Your email list is one of the most important assets you have. Email marketing is thought of as the digital marketing technique with the highest ROI, granting an average ROI of $36 for every dollar. It’s inexpensive to launch and can run in the background almost effortlessly.
The bigger your list, the more valuable it is to be able to send out an offer and have 1%, 3%, or even 5% of your subscribers take you up on it. Even in a service-based business where fulfillment is a concern, it can help you avoid seasonal dips in sales and break the “feast or famine” cycle.
Believe it or not, many of your customers and leads want to hear from you. They are more than happy to get a weekly message from your brand – as long as they consent upfront. Email marketing is distinct from “spam,” and your subscribers know it. They trust you to provide real value.
Most of the time, this is because spam filters incorrectly flag them as junk.
But sometimes, a message can go off-target and annoy or alienate a subscriber.
Let’s tackle some of the best ways to keep your email marketing campaigns out of the trash:
1. Avoid Trigger Words Like “Free”
Your subject line is the most influential part of the entire message. It determines if someone opens it and has the chance to read the rest. Digital marketing pros sometimes draft more than a dozen email subject lines before deciding which one to send off.
The wrong subject line can land a message directly in the trash because it gets marked as spam before anyone ever reads it. This list of email spam trigger words should be your best friend if you write your emails yourself. Think up a subject line, then use CTRL + F to find any “banned” words.
2. If You’re Emailing for the First Time, “Warm Up” Your Inbox
Email service providers can block commercial email messages on their end, again depriving subscribers of the content they actually asked for. This often happens when a brand new domain is registered for email, but it can also occur just because you created a separate email box for your campaigns.
In either case, the answer is to “warm-up” your email box by progressively sending more emails over time. This can start with sending just a few emails back and forth to your own accounts on week one. The content of the email doesn’t matter, only the volume of messages going out.
If you expect to send out 100 emails a day or more at peak volume, then you will need to warm up your email box for 1-2 months before you ramp up your campaign. Your Central Florida marketing agency can take care of this step for you so you can go directly to the interesting work instead.
3. Set Expectations from the Beginning
Legislation like the CAN-SPAM Act and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (which many U.S. businesses have chosen to comply with) set out standards that require prospective subscribers to affirmatively opt-in to email marketing. All mainstream email marketing software builds this in.
But there’s also a human element to be aware of.
When you’re describing what your new subscribers can expect from your list, be sure you specify just how often they can expect to hear from you. Twice a month? Once a week? No more than twice each week? This helps them understand exactly what it is they’re agreeing to.
This may seem like a small thing, but it actually reduces your unsubscribe rate in the long run. For every email you send out, you may lose one or two subscribers, but they are more likely to stick it out if they know exactly what kind of time commitment they can expect from your list.
4. Don’t “Double Opt-In”
Double opt-in means someone fills out a form on your website agreeing to join your list, then they get an email where they have to confirm their subscription. Whenever email marketing rules are in flux, it becomes more popular to add this extra layer of confirmation – but it will undermine your whole list.
When people sign up on your website, they are at their peak of interest in what you have to say. By adding a separate step, you may reduce your signup rates by 50% or more. Double opt-in won’t help with legal compliance and it doesn’t stop subscribers from jumping ship later. Just don’t do it.
5. Never, Ever, Ever Use Bait and Switch Email Subjects
Let’s dissect two email subject lines that can demolish your list overnight:
“My lawyer wants to talk to you.”
Once your heart stops racing, you’ll probably want to throw this email list out the window – along with the bozo who wrote that subject line. There are hundreds of different variations on this, but this one is the most egregious. Don’t do it.
“I don’t understand. Are you getting my emails?”
No? Who are you? It’s okay to take a casual tone with your email subscribers if it fits your brand and their expectations. But there’s a difference between “casual” and “presumptuous.” Subscribers never think “Oh, I’ll get on that right away!” Instead, they click unsubscribe and move on with life.
All in all, remember many of your subscribers fully understand your emails are automated and they’re not actually in a conversation with you. Don’t break their immersion by saying or doing anything that might seem to insult their intelligence. They won’t give you a second chance.
6. Don’t “Over-Design” Your Emails
Lots of email marketing apps now feature slick templates that incorporate graphics, colorful design elements, and illustrations. While these can look great, they also scream “Brochure!” Highly designed emails are best for retail – in other industries, customers put up their guard to avoid being sold to.
7. Give Every Email a Reason for Existing
An email marketing campaign is made up of individual emails based on the interests and activities of your subscribers. Each one of these emails should communicate clear value. That usually means some form of helpful, informative content that answers a question or solves a problem.
Before you send out a message, ask yourself: “What does the reader get from this?”
8. Leverage the Appeal of Video Content
Video storytelling supercharges your email marketing. Video is more popular, easier to use, and far more shareable than text content. Viewers are much more likely to remember what they learned in video format, and video makes them more likely to take action on your message. Ideally, campaigns should use video as much as possible, potentially in every email.
Email marketing doesn’t have to stay a mystery – you could start seeing results in as little as a few weeks. Contact us at New York Ave to get started.