We have written quite a bit about email marketing for 2 main reasons: First, as demonstrated in this survey, email remains the channel through which most customers prefer to communicate with the businesses they patronize. That fact alone means email deserves at least as much consideration as social media. Second point ends the discussion: Email is among the most cost-effective marketing endeavors, and confers a greater ROI than Social Media Marketing.
In light of these two points, small business owners stand to gain from best practice tips related to email marketing. We have written about building a customer email list, executing subtle drip marketing campaigns, and the kind of copy to write in the emails.
As I have grown intimately familiar with the pitfalls that often beset email marketing, I feel it is worth contributing a list of tips to avoid common problems.
The subject line of an email is where most of the battle is won or lost. This one line has more to do with whether or not anyone opens your email and ultimately the success of your campaign than any other single element, so it’s worth spending some time to make sure it makes sense and compels people to open the email.
To avoid annoying prospects and customers, make sure that the subject line message matches your content. If the subject line begs a question, answer it immediately in the copy of your email. Don’t make people search for the purpose of your email and don’t let them feel like they are being in anyway misled. The Subject line should create an expectation that the copy delivers.
Spam filters are incredibly unfriendly to deals and offers being sent via email. In fact, the words “deal” and “offer” are both red flags. The way to think about SPAM filters is that they start with a perfect score and then begin deducting from that perfect score as they encounter triggers. If you get too many red flags, the email will not make it to your recipients inbox. Your efforts will be for naught.
There are many kinds of triggers, but by far the trickiest to overcome are words. Why is this hard to overcome? Take a look at some of the words and phrases that have been found to trigger SPAM filters:
Conversion can be defined any number of ways — a click, a phone call, a lead captured from a form. The best emails have a singularity of purpose and compel the reader to one action. This is usually embodied in the call-to-action or CTA. If the purpose of your email is to drive the readers to a landing page, it makes sense to have only one link, posted several places in the email, that serves a sole objective.
But, it’s not quite that simple. While it is desirable to have a clear call-to-action and the links and buttons driving readers to that action, Social Media plugins and reviews have been found to increase conversion when placed near a Call-to-action. Both Social Media channels as well as links to third party reviews encourage the reader to follow through with the Call-to-action.