Improving your email program is typically a big-picture, highly strategic goal that takes careful planning, statistical analysis, and patience. But what can you do in the interim to improve your email results as you wait for your long-term strategies to mature and materialize?
Here are 7 simple techniques to help get your email program over the hump, or out of a rut:
1. Hyperlink like you highlight. If we think that our subscribers get our emails, expand them to the full screen, turn off their instant messenger, mute their phone and immerse themselves fully in our messages, we’re delusional. Even “read” is a generous term. Many subscribers scan, their eyes naturally alighting on the words or phrases that are hyperlinked. So treat your hyperlinks like a highlighter, and include the whole phrase that you want to catch your subscriber’s eye. Instead of linking “click here,” link “click here to save $100 on conference registration” instead.
2. Post your newsletter online. Real Magnet provides integrations with Facebook and Twitter that allow you to post your newsletter content to your social media accounts simultaneously. If you don’t want to post the entire message, you can use our Post/Share Article Zone to tweet or post to Facebook specific sections of your enewsletter to your social accounts. You’ll reach new audiences with the same content (and also some of the 50% – 80% who are subscribed but do not read everything you send), and also promote the existence of the newsletter, drawing in new subscribers.
3. Create mobile-friendly emails. In 2014, mobile email opens have now officially eclipsed the 50% mark. Some of our clients have reported that as many as 60% – 70% of their opens on some campaigns are coming from mobile devices. If you want to boost your results, make it easier for the mobile population – now fully at critical mass – to read your messages and take action.
4. Be more social. Email works better if your brand is stronger. One way for your brand to become stronger and more relevant to your customers is to increase your presence in other channels, like social. By tweeting more often, posting more pictures on Facebook, and engaging in more social conversations, you are generating more brand impressions among your audience, which increases their anticipation for your emails.
5. Unstick stock messages. When someone subscribes to your email, fills out a form on your site or makes a purchase, they are at their most engaged with your brand. Yet it is at these instances that we rely on canned email confirmations and auto-responses. When is the last time you looked at yours? Are the messages your subscribers are receiving at these moments of piqued interest taking full advantage of their attention? This is a great opportunity to let them know about the newest features, products, event, or information that you want to promote.
6. Edit more, write less. The right length for any direct response communication is as long as it can be and still hold the reader’s attention. However, the window of attention has narrowed considerably. To many of your subscribers, 140 characters now constitute a complete paragraph. Write shorter messages that adapt better to shortened attention spans and increased clutter.
7. Send from a person, not a “team”. Another trend we have social media to thank for is the expectation from our customers that they are doing business with people, not a nameless, faceless company. The irony of email as the “true one-to-one communications channel” devolving into another mass reach channel should not be lost on us. It’s time to make it conversational again, where real people are identifiably involved and accountable for responses. Saying a message is from a “team” is the same as saying “do not reply”. It’s a sentiment that does not allow your customers to be well taken care of at all.