Email marketing remains one of the most powerful advertising methods out there – when done correctly. It offers brilliant return of investment, is easy to implement, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise any product or service online.
However, far too many don’t know the tricks of the trade and end up committing novice mistakes that could end up tanking their campaign.
In this article, we’re going to give you some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing.
- 1) Do Perform A/B Split Testing and Track Metrics
- 2) Don’t Buy or Rent an Email List
- 3) Do Make Sure That Your List is Segmented
- 4) Don’t Make Every Message a Sales Message
- 5) Do Facilitate the Opt-Out Process
- 6) Don’t Neglect Mobile Users
- 7) Do Keep Learning New Tactics
- 8) Don’t Think of Content After You Get Subscribers
- 9) Do Make it Short and Straight to the Point
1) Do Perform A/B Split Testing and Track Metrics
One of the biggest advantages of email advertising is how traceable the results are. And it’s also easy to see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. With testing, you can calculate things like bounce rates, open rates, inbox placement and click through rates for instance.
With A/B testing, you can test different message or headlines and easily spot which messages convert the best and which ones are disregarded. You can also see which types of messages cause your subscribers to unsubscribe and stop sending these kinds of messages in the future.
2) Don’t Buy or Rent an Email List
If you’re already familiar with email marketing, you may have heard of solo ads. Solo ads allow you to send a single or series of messages through somebody else’s list for a fee. This may seem like a good deal, right? Well, not really.
The issue with these kinds of lists is that they are often filled by cheap leads. These are not the motivated buyers you want to reach, and they may not even be interested in your type of product at all. You want to control your audience, know who you’re talking to and know what they’re in the market for.
Another issue with rented lists is that they are often flagged as spam and your domain might be blocked from even entering the recipient’s inbox, rendering your whole campaign useless.
3) Do Make Sure That Your List is Segmented
Each one of your messages doesn’t have to be sent to everyone that’s on your list. You should segment your list based on which channel they came from.
For instance, people who’ve subscribed through your blog newsletter should not be grouped together with people who subscribed after buying one of your products. Your messages should be tailor made for each audience if you want them to be relevant.
4) Don’t Make Every Message a Sales Message
Another common mistake email marketers make is going too hard on the ads. Or they use their email list as an ATM anytime they need money by sending bogus offers. But you should instead work on building a genuine connection and trusting relationship with your subscribers.
You want most of your messages to actually be useful to them. Or you could be more discrete and send them to one of your blog posts and do your selling there. Whatever you do, try to keep the selling to a minimum and work on being a genuine resource your readers will trust.
If you’re going to sell a product, make sure that you pre-sell your audience with a few pre-launch messages. This will help build expectation for your product once it’s launched.
5) Do Facilitate the Opt-Out Process
While you want to retain as many subscribers as possible, you also want to make it easy for them to opt out. Most email marketing services will make it easy for subscribers to do so. Not only is it demanded by law, this is also an email marketing best practice that will enhance your brand image with your customers and keep them happy.
You should also think about offering selective opt in options. This will allow them to opt out of certain email lists while staying subscribed to others.
6) Don’t Neglect Mobile Users
Mobile friendliness extends way beyond your website design. As a matter of fact, did you know that over 50% of all email are opened on mobile devices nowadays?
You can’t neglect mobile users nowadays, as a matter of fact, they are slowly becoming the new normal. If you don’t design your email messages with smaller screens in mind, then you’ll miss out on a huge chunk of your audience. What’s the solution you ask?
Well, the best way to reach the widest audience possible is by using responsive design for your message. Responsive design will adapt itself on all formats automatically, may it be a tablet, phablet, or larger monitor. As a matter of fact, it has been stated that emails with responsive design are clicked through 130% more on average than non-responsive emails.
You should also make sure that forms on your website are mobile friendly as well. Some services, such as OptinMonster, allow you to create mobile friendly email capture forms in seconds. If your mobile forms are not conducive to mobile sign ups, you might lose tons of customers who simply didn’t realize that you had an opt-in list since it was lost in the site’s layout.
7) Do Keep Learning New Tactics
Stagnation is very dangerous when it comes to email marketing and you should always be looking for more techniques and tools that could help you enhance your email marketing efforts. Email marketing is changing every day, and techniques that used to work yesterday can now be obsolete.
You can keep your knowledge up to date by joining as many groups and forums dedicated to email marketing as possible as well as popular online marketing blogs.
8) Don’t Think of Content After You Get Subscribers
At the end of the day, all the subscribers in the world won’t do a thing if you don’t have solid content to hook them with. Sure, you should always take the time to segment your list and find new ways to gather leads. But at the end of the day, the bulk of your effort should be on releasing quality content. This is especially true when it comes to newsletters and nurture campaigns.
You also have to work on the sequencing of your content and possibly start with a series or mini course at first to get your subscribers on board. Don’t jump straight up with a sales pitch and direct them to a few free resources. Then you can start promoting more directly.
9) Do Make it Short and Straight to the Point
In the world of email marketing, less is definitely more. Whatever you do, you should always make sure that your posts are concise and focused.
That doesn’t mean you should skimp on content, instead, you could start with a longer piece and strip it down to the essentials. If you need to cover more than one topic, you can either send it in another message or direct your readers to your blog for the rest.
People have limited time and attention spans nowadays; if you can’t get them hooked quick and deliver your message in a quick and precise way, your message will simply be ignored.
Email marketing is a science, and with the proper techniques and practices, it is possible to reach your audience in ways other marketing methods can’t. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to build an extensive, and more importantly, attentive mailing list that will be ready to opt in once you have a good offer.