Modern technology has taught us to rethink how we communicate, but it is always good to also rethink the ways we do it.
E-mail holds the honor badge of being the very first communicating tool that came out of the Internet era. Even before the Internet became the World Wide Web in the 2010’s, email was there, connecting people through small computer networks. Later would come all the variations resulting from the ever-expanding branches that grow from invention and creativity: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest of Social Media communicating outlets. Yet, email remains there, as a tool massively used by most anyone. According to a recent study by California-based “The Radicatti Group Inc.”, by 2015, there were a number of email accounts close to 2.9 billion, way more than Facebook, and by the end of 2019, two-thirds of the world population will be using e-mail as a mean of communication, which means that underneath all the apps that give your videos puppy faces or live broadcasts, emailing remains the preferred form of communication for most people. And it is only reasonable, since a big range of sites requires a valid e-mail address, like social media networks and e-commerce based web pages; they all require an email address. Here are a few interesting statistics are drawn from this report:
– The average number of email accounts per user will grow from 1.7 to 1.9, as more users are creating and handling more than one email account.
-The percentage of growth for new email accounts on a worldwide level continues to remain around 6% to 7%.
– By 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day tallies some 205 billion, with an estimated number of 249 billion by 2019.
– According to this study, the average number of business-related emails is in the neighborhood of some 122 a day, adding 4 more emails a day by 2019.
A growing trend
Some Internet specialists comment on the decline of email as an effective marketing tool, since most of them turn into Spam or are just lost in the hundreds and thousands of marketing email an individual will receive, thus lowering the chances for a successful campaign, be it growing and expanding your data base or launching a new line of products or services. In times of choosy email readers, it is most important that your message complies with certain requirements that will improve the chances of your ad being taken into consideration.
Set your marketing goals clearly for an effective campaign
This is nothing new, and that is why it is important that you take this always into consideration before you start contacting ad agencies to help you design your campaign. According to email connoisseur and specialist Jordie van Rijn from emailmorning.com, an effective email marketing campaign will have a perfect balance of strategies to achieve your goals; tactics to know how to reach them, and a series of actions that will produce the results you desire to achieve. So, before anything, remember to set a clear list of what you want to achieve. Do you want to be known? Do you want to attract new customers to an already existing base? Are you presenting a new line of business to the market? These questions must be present when you are establishing your strategies, as they will serve as a navigation compass in which you will steer the path of your campaign.
The Best Practices create the Best Results
Many email campaigns, however, end up in total failures, with annoyed customers and upset bosses; and most of these failures are caused by a lack of certain key elements considered crucial when composing an effective and successfully conveyed marketing email. In the following list, we are highlighting a group of Best Practices that must be observed to assure a positive response from the thousands of emails you will be sending to potential and – hopefully – new customers.
1.) Develop the email campaign that fits the type of goals you have
This is very important since your offer can be attractive but your campaign may not be appealing, and many potential customers are drawn to click on an email when they see something that will be considered worth watching. Evaluate an appealing and simple look that will send the message and get the interest of the viewer.
2.) Timing is everything
As in most other business approaches, timing is paramount. According to a recent article published by Nathan Ellering on coschedule.com, Tuesday is absolutely the best to send emails, while Thursday is the “best-twice-a-week” mail campaign, and Wednesday as the best second day if you are running a single mail per week campaign. These conclusions are the sum of 10 studies from companies and consultants related to the email industry, including Mailchimp.com, Hupspot.com and Experian’s, among others, and all are based on the same question: When is the best day to send emails?
3.) Create attractive subject lines
Words are powerful but don’t forget that sometimes less represents a lot more. There is nothing more compelling than a message that invites the click-through because it doesn’t deliver the complete punchline, so keep an eye on language that will give away too much or sound to sales-bound, even if that is your intention. A brief sentence may be enough to raise the interest of your viewer, so help your chances of being read by adding a subject line that will avoid your mail from being ignored.
4.) Be a time saver, nor a time waster
Now that you have caught your reader’s attention, go straight to business; and a combination of an attractive and compelling subject line and a concise text body will show consistency and will tell the reader you are not wasting their time but you are rather something worth reading, clicking or signing up to. According to the Hubspot Academy a message of less than 200 words is considered a Best Practice when it comes to the extent of the time we want to keep reader’s attention on our message, especially in these “Millennial” times in which too much information is being sent from millions of different outlets over the internet and there isn’t enough time to process it all.
