works and what needs to be tweaked. When you open your email marketing software, you should see a small bar at the top that displays your email’s open rate.
- Use a free email service to test your emails with a few addresses you’ve collected from friends and family. This way, you can get feedback on how your emails look and whether or not they are effective in getting your point across. You should always strive to improve your open rate and engagement with your audience.
The Interaction With Your Email Audience
This refers to the two-way communication that takes place between you and your email subscribers. You’re in direct communication with the person reading your emails, so you can put a face to the name and build a relationship.
Make sure to reply to all questions and comments as quickly as possible. If you’re struggling to find the right answer, it’s best to just say “I’m working on it” and give them their space to communicate with you directly. This makes them feel as though you’re paying attention and that their opinion matters.
Encourage your subscribers to get in touch with you via social media. Give them some insight into the kinds of content you’ll be providing and what you’re looking for in terms of engagement. You can also ask them questions about the products you promote and whatever else comes up. This keeps the conversation fresh and encourages them to engage with you again.
Respond to all reviews and critiques of your work as well. This shows that you’re a good sport and that you’re open to new ideas. It also encourages the reviewer to spread the word about your product or service, which can potentially lead to more sales.
The Value You’re Providing
This refers to the benefit your subscribers expect to get from your emails. Will they learn something new? Will they enjoy the humor? Will they like the sales pitch? The latter half of 2021 was absolutely dominated by the question “What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?”. This is a good example of how important it is to provide value in your emails.
The content of your emails should always be directly relevant to your subscribers. If you want to promote a product or service that is not related to health and safety, it’s best to find a different way to market it. For example, if you sell kitchenware, it’s probably not the best idea to send out an email about the dangers of eating bread.
However, you can use the fear of the pandemic as a hook to draw in interested customers. It’s always a good idea to look for ways to use your existing products to help during these trying times. One company I worked with sent out an email several months ago, offering free deliveries during the pandemic. This is value in itself. They’re saving people’s time and gas by providing an incentive to order during these days, when everyone is staying indoors. It’s also a way to show their support and keep their customers informed.
The size of your email audience is also an important consideration. If you have a relatively small audience, it’s better to experiment with shorter, more concise emails to save you time and ensure that your emails get through. Alternatively, if you have a large audience, it’s better to send out longer, more in-depth emails to ensure that everyone gets the information they need in one place.
To find the right balance, look at the demographics of your subscriber base. If you’re not sure, put yourself in their place and think about what you would want to receive. Consider what you’re offering and whether or not they’re getting something valuable from your email.