Six Rules of Successful Email Marketing

Increase engagement and ROI

If there were a way to turn $1 into $38, would you do it? Bet you would! In its 2015 National Client E-mail Report, the Direct Marketing Association reported an average $38 return for every dollar spent on email marketing. That sounds great — but there are rules of engagement to put the email marketing odds in your favor.

Induce your audience to open your email
Your subject line should compel the recipient to open your email. Studies show people spend more than six hours a day checking their email, but only zero to three seconds deciding what to open.

Which of these subject lines would you likely open: “XYZ Company March Newsletter,” or “My Misspent Youth as Bear Bait”? The latter is an actual subject line I used for a manufacturing client. Open and conversion rates rose dramatically. Induce your audience to open your email. If they don’t open it, they won’t buy from you.

Have a relevant message
A Mailgen.com study showed emails pertinent to the recipient (those tailored to specific customer characteristics) delivered 18 times more revenue than general broadcast messages. In the words of Simon & Schuster co-founder Max Schuster, “People never buy things or services; they buy solutions to their problems.” In other words: Make your message count. If you need help crafting your message, hire a copywriter.

Your initial email message shouldn’t be terribly long. Save long sales copy for a webpage linked to your email. Sometimes, the shortest emails are most successful. For example, if you have a list of email addresses from folks who never purchased from you, try this nine-word email: “Hi Jim, Are you still interested in a pool?” It’s not salesy and it engages the prospect in a discussion, which can lead to a sale.

Have a call-to-action
Tell people what to do, how to buy, set an appointment, etc. You can pour unlimited time and financial resources into crafting a great message, but if you don’t provide a clearly defined set of next steps, the reader isn’t likely to figure out what to do. If you’re sending an email campaign to an older audience, tell them about the health conditions swimming may alleviate. Invite them to request a special report on these benefits via a link to a landing page, or to come into your store. Don’t worry about sounding pushy: Nearly 100 percent of interested prospects say they want to know the steps they should take to respond to an offer.

Use a broadcast email provider
When sending marketing emails it’s easy to veer astray of federal and state anti-spam laws. The fines are heavy, and the repercussions of being flagged as a spammer could dig deep into your wallet. Using an auto-responder service like Awebber, InfusionSoft, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Emma (or others) helps you to stay within the bounds of anti-spam legislation. You’ll properly engage with prospects, manage campaigns and email lists. Plus, you’ll see who opens your messages, who does not and who opts out.

Use a real name as the sender of your email, instead of your company name
This seemingly trivial detail could dramatically affect your open and conversion rate. Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the sender’s name.

Make your email communication look mobile-friendly
Gmail reports that nearly 75 percent of their 1 billion users check their accounts on mobile devices. Mobile-friendly email templates are available to subscribers of major broadcast email services. The most used mobile device to check email? The iPhone.

There’s so much more to creating a successful email marketing campaign. Plan properly, execute effectively. These six suggestions will put you on the right track to using email as a money magnet for your business.

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