Get the Message: Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing
‘Tis the season…for emails. Lots of emails. An absolute cacophony of messages filling inboxes like stockings full of gifts.
It can also be a time of strife for email marketers. In many ways, B2C and B2B are competing for the audience’s collective low attention spans.
I recently completed the Hubspot Email Marketing Certification and gained some invaluable perspective on what works when it comes to ensuring people actually take a moment to read what you have to say when it lands in their inboxes.
As my holiday gift to you, here are five best practices you can use prior to hitting “send.”
1. Define Your “Why.” Sure, it sounds like a motivational trope, but it applies unilaterally to anyone using an email strategy. A strategy is rooted in an overarching goal. What is the ultimate outcome you want? No matter the type of email communication, the goal should be top of mind. For B2C, that likely means holiday sales ads. For B2B, it’s those end-of-year circle-backs with clients and potential clients to wish them a safe and happy holiday as a means of a last gasp of getting new business or nurturing current business.
Always send with intention. If you don’t, your message can lead to a wealth of bad outcomes, including unsubscribes and blacklisting. If you need help setting email goals, particularly as you kick off 2024, we’re here to help.
2. Be Honest. Transparency should begin with the subject line. Emails help your brand build trust and authenticity with stakeholders across verticals. What you tell them has to be on the level. Plus, bending the truth in your messaging can land you in hot water under the CAN-SPAM Act.
What you need to know to comply with CAN-SPAM if you’re sending advertising (write this down):
- Don’t use false or misleading header information.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
- Identify the message as an ad.
If your email is just an opportunity to connect before the year ends, just follow the same general guidelines. Not every email you send, especially this time of year, needs to focus on sealing a deal.
3. Be Consistent. This might seem like a no-brainer, but an email is an extension of your brand and should reflect the same tone in its messaging and design.
Best practices illustrate (pun intended) using a maximum of two fonts for an email – one for header copy and another for body copy. Those should match whatever font you’ve used on your website and any other marketing materials, including press releases. No, this doesn’t mean you need to find some obscure font and integrate it everywhere. Keep it simple.
Staying on that theme of simplicity, don’t use an email to share a dissertation.
According to Hubspot, “A majority of email views come from mobile devices (41%), followed by desktop (39%).” ￼Get to the point in the copy, give the audience a clear call to action, and save the soliloquies for a landing page or blog.
Important note: Hubspot also notes nearly one in five email campaigns are not optimized for mobile devices. Not optimizing for mobile impedes the user experience and can lead to people just hitting “delete.” It can also trigger SEO and spam filters, which impacts deliverability.
4. Do More Than Talk to Your Audience – Engage Them. You don’t have time to sit and write 300 emails and customize them for every single person manually. That’s okay – there are a wealth of tools at your disposal to do the customization for you. Yes, I am biased, but Hubspot is a strong contender for email marketing management, in terms of the level of personalization it can create. For example, Hubspot offers “personalization tokens” for emails that include specific locations for businesses with multiple storefronts and even a “custom token” solution (with a paid subscription – of course).
Other Top-Notch Email Marketing Software:
Form-fills or personalization tokens are an easy way to create an extra layer of engagement. Sure, it’s a bit of smoke and mirrors on your end, but it’ll create a warm and fuzzy feeling for the receiver when they see their name, line of work, or even their pet’s name in the subject line or body copy.
5. Know when and where to hit “send.” Segmentation is your new bestie when figuring out who gets a message and when. Segmentation marries content and context, offering an easy way to organize and manage your company’s customer relationships.
Segments, or specific parts of your overall audience, can be used to gain insights, target paid campaigns, enhance customer service and support, foster customer loyalty, optimize communication, engage with different segments, and narrate tailored stories at the right time and place.
At the end of the day, emails are an effective way of communicating and connecting, but only if it’s done with intention. In the grand scheme of digital communication, following these best practices is your ticket to a show-stopping performance that will lead to people wanting to connect with you instead of hitting “unsubscribe.”
While the urge to send a multitude of missives might be strong, it is best to push pause and evaluate your strategy. Yes, we can help with that.