5.) Keep your readers busy
Once a potential customer is reading your information, seize the opportunity to complete one of your goals, which is getting new readers or customers to leave valuable information that will allow you to further enhance your chances of interacting with them. Depending on your line of business or your goals, CTA’s can range from asking readers to claim a Free Copy of a Report or subscribing to your Newsletter or even starting a 30-day free trial for your services. Remember, there are hundreds of things your readers are able to do, but you need to define them clearly for a full engage.
6.) Make yourself more visible
The launching of new devices has created a group of different formats in which we can receive emails. Make sure your email campaign is formatted on the three major formats, such as Smartphones, Tablets, and PCs. Most email users will check their email from mobile devices, so it is important that you create content that can be seen and read through all devices available. Missing this technical hurdle can mean the difference between a client opening your email or discarding it because it won’t fit their devices or won’t be easily readable.
7.) Reconnect with old acquaintances
All major email consultants will coincide on one point: it is important to reestablish broken links. Out of every email campaign, a percentage goes out of the scope of the metrics for many reasons. Some customers were maybe excited with the initial campaign but never fully committed to following a specific CTA, in case there was one. Other clients just do one transaction and never repeat, to be later lost and never heard from again. So, when designing an email marketing campaign, keep in mind all those silent connects and accounts you have on your database lists but make sure you remind them of the time it’s been since the last time you heard from them. An incentive to do business with you, like a discount or a promo code to purchase your services, will work effectively in most cases when the accounts are active but just not interested in your services.
8.) Don’t be shy to let people go
Not all customers are your dream customers, and sometimes it is best to clean up your database after you’ve tried to establish contact with them. Some sites will address this sort of “inactive customers” by giving them deadlines to reestablish contact or be “unsubscribed”. Such is the case of Hirevue, an online coaching system that purges its email subscribers’ list by unsubscribing them at a specific deadline. Always remember that one of the engines that make a good marketing campaign run smoothly is an active and engaged mass, and sending hundreds of emails to inactive or uninterested contacts may end up hurting you in both the short and the long run.
9.) Take advantage of Social Media
For inasmuch as many people enter more and more into Social Media, still, the number of people with email accounts is bigger than those into Social Media but this doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned by the powerful appeal social media outlets have on web users. A good strategy is to match your marketing campaign directed to those users more attracted to Social Media, so create your emails with the same look and feel as social media pages. Also, the design and launch of fan pages on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram will also create new bridges for your customers to receive your offers, services and products.
10.) Be there but don’t get on the way
Email is a very personal thing, and many customers detest feeling invaded by a subscription that will bombard them with content, albeit valuable and helpful. Look after a campaign that becomes intrusive because most likely it will bring poor results or even reduce your number of contacts. Dropbox is a good example of this. It reminds inactive or low activity contacts that they are present in case they are needed, as well as sending occasional upgrade offers that don’t become an eternal sales pitch which ultimately results in an annoyed contact unsubscribing from your mailing list.
11.) Tease to please
According to van Rijn, you can build a relationship with your customers by the constant use of the “Tease Factor”, which is the level in which the appeal of an email is measured and therefore received positively by the viewer. This factor involves – according to van Rijn – a combination of factors like attractive images, interesting topics, enticing offers and a correct list of Call-to-Actions. Consider building stronger ties to your clients by constantly supplying them with the kind of offers or content they have shown to respond well to.
12.) Make me feel important
Everyone loves to feel special. It’s just our nature. We are attracted by those communications that personalize us by spotting a pattern or a like on us. In the same way, Instagram will suggest following accounts with similar content of those you already follow, design a campaign that is backed by behavioral patterns and prints of the likes of your readers, according to the metrics you receive. If you narrow down the communication enough to make your contacts feel special, you will have half the deal closed. Just pay attention to details and you will put together a campaign that will be missed after it’s over.
Keys to remember
An effective marketing campaign is not something that only a few can brag about or reap the benefits from. Hundreds of thousands of companies and sites benefit daily from campaigns that met the required checkmarks to be considered by their clients attractive enough to embark within the context of that you want to sell or offer. Just make it simple, honest, straightforward and clean, and you will start receiving feedback from the other end, in a much more effective way than if you treat your clients like a used-car salesman.
Just be natural, like most of your customers are.