Despite being one of the most mature digital communications channels, email continues to evolve at great speed, to be more relevant than ever and, correspondingly, its usage rates are skyrocketing.
A study by the Radicati Group shows statistics of 1.7 email accounts for every user and that the trend in the coming years is a rise in email-boxes and in the number of accounts per user. This means that most users have more than one email-box. This is not surprising, seeing as each of us has a private email, a work email, and often other mail-boxes for other uses.
As such, email marketing is extremely important to any brand that wishes to promote itself in the digital world. Sending emails to customers and to potential customers allows us to supply them with news regarding our brand, specials or discounts, exclusive information for subscribers alone, recommended content on our websites, etc. However, many people have had their full of marketing emails that are sent to them too often or that do not include relevant information. Consequently, we must be cautious when sending marketing emails.
Here are a number of tips for better email marketing:
Less Is More
Don’t overburden your emails – make sure your emails are cleanly designed and well organized, without too many colors, graphics, links or pictures, and they should only include the necessary information. In addition, don’t write long stories – people will not read them, and, in any case, the purpose of your emails is to redirect recipients to your website where they can read more in-depth content. If, in spite of this, you still need to provide additional detail, write short paragraphs and space them out.
Unsubscribing from Mailing Lists
You do not want to be a nuisance, nor to give people information they do not need. It may be the case that someone signed-up to your mailing list in the past, but then learned that they don’t relate to your brand; it is recommended, therefore, to closely manage your mailing list. You should refresh your mailing list every few months, remove inactive users or split your mailing lists into dynamic groups that are affected by user behavior. For example, define a dynamic group containing users that opened your campaigns sometime in the past six months and send them emails more frequently. In parallel, define a dynamic group to hold users that did not open your campaigns as of late, and email them less often. Cleaning up your mailing list can also improve your deliverability rates, such that there are also advantages on the mundane, technical side of things, to actively removing users from your lists.
Another important point in email marketing so your emails will not end up as spam is email authentication. This will avoid your emails from being labeled as spam even if they are not. You must guarantee that your emails pass the three tools used in email authentication: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These three are DNS based policies used by servers to screen emails from spam.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) filters emails through a list of servers permitted to send emails for specific domains. This ensures that emails really came from where they claim to be. It is used to protect users from spammers who use the name of famous brands to send malicious or harmful messages.
DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) ensures that emails are not altered after they are sent. It authenticates emails through cryptographic codes. It handles messages in transit and decides whether to send, reject or place an email in the spam folder.
Meanwhile, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a protocol built above SPF and DKIM. It allows a domain owner to build policies on emails and how failures are managed.
Double Opt-In E-mail List
Creating a double opt-in system for your email marketing will make sure that only genuinely interested people will receive your e-mails. That way, you won’t end up becoming a spammer. This system will reduce spam complaints since subscribers will have to verify their details twice before signing up to your email campaign.
Using double opt-in instead of single opt-in will ensure that the owner of the email is the one who truly subscribed. Without this system, anyone can just enter other’s email address. The person who owns the email will then be spammed with emails he may not be interested in.
Dynamic Group Email List
Aiming for a dynamic email list will ensure that your messages remain relevant for your subscribers. In a dynamic grouping, you will set parameters for your email subscribers. The criteria will then be used for email threads. When subscribers meet the criteria, they will be added to the list. And, when they no longer meet the criteria, they will be removed from the list.
You can create different groups. For example, you can create a list for those who already bought an item. You can make another list based on interest. If they downloaded an e-book about business, you can send emails about topics related to business.
Adjustments for Mobile
In the chronicles of the internet, 2016 will go down as the year in which the number of internet users surfing from their mobile devices surpassed the number of users surfing from stationary devices.
Keeping this fact in mind, remember that many people will be viewing and reading your email campaigns on their mobile phones. As such, make all of the adjustments necessary to make your emails responsive, clear and appealing when viewed on smartphone screens, as well.
In ActiveTrail, you can design newsletters to be automatically responsive to mobile devices.
Good email marketing is consistent email marketing, the type that the subscriber can depend on. Therefore, make sure to send out your campaigns at regular time intervals: once a week / once a month / some other time interval. Every event occurring in your business – sale, holiday gift, downloadable guide, etc. – make sure to include in your campaigns, whether it be a regular campaign or a separate, one-time campaign.
Of course, if you have nothing new to say to your audience, it is better not to send them emails.
Perhaps the most important tip provided here is to provide your subscribers with added value in every email you send them. This can be humorous content, cool GIFs, secret, subscriber-only content that does not appear on your website, early notice of promotions and sales, etc. Make your subscribers feel that it was worthwhile signing up to your mailing list and that they are receiving something special for doing so.
An email campaign has a powerful role in your business and organization. Thus, you have to do everything to ensure you are doing it the right way. To amplify the benefits of your email campaign, you must remember the following:
- Make your emails brief.
- Manage your mailing list closely.
- Ensure that your emails pass authentication standards.
- Go for double opt-in and dynamic list subscription.
- Make your emails mobile-ready.
- Be consistent.
- Give added value.
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