Relating to recipients as people, not as an email address, is essential to email marketing success.

While digital marketers have increasingly embraced and raved about social media’s in-your-face immediacy, email marketing has proven its resilience as a powerfully credible and profitable tool. Email uniquely allows companies to retain control — of your message, consumer data, and experimentation with offers and ideas.

That said, due to ceaseless inundation of communications today, many are in and out of their inboxes faster than a public restroom. They open their inboxes with the mindset to filter messages first, skim next, read later. Or Gmail does it for them first via Priority Inbox and pre-sorting by Smart Labels.

Email fatigue is less of a burden, however, than an invitation to deliver not just content but quick, persuasive calls to action.

To demonstrate respect of the person’s time and intelligence, a quality that further establishes your company’s place and brand in the market.

To be so bold your email is unbolded by the person clicking to open.

Follow these best practices when creating your email campaigns and eNewsletters for industry best open and click through rates, both of which we’ll cover in a future blog post.

  1. Focus on context, brevity, and freshness of content.
    What is the ultimate call to action and idea you want noticed? Monitor areas of your site where people most often click and navigate, then create resonant points of inspiration. Time a colleague to see if he or she understands a campaign’s main call to action and intended result within five seconds. If not, simplify.
  2. Split test. Create A/B tests with each campaign and eNewsletter comparing variable features. Subjects, sender names, templates, content, calls-to-action — all should be tested for influence on increasing open and click through rates. Adopt the most successful solution and test another diversification. Rinse, wash, repeat.
  3. Know your audiences. Segment readers by consumer types, demographics, and level of engagement. In addition to increasing open rates, you’ll decrease unsubscribe rates and see better revenue. Be familiar with each and their differences. Tailor messaging and especially imagery accordingly. Conduct a reengagement campaign to least engaged subscribers to scrub your lists. A percentage of these will prefer to keep in touch via your social media presence.
  4. Entice opens through subject and preview pane. Create a sense of urgency with your subject. Offer an incentive. Once your subject has grabbed a subscriber’s attention, a preview pane often shows a certain number of characters from the email body. Make certain your opening title and/or sentence are descriptive enough to convey the promise delivered by the email’s call to action in this snippet.
  5. Be visual. Consumers navigate and learn visually. Emphasize imagery and illustrate concepts wherever possible in template design, with each visual serving as a linked doorstep to site content. Moreover, utilize responsive design, adjusting template size and text to the device screen its opened on for optimized engagement.
  6. Make forwarding easy. Personal recommendations are powerful catalysts for new business. Provide the suggestion and ability to forward the message quickly. Implicitly, forwarding an email or eNewsletter is a secondary call to action.
  7. Support email with social. Embed the ability to share the campaign via Facebook and Twitter. Likewise, use social networks to invite people to sign up for your email program.
  8. Implement autoresponders. Develop a strategic timeline of communications based on a consumer’s opt-in to your sales funnel. Based on permission marketing, autoresponders create an ongoing conversation with your key target audience via lead nurturing, delivering timely and tailored content to ultimately win their business.
David Felfoldi

David Felfoldi

David Felfoldi is a digital marketing strategist for SHERPA Global. Over the past 15 years, David has guided the digital strategy behind notable organizations such as ADP, Spanx, Racetrac, Gables, and the National Center of Civil and Human Rights. When not tinkering with technology or musing on marketing David enjoys running and cycling adventures across the globe.

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