Some business people think that marketing is the easiest tool in their box — and others think it is the hardest to master. Email marketing is still a science like other aspects of your marketing mix, but it has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies.
In some senses, email marketing is still stuck in the 1990s era of old-school HTML code and desktop viewing. Some platforms refuse to upgrade to work well in today’s mobile-first world. Others still have to adapt to people who haven’t upgraded to the latest technology. So, email marketing lives in the in-between land (think Stranger Things) of a half-old and half-modern world.
So, if email marketing is so different from other marketing, how do you deal with that? Here are 5 tips that the pros use to maximize their email marketing efforts.
1. Use a Responsive Email Platform
Now, this might sound like a no-brainer to some people, but you might be surprised how often clients still ask me for elements that look “cool” but don’t work in mobile-first environments or their chosen responsive platform. According to Marketing Land, 66 percent of all email in the US is now opened/read on smartphones or tablets. If your message is not mobile-ready, it’s likely to end up in the trash.
Firms need to not only have an responsive email platform, they need to use it every time. Sometimes that means focusing first on usability and second on flashy designs. Marketers, remember your 40/40/20 rule — only 20% of your marketing success comes from creative execution. Focus on that other 80% first.
2. A/B Test… Everything
Periodic A/B testing is critical to successful email campaigns. You need to test:
- Subject lines
- Message and offer
- Email layout and imagery
- Time/day to send
- From address
- Landing page
- Use of personalization
Does that sound like a lot of work? The trick is to always be testing. The trends of your audience will change over time, and email marketing is forever evolving. Make A/B tests a part of your regular practice, and you will improve the performance of your email campaigns.
3. Allow Customers to Opt In and Opt Out Easily
There’s no worse offense in email marketing than sending unwanted emails. This is the fastest way to lose customers on your lists, end up in the spam box, and make your customers upset. CAN-SPAM regulations require an easy way to unsubscribe. If you want those customers to potentially come back, make it a simple 1-click unsubscribe.
Are you afraid to lose customers at the unsubscribe screen? Make it easy for them to change their minds. You can try these tactics at the opt-out screen:
- Pause emails for X number of weeks
- Reduce how many times I receive your firm’s emails
- Wait! I changed my mind. Keep me on your email list
- Keep me on your email list for certain topics
- Give a reason for the unsubscribe
Don’t forget to make it easy for users to opt-in to your email lists, too! Sometimes people don’t want to provide personal details in order to receive alerts about your latest blog post, new product, or coupons. Allow customers the flexibility to provide just their email address as much as possible.