Responsible for nearly $70 billion dollars in sales in 2012, email marketing is top dog when it comes to ROI, producing about $40 for every $1 spent.
Too often marketers waste email marketing’s power, though. You can’t treat your email marketing like a Ron Popeil oven where you just set it and forget it.
Email marketing success—whether converting social leads or retaining existing customers—depends on having a list of active, engaged subscribers.
Here are five tips for getting the most out of your email marketing:
1. Start fresh
Make sure your emails reach the most relevant people by auditing your current lists and making sure they’re up to date. Are all of the addresses on your list valid? Are they categorized and organized appropriately into prospects, customers, location, types of products and interests, and more? Maintaining good lists is essential as your business and email lists continue to grow.
2. Grow your list
As you look to grow your email list, revisit your most successful list-building achievements from the past. Did you see a substantial increase to your list size from social networks or your company website? Did you encourage customers to enter their email addresses for a contest or giveaway, via value-added content, or while completing a purchase? Don’t forget to collect email addresses from customers in your brick-and-mortar storefronts and on your social media landing pages. Keep using the techniques your customers prefer, while trying new ones.
3. Encourage sharing
Customers trust people within their personal networks for advice and opinions on purchases. Encourage customers who currently subscribe to your emails to share them with their friends and other connections. The more valuable the content—whether it’s how-to advice or discounts—the more share worthy it becomes.
4. Ditch ‘free’ and ‘discount’
People decide whether or not to open your email based on only a few words. Make the most of your subject lines with a clear, short message. Creating a sense of urgency by encouraging people to act soon also generates more opens. Hint at value within, while keeping terms like “free” and “discount” to a minimum: they can make people think your message is spam.
5. Test what’s best
The day of the week and even the time of day you send emails can affect your open rates. (If your email pops into inboxes at the busiest points of your recipients’ days, they may skip over it.) Use A/B split testing to find out which combination of external factors leads to the highest open rates for your audience. The most important variable of all is the subject line.
Image: AJC1 (Creative Commons)