9 Tips for successful email marketing campaigns

Tip 1: Decide what you want:
– to keep your subscribers up-to-date?
– to create interest in your products/services?
– to sell your products/services?
– all three?

Tip 2: Use Mail-chimp or Aweber
Decide on the platform that you’d like to use. We use Mailchimp and find it very user-friendly. It has great functionality and offers a free and paid version. Most self-employed people can survive with the simple version but it’s good to know that there’s a more powerful set of tools available if required. In either case, you can start with the free version and move up if required.

Tip 3: Reward people for subscribing – free info, tools or offers
So many businesses simply ask their website visitors to sign up to the newsletter, but don’t offer any incentives for doing so. We all get many emails everyday, so we need to have a very good reason for receiving more. Therefore, it can be a good idea to offer tools, information or special discounts to subscribers – just for subscribing. For example:

“Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a 10% discount off your next shop” OR

“Subscribe to our newsletter and receive this 7 point checklist for increasing your online sales”.

Also, it’s a nice idea to let people know that you don’t like spam and would never sent it ( if you agree that this is true for you). Therefore, it can be a good to let people know this:

“We hate spam as much as you do, so we would never send you any” OR

“Spam’s not cool, that’s why we don’t do it”.

Tip 4: Decide what you’re going to send and how often
Some companies send out newsletters on a weekly or twice weekly basis. This is a little risky as it can be perceived as spam and we certainly don’t want to fall into that trap. The main consideration for your email marketing should be to send out high quality content that’s going to add value to your subscribers. But of course you want to also include the occasional promotion or offer. The 80/20 principal is a good rule of thumb for this exercise. In other words, 80% of the time you send out high quality valuable information and 20% of the time you send out offers or sales promotions. That way your subscribers should feel like they are getting value and not just being sold to all the time.

Tip 5: Which one are you – long form or short form?
It may seem like everyone likes short emails as opposed to long emails, but the jury is still out on that point. Many email marketers write longer emails to differentiate themselves and to increase their chances of people reading their content. What’s the best strategy for your target market? The only way to truly find out is to do A/B testing with your subscriber list. A/B testing involves splitting your email list into an A list and a B list (this can be done automatically with the email platforms) and to send a long form post to the A list and a short form post to the B list. Then, see which performs better! How many people take action from the first list compared to the second list? And remember, there must be a compelling…

Tip 6: Call-To-Action
A call-to-action is the offer or the bait that you want your audience to avail of. Maybe it’s a click to your website, a signup for an event or maybe it’s a phone call to your business. It’s crucial to put a CTA into your email campaigns if you want people to take action. Don’t just hope that they do what you want – ask them to take a certain action and make it easy for them to do so. If you’re not sure of what a compelling CTA would be for your business, research what similar companies in your industry are doing. That should give you some ideas. Also, it’s often a good idea to put the CTA in more than once in the email – at the start and at the end. That way, it’s easier for people to find.

Tip 7: Include descriptive words in the title that are engaging
Nobody wants to read bland or boring text – so jazz it up a bit! Trying putting in descriptive words in the title, add a number (like you see in the title of this post) to increase clicks and practice writing in an easy-to-read style. If you’re not sure what this is, try analysing the styles of your favourite writers, bloggers or journalists to see what makes them so good to read.

Tip 8: Measure opens, clicks and unsubscribes
Once the email is finally sent, it’s time to measure the results. How many people open the email, how many clicked on the links and how many unsubscribed? These metrics are really useful and very clear indicators of the your campaign results. If you’ve done A/B testing, check which list produced better results (or if there was a significant difference).

Tip 9: Ask for feedback
It’s not always easy to find out what’s working well or what’s not working based on quantitative statistics, so it can be useful to simply ask people what they think of your emails or what they would prefer to receive in their inbox. Then, you’re taking the guess-work out of it and producing content that people have requested.

If you’ve any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below.