Email Marketing 101

Posted by Paladin on September 05, 2018

It may be one of the earliest forms of digital marketing, but email remains a go-to channel for brands. Email’s ability to reach qualified customers, maintain an ongoing connection with them and drive conversions makes it a valuable part of your marketing strategy.

But successful email marketing isn’t as simple as it appears. According to a recent survey conducted by Adobe, 42 percent of respondents feel “indifference” when checking their personal email. While email is the preferred method of communication with brands for half of all surveyed consumers compared with channels like mobile apps and social media, 45 percent feel they receive too many marketing emails overall.

Experienced email marketers abide by a series of rules that create value for their customers, spark their interest and respect their preferences for email volume and frequency. Incorporate these into your own email marketing strategy for more effective campaigns.

Choose Your Email Service Carefully

Not all email marketing services are created equal. Not only do their tools and capabilities vary, but their pricing and customer service can, too.

For those just starting to explore email marketing, services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse are good options that offer free trials and beginner plans so you can get the lay of the land.

Investigate the templates they offer, their analytics platforms, scalability, social-sharing tools, and even their support channels before making your choice. The right service for your brand will be the one that you feel comfortable using, fits within your budget and integrates seamlessly with your other marketing channels.

Focus on Information Rather Than Promotion

Adobe reports that 39 percent of consumers wish the emails they receive from brands were more informative and less promotional. Among survey respondents over the age of 35, that number rose to 44 percent. Meanwhile, 27 percent of respondents prefer content to be personalized and more relevant to their interests.

What this tells us is that the most impactful emails are the ones that deliver real value to your customers. Tips for product use and customer stories fall into this category of content. As do photos that invite consumers behind-the-scenes at your store, factory or restaurant. Making your content compelling and visually engaging will help to keep your email open rates high.

Don’t Send Messages Too Often

With nearly half of Adobe’s survey respondents reporting they receive too many emails, many marketers find themselves wondering about the optimal volume and frequency for their messages.

Some email companies report the majority of the brands they work with send 2 to 4 messages per month, but you’d be wise to conduct A/B testing to see what works best for you. Everything from your industry to the demographic makeup of your customers and the nature of your email content comes into play. And you want to make sure your customers are happy with the schedule you ultimately decide on.

Make Your Messages Mobile-Friendly

Considering that 85 percent of consumers check their email via smartphone, making your messages mobile-friendly is a must. Your email marketing service should have an option to format for mobile. But always ensure your messages use a single-column template and a font size that’s 14pt or higher.

Keep your content as concise as possible to minimize the need for scrolling. Add in simplified design elements that can be easily interpreted on a small screen. You don’t want your icons and images to looks like a jumbled mess to mobile viewers. Finally, instead of links try using buttons, which stand out better on a device.

With the right approach, you can turn your marketing emails into informative and entertaining missives your customers look forward to seeing in their inboxes. You may even find this channel has the potential to become your best-performing digital marketing method of all.

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