It’s a jungle out there in the world of email marketing. Creating an email that will make it through spam filters is a challenging trek and getting your customers to open your email can be as difficult as finding a rare rainforest bird. Here are several ways we’ve found to improve email marketing success.
1. Use a reputable email service provider that keeps up with email technology and trends.
There are lots of companies who offer email marketing. Many haven’t kept their services updated to avoid the spam trap. Current players such as iContact, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact get good marks for easy interface and avoiding spam. Check out this website for a very thorough side-by-side review of various services. Also, don’t send a mass email from your work email address.
2. Mobile-friendly email is essential.
If you aren’t optimizing your email for mobile you are missing the boat. More and more people are viewing (and hopefully opening) your email on their smartphones, 43 percent according to Constant Contact. The basics? Keep subject lines short and succinct to fit in small screen. Design for smartphone viewing—content first, lots of white space, large buttons for easy clicking. There is also descriptive text that shows under the subject line that can tease your mobile user into clicking (see screenshot).
3. Fight Spam Filters.
Use best practice email techniques to guide your email through the spam filters. Here are two tips to follow: Don’t use shortened URLs in your emails links—it appears you are hiding the content you are linking to in the text. Don’t use spam trigger phrases in your subject line.
4. Keep the email relevant to your audience and deliver the promise of your subject line.
With email marketing, subject lines matter. Give your audience what you say you will… and work to make it matter to them. The most successful email campaign provides useful, actionable information that educate or provides value. For example, if you’re talking to travelers, give them experiential tidbits about your destination that will make them look for the next flight out. If you are talking to someone who might be in the market for a microscope, offer a limited-time discount. A common rule of thumb is selling 20 percent of the time is acceptable. Respect your reader to keep them on your list.
5. Email graphics matter—a lot.
The graphic presentation of your email pulls your reader into the conversation. Make sure to give them enough information, in the right order, to get the big picture of your message. Avoid using large JPEG images without any words. Always use alt tags so your message comes through even without the image.
Each email is an opportunity to connect. Following these tips will help improve your email open rates.
Keep in mind that this is just half of the email marketing equation. Delivering what your reader is looking for when they click through to your website or landing page, and giving them a clear call to action, is just as important for success. This important topic deserves its own blog post.
Do you want to make sure your message is the one that gets seen and acted upon? Learn more about our Email Marketing Services »
Posted by Dianne Newton-Shaw, Manager – Account Service, Wipfli Web Marketing