I recently received a “Save the Date” type sign up to attend a Twins game on behalf of an alumni organization. The subject line and the body of the email did not contain the game date. The only way to see the game date was to purchase the tickets. I don’t have the Twins schedule memorized and I am sure other alums didn’t either; it was frustrating. Marketers can take email campaigns for granted. Avoid email blunders by using this checklist before an email is sent.
Do You Have Permission?
Don’t invade someone’s privacy, have permission to email to this person. Start small and cultivate a list of people who want communication. It’s ok if there are only 25 people on the list-quality over quantity. Double opt-ins reduce the chances of your mails being automatically junked by spam filters. By asking to confirm subscription, you have the opportunity to pitch another product or upgrade. Remember to give the recipient the opportunity to unsubscribe on every email. Make the email creative!
Who Are You?
Don’t use your “@yahoo” or “@gmail” home email address. Use your website’s domain—you should already have email accounts set up under that domain. A simple as “Marketing@XYZ.com” or Newsletters @XYZ.com, is appropriate. Personalize your responses.
I recently received an email addressed “To Whom It May Concern”. A sale was lost because they missed the opportunity to address me personally.
If a subject line is lousy, people won’t be interested in reading the body of the email. What’s the point of the email? Offering discounts or bonuses? Write it down. Create a subject line that’s 6-8 words long. If it needs more words, make sure people can read the subject line in one breath. Yes, read the subject line out loud. And avoid triggers like FREE in all caps, some email servers determine that word as spam.
What Are You Looking At?
Most email services offer recipients the choice to download or ignore images – many choose to ignore them. Don’t quit using graphics, but use them to balance and highlight your message. 75 kilobytes is the ideal size of HTML emails with graphics.
What’s Your Action?
What should the email recipient to do? The point of the email is to get them to the next step. Is there a registration form? Is it a shopping cart? Sending the recipient to a home page probably doesn’t drive home the specific email message. Use a specific landing page to track those responders. For example, if you offer a money-back guarantee, the link on the email should lead to a landing page that details the specifics of the the money-back guarantee.
Are You Holding Hands?
Social media and email marketing go hand in hand. Avoid isolated silos of information. Create a cohesive message that links to other platforms, social, email, web, print and other advertising media. For example, a link to your Twitter page would be “Liked the 10% discount here? Get more discounts and freebies. Follow us on Twitter at (insert your Twitter link here)” It’s easy, it doesn’t take much time and clients think that they’ve hit a gold mine with a single email. Don’t forget the importance of the social media buttons, they add visual interest and reinforce social media efforts.
Are You Using Stats?
Testing emails works, that’s the point. Try a different subject line to some list members. Measure the open and click through rates. It’s easy math: the email that gets the most number of good responses is the mail that is most effective. Improve your email quality with each campaign. If every email is mirror of the last one, what’s the point of reading the email?
While social media is getting lots of marketing attention to increase customer engagement and profits, traditional strategies like email marketing works; no matter how ‘old school’ it may seem. What emails have grabbed your attention?
If you don’t know how to start with email marketing, contact Vivid Image, we’ll help you get started. Email is still the number 1 choice of marketers, now go out and personalize communication with customers today!