There are a number of things that can go wrong when attempting to use email as a strategic marketing tool for promoting yourself or your business. We can’t even begin to count the number of trashy, repetitive, useless nonsense people receive via email daily – sometimes from nationally known brands. In this post, we want to discuss a few things that can help you in your current or coming endeavors with email marketing.
First, if you are directing the email marketing efforts of your company, we would strongly recommend that you learn basic HTML. There are several books available, some of which even include easy tutorials. It doesn’t take long and isn’t that hard to get a grip of. Knowing the basics of HTML will prevent headaches when attempting to build emails that contain something other than text; it will also help you overcome what we call “ghosts of code”. These ghosts will randomly slingshot a line of text or an image to the other end of the world and you will need to know how to go into the code and kill the ghost to fix the problem. Trust us, it happens and when it does, it's great to know how to get it fixed.
Another important thing to know before launching any email marketing campaign is the rules for proper sending etiquette. Most third party design and distribution tools will not let you import a list if you do not provide explicit proof that each contact willingly requested information from your company via email. To qualify for using these tools and to ensure your email isn’t marked as junk or spam, be sure to offer a check box on the contact portion of your website encouraging the visitor to “opt-in” for email communication. Your emails are 82% more likely to be opened if it is something your subscribers are expecting to see.
Next, properly managing your subscribers and monitoring their activity is key for learning what works and what doesn't. There are a few tools available, New York Ave chooses to use MailChimp. This third party email design tool is immaculate. There are a number of great options built in including reports that show how many emails were opened, bounced, and marked as spam. You can even dial into the report and see WHO did what. These things are very powerful for properly executing a successful email campaign. Use this data to learn when the best time to send an email is and if your content may include something that filters could potentially mark as spam.
It is imperative that you do not send multiple sales-heavy emails in an attempt to push your product. Email marketing as a way for you to stay in front of your customers and pique their interest with useful information. If you are sending 5+ emails to your customer list each month, you will most likely be marked as spam and your messages quickly ignored.
Finally, your subject line can make or break your email. Regardless of the contents – a subject line can throw your email to the spam sharks and can even discourage a customer from opening it. Make it short and meaningful, not obnoxious. The general rule is to keep it under a total of 30 characters. There is a long list of words to avoid, some include “sale”, “special”, “buy” and ”from”. Your subject line must leave a reader wanting to know more, consider that when writing it.
Here is a quick list of basic rules to help you get started: