How to get More out of your Email Campaigns

Email marketing can be a cost effective way to keep in touch with your existing client database and prospects who have signed up to your marketing lists. But are you getting the most out of your campaigns? Here’s some useful advice to help you maximise your open and click through rates and enjoy a greater level of success.

Get the subject line right

Aside from avoiding words that are likely to land your email in the junk folder, such as ‘free’ or ‘special offer’, you really need to give your subject line some thought. In fact, as much thought needs to go into this as the rest of the content of the mailing campaign.

Using the recipient’s name really helps, as does use of the word ‘your’ and quoting the local area if relevant. Try your best to summarise the value of the email’s content so the reader is made instantly aware that they are going to benefit from reading it.

Grab attention in the preview pane

Some recipients won’t bother fully opening an email and will instead scan through it in the preview pane. Only if they find something useful or interesting will they go on to open it completely. For this reason you need to get your key messages into the section that’s ‘above the fold’. So your branding, marketing messages and benefits summary all need to appear right at the top.

Offer value

If your email is just a straight sales pitch, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve much of a response. You need to offer value, so think about what you can share with your recipients that is useful to them. Interesting insights, links to helpful information. Anything that can be considered beneficial.

Get the timing right

General opinion dictates that the best days to send emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Early morning is best, or just after lunch. There is also research that shows marketing emails are read outside of working hours. The best thing to do is split test, which takes us to …

Split test, and split test again

A/B split testing helps you test different subject lines, campaign content and send days and times. It’s the only way to really work out what works best for you and your recipients. Testing helps to improve open and click through rates. Mailchimp says that on average, people using A/B split campaigns get a 3 per cent better open rate. They offer an easy to use split testing system that does all the work for you.

Ensure all-round compatibility

It’s no good sending a campaign that some people can’t read because it doesn’t display properly. It’s also a waste of time spending good money on template design when that design isn’t supported by some email platforms. At the risk of sounding techie, you need to make sure your email is coded correctly so it doesn’t fall apart or lose certain elements when it arrives.

Think about your audience and work out how they’re going to be viewing your email. If you’re targeting businesses then it’s likely they’ll be viewing in Outlook or something similar, whilst consumers tend to use webmail like Gmail or Hotmail. You need to cross test your campaign across all the formats your recipients are most likely using. And don’t forget mobile – many emails are viewed on the go – so your email campaign needs to be responsive so that it displays the right way on any device: smartphone, tablet or PC.

Adhere to best practice

Lastly, always make sure you follow the rules where email marketing is concerned. Under the Data Protection Act you must provide recipients with a simple way to opt out of receiving your emails. You must also have permission to contact people by email. The best way is to build a contact list organically through your website. You can also rent or buy a mailing list, although this is not considered best practice. A look at the Direct Marketing Association website is a good idea if you really want to get it right.

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