Although it has lost ground to instant messaging and Twitter for social interaction, email remains the preferred choice for business communication. By 2018 there will be 2.8 billion email users worldwide, meaning it is certainly here to stay. Email marketing represents an almost unbeatable means of soliciting, nurturing, and informing clients — as long as they are opening what you send. These Marketing Email Tips will allow your business send out more effective emails on a consistent basis.
Bear in mind that the average business user receives 77 emails a day, of which 11 are spam. Where decisions are made in a split second, your email needs to look trustworthy, read easily, and deliver a clear benefit.
Consider your Audience
The biggest problem people report, other than receiving too many emails, is that emails are not relevant. Preparing an effective database to send out emails will not only reduce the number of ” hard bounces,” wherein the address is no longer active, but also guarantees that recipients are selected according to refined criteria, such as professional area, location, or interests.
Open rates vary enormously by sector, with emails to media customers, for example, much more likely to be opened than those to financial clients. Just under 1/4 of all B2B sales emails are opened, slightly higher than the average 22- percent open rate in the UK. Of these, the c lick-through rate is typically about 3 percent. The stark reality is that, however beautifully written an email is, however tempting the offer, the chances of it striking gold are painfully slim.
Make the Subject Line Count
Arguably the most important part of your email, the subject line gives your recipient their first opportunity to delete or swipe your email into oblivion. The solution is to keep it as simple as possible. Be clear and unambiguous (no clever word play), and state the content of the email. The subject line is not the place to sell your product, intrigue your reader, or amaze them with benefits. Above all, it should never promise something that the email does not deliver.
According to research, the most effective emails start with short subject lines, often contain the sender’s company name, and come across as remarkably mundane. By contrast, those that resonate with capital letters, exclamation marks, and promises of savings, giveaways, or “FREE” offers are the most likely to go straight into the deleted items folder.
Most databases will give you the opportunity to insert a personalized greeting, starting with the recipient’s name, rather than a less-alluring “Hi” or ” Dear Customer.” Personal works, but overly familiar does not. Business emails that borrow the tone of social media sacrifice a lot of their credibility before the recipient has even reached the content. Remember that like all online content, emails are read only for a matter of seconds before the decision is made to delete or not.
Emails should be short. The aim of a business email is to set up a further action, usually clicking a link onto another website, at which point the engagement can be measured more effectively. Keep the content of the email concise, clear to follow, and easy to scan, bearing in mind that most readers scan online content across the top of the text and straight down in an ” F” shape.
Use clear signposting, such as subheads or bold and italic text, to lead the reader quickly to the desired action. Avoid clutter such as unnecessary images, formatting, or long, complex sentences that will slow the reader down. Assume the reader will stop reading the email at the first link or any other invitation to leave the screen.
For regular emails, the tone should be personable and friendly, to reflect the fact that email represents direct dialogue between both parties. Rather than simply trumpeting your latest product or offer, tell the story of how it came about.
After the subject line, the most important part of the email is the call to action (CTA). What is it you want the recipient to do? Whether it is clicking a link or a button, or entering a draw or competition, the CTA must be positioned logically and easy to find. You also are legally required to include an “unsubscribe” button or link for newsletter emails, with your company address and details in the footer, although these can be in smaller text.
With half of all emails opened on mobile devices (cell phones, tablets), it is essential not to approach business email with a desktop computer mentality. Consider whether the email will be readable across a smaller screen and whether the website the email links to is optimized for mobile use. If the email leads to clunking graphics, Flash or large images that don’t download over a mobile connection, your email strategy will have backfired.
Research also shows that most business people check their emails first thing in the morning. Likewise, most mobile users respond to emails within minutes of receiving them. Consequently, well-crafted emails offer an unbeatable opportunity to reach customers at key decision-making points in the day. A few minor tweaks to your email technique could yield significant rewards.Print this article