In 2020, there will be more ways than ever to communicate with your audience. While email is still the most popular method, social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have dramatically altered the way we send and receive messages.
The good news is that you can use this trend to your advantage. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your emails get attention and that you are remembered when relevant content is shared on social platforms.
To that end, this article will discuss how you can double down on your email marketing strategy in 2020 and double your open rates.
Prioritise Email Clutter-free
Since the turn of the century, email has been plagued by unsolicited messages, known as ‘spam’ or ‘junk mail’. While this is a major concern for anyone who receives regular mail, it is a particular pain for marketers. After all, marketing emails look just like spam, and they often get marked as such. The result is that your open rates take a hit.
To avoid this, you need to keep your email simple and free of fluff. There are several things you can do to make sure that your emails are as unique as possible and will not be mistaken for spam:
- Create a quality email address. It should be short and easy to remember, and it should match the domain you are sending the email from.
- Use a reputable provider for your email campaign. This means that you can be sure the server is not being hijacked by anyone and that your messages will be handled promptly.
- Avoid using marketing or sales related terms as the subject line. This is also a good idea because it makes the email less likely to be flagged as spam. Instead, use a subject line that is relevant to the content within the email.
- Do not send duplicate or near-duplicate emails. This happens when you send out a newsletter to your subscribers and then promptly follow up with another email. The result is that your subscribers receive multiple messages per day, and some unsubscribe due to the overload. Keep those who subscribe to your email list happy by using a series of relevant emails rather than relying on one massive campaign.
- Use a password protected link in your email signature. This is a great way to ensure that only people who have subscribed will be able to access your email. Having a password makes it more convenient for people to find and read your emails (you can use a simple link to the email or use an authentication method such as two-factor verification).
- Use a consistent tone and language throughout the email. You should not put too much “spin” or “vibrancy” into your emails, as this is likely to make them sound less credible. In general, keep the language and the pace of your emails the same. In this way, your emails will not seem like spam and you will increase your open rates.
- Ensure that all of the links in your email are “clickable”. This makes it much easier for people to navigate to the websites you are directing them to and to find the resources you mention in your email. It also means that people are less likely to complain about being tricked by a spammer because the links looked “natural”.
- Try using a hybrid email marketing approach. With a hybrid approach, you will occasionally send out text messages (SMS) to your contacts as well as send emails. This allows you to keep in touch with customers who do not use social media sites and email frequently gets lost in the shuffle. Using more than one mode of communication allows you to ensure that your messages are not missed and that your open rates do not drop because your audience does not always have access to email. Having said that, the best approach is to use email as your primary form of communication, because people have likely seen a message from you and know that you are trustworthy. If you use email marketing software, you can set it up to send out text messages (SMS) as well.
- Use the “Contact Us” form on your website to receive feedback from customers. People love to give feedback, and you can definitely use this to improve your business. Putting in the effort to gain customer feedback will help you find out what is working and what needs to be changed. By receiving feedback throughout the year, you can keep your customers happy by continually improving your products and services.
- Personalise your emails. Include your customers’ names and email addresses within the email to show that you have recognised them and that you are taking the time to make sure their needs are being met. Above all else, you should avoid using computer-generated, mechanical (automated) campaigns; instead utilize a live person to write and send the messages.
Make Your Email Stand Out
As mentioned, sending duplicate or near-duplicate emails can cause damage to your open rates. In addition, it is best not to use generic subject lines for your emails. Your emails will not stand out if they are simply “Hello, here is the best email I could find on the subject of ‘XYZ’”.
To really engage your audience, you will need to use a more creative approach. As emails are usually transmitted through a newsletter, it is a good idea to include a little bit of wit and style in your email. One way to stand out is to use a visual aid. You can use images, infographics, or even videos to catch the attention of your audience. When a video is included in an email, it automatically becomes the most important part of the message. In fact, 47% of viewers say that they watch videos more often because they want to see more images than long-form text-based content. Since visuals are such a big part of social media, including video content in your emails will certainly make them pop! You should include hyperlinks to the products you mention within the email because videos allow for more engagement. For example, if you mention a particular product in your email and include a video on that product, you will greatly increase the odds of your reader clicking on the link and purchasing the item.
Avoid Disappearing Into The Crowd
One of the major concerns that marketers have is that, because there are so many options for consumers to receive messages from businesses, their own campaigns could get lost in the shuffle. To avoid this, you need to ensure that your email is relevant to a specific audience, and you should not send out too often or too frequently. For example, if you are sending an email that is relevant to a “30 something” audience, then you should limit yourself to one email per month.
To put this into practice, you can use email analytics tools to track the campaigns that have led to the highest open rates. From there, you can determine the qualities that helped make an effective email.
Additionally, you should look into what is causing your emails to bounce. The most common cause of email bounce is excessive senders’ email IDs. This occurs when a marketer uses an email ID that is shared by another marketer or organization. When this happens, the emails sent from one of the sharing ID recipients will be flagged as spam, causing all messages to be discarded. In this case, the best solution is to use a different email ID for your marketing emails.
Similarly, if you are sending email blasts about a new product or service, you should stagger your emails so that your audience does not get overwhelmed. When an email marketing campaign is launched, the organizer should wait a few days before following up with another blast. This is to allow for responders to have time to open the first email and take notice of the content before being prompted to give another thought to email marketing. Overloading an audience with too many messages at once can cause them to “roll their eyes” and mark your emails as spam, ultimately causing you to lose contacts.
Use Personalised Thank You Messages
Depending on how much effort you put in to increase your email open rates, you should be able to reap the benefits in your marketing campaigns. To thank your audience for opening and reading your emails, you can include a small gift – something that will prove that you recognised them by name. However, it is not obligatory that you buy them something. Sending a personalised thank you message is a simple gesture that will make your reader feel that you have taken the time to think of something special just for them. Moreover, since 44% of consumers say that they receive fewer notifications when subscribing to a mailing list, you should follow up with a personalised notification to keep your contacts engaged.
To put this into practice, you can see an example of a personalised thank you message in the image below.