89 billion: that’s the number of business emails sent and received per day in 2012, according to a study by the Radicati Group, Inc. It may not be glitzy or glamorous, but email remains one of the most cost-effective marketing channels for businesses around the world.
Email marketing lets you reach your audience in a fast, efficient manner. But with so many emails hitting a customer’s Inbox each day, you’ll need to master the basics to reap rewards. Follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way.
1. Only send content people actually want. Each email you send should have a story to tell and a clear benefit for the recipient. Whether it’s announcing a new product or offering a promotion, plan your email with your customers’ needs in mind.
2. Segment your audiences. It’s a tall order to be everything to everyone — segmenting your audiences will help immensely with point #1. Even having just two lists (one for customers and one for partners, for example) can help you deliver relevant and timely messages.
3. Create an eye-catching design. Your email design should follow the rules of great web design — simplicity, consistency and a focus on user interaction. Grab attention with images that pop. Break up your content as much as possible with headings, sub-headings and bullet points.
4. Design for mobile. According to Experian Marketing Services, a full 50% of email is now opened on mobile devices. Make sure that your designs are responsive and display correctly on phones and tablets. Popular applications like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor make it easy to preview how your email will look.
5. Be concise and friendly. Today’s customers don’t read much — they scan. So keep your headlines and body copy short, upbeat, professional and easy to absorb. You can point people to your website to learn more.
6. Include just one call to action. Your email has one goal: make people interested enough to click a button. With a single, clear call to action (CTA) as high as possible on the page, you’ll ensure that your recipients land in the next stage of your marketing funnel. Don’t distract them with less important links.
7. Make subscribing a snap. Post a sign up form (keep it short!) on your home page, blog, Facebook page or wherever else your fans linger.
8. Analyze the metrics. An added bonus of email marketing? You don’t have to wait long for the results. After each campaign, take a close look at the results to see what worked – and what didn’t. Make it your mission to improve your open and click through rates.
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