Email Marketing is Still Alive (and it Works)
At Inbound16, I heard one common theme in every session I attended: that email marketing isn’t dead and is still very much alive and well.
I always get a little excited when I hear this, because I kind of love emails. I’m a sucker for well-designed, short-and-sweet, personalized emails. I’ll admit, I don’t open every single email that I get (because at this point I am subscribed to a ton of different newsletters and get about over 100 per day). But I do always open my tried-and-true, and truly look forward to them. It just takes the right context, the right design, the right time, and some personalization.
Below, I dive in deeper into some of these key tactics, derived from the super informative Inbound session 13 Things to Stop, Start, or Keep Doing (Only Better) with Your Email (view the slides here).
Context is Key - Provide Something Valuable
Always ask yourself: "Why am I writing this email?"
Make sure it doesn't have empty content and focuses on providing something valuable (like an offer, information about an exciting new product, or an invitation to an event).
I recently got the below email from Birchbox right before the craze of Black Friday. Their emails always stand out to me. It's short and concise and with a clear call-to-action, and not to mention is really nice to look it. (I actually ended up getting my friend a subscription for her birthday just after I got this, so, they got me!)
Personalize that from address
Having a “noreply” from address leads to less opens. Make your ‘from’ address from a real person. If people can reply to your email, they’re much more likely to open and click more emails later.
Stop with Tuesday – try the weekend
This was probably the most shocking thing I heard, considering that Tuesday-through-Thursday was always said to have the highest open and click-through rates. But, as always, the behavior of customers is changing (all the time) and this includes how and when people like to read and scroll through emails - which, apparently, is now on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Thinking about it, it makes total sense. Looking at my own behavior, I’m MUCH more likely to catch-up on emails and actually engage with them on the weekends, when I have more free time.
If you love them, set them free
We all have them: people who have subscribed to receive our emails but for some reason just never ever open them. This is the definition of “graymail.” You’re not technically spam (because you have permission and are a legitimate sender), but you nevertheless hang out in that gray area of never getting clicked.
Sometimes, we like to keep a hold of those subscribers that aren’t opening our emails anymore. Just waiting for that one special email that will make them click. But the truth is, these people are just not ready to be engaged (right now) and are dragging down your engagement and skewing rates.
They might be ready to engage in the future, so don’t worry too much. Once they’re ready, they’ll find a way to reach out to you.
- Send emails that are valuable and will be something your subscribers look forward to clicking, reading, and engaging with.
- Spend time on evolving the design of your emails so that they constantly stand out (and remember, less is usually more.)
- Limit your copy and focus on images (65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text.)
- Clean up your contact lists so that you are sending to the people who are ready to engage.
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