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How-to 28 min read

27 Smart Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign

28 Smart Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign
27 Smart Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign

Content Strategist at SEM Destination
The in-person marketing has been almost at a halt for the last one and a half years, owing it to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has encouraged marketers to put more emphasis on digital ways, especially emails.

Email marketing allows you to share the information in a way that the respondent might prefer. It includes every bit – tone, content length, and time of day.

You can smartly position your products and services to cater to the new and changing needs of your customers. And, this way, it won't seem like you are trying to push discounts and products down their throat.

Additionally, with this form of marketing, you get to create deeper relationships with a larger audience for a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

Why You Should Always Work on Improving Email Marketing

Did you know that there are almost 270 billion emails sent every day? There is tremendous competition vying for the average person's attention. You need to work on the open rates and click-through rates if you want to significantly increase conversions.
The Widespread Usage of Email
The Widespread Usage of Email (Source)
If you are a part of the digital marketing industry, you might already know that email marketing is considered one of the most profitable marketing platforms, with ROI of close to 4400%. Where else can you get such amazing returns?

However, it is also true that it gets harder and harder to keep your engagement rates high if you are stuck in the old ways. As mentioned earlier, your customers receive hundreds of emails every day, and you have to make an impression on them. That is why you need a strong email marketing strategy that constantly evolves and creates more engagement and interaction.

As email marketing can create a huge impact on your customers, you need to assess if you are doing everything to make it effective. Here are some smart tips to strengthen your email marketing campaign:

Make a List

Before you embark on your email marketing campaign, you should first make a list of your target audience.

Take some time and think about what kind of audience would sign up for your emails. You can do this in lots of ways.
Start using a lead generation form on your website;
Offer your site visitors an incentive, such as exclusive content or special offers;
Use a pop-up sign-up box on your site.
Ask your customers to sign up on your social media page;
This way, you can prepare a list of prospects that will best respond to your email marketing campaign.

Define Your Goals

Once you have figured out your audience, the next thing you need to do is define your goals for the campaign.
Think about what kind of content your audience would like to receive. What will work – blog posts, exclusive offers, business updates, or news?
Defining your goals will help you establish the purpose of your email campaign. You can then envisage how it will fit with your overall marketing strategy. Also, you can achieve and can measure its success depending on the set goals.

However, you should not restrict your goals to increase the open rate, conversion rate, and bottom line. You should include other targets as well, such as promoting a new feature or service that your business is offering, sending alerts to customers about an upcoming sale or event, or sending personalized discounts to some loyal customers. It will help you come up with content that has more defined and relevant points.

Focus on Mobile-Responsive Templates

In recent years, it has become quite evident that both small and large businesses need to optimize content for mobile screens if they wish to better communicate with their customers. A 2021 report indicates that 54.8% of global website traffic is generated on mobile devices. So, you can understand that a large percentage of people are accessing the internet this way.

Thus, you need mobile responsive content on websites for better results. It can help you bring down the bounce rate, increase engagement, and boost your ranking on search engines. So, you should create templates that can be easily viewed across device platforms conveniently on a mobile screen.
Mobile Responsive Content
Mobile Responsive Content (Source)

Don't Hesitate from Experimenting

Being in this industry, you have to A/B test every part of your email, be it subject lines or your calls to action (CTAs). Keep experimenting and see what resonates. However, you should keep a few things in mind during these tests, such as:
Only test one element at a time (or else your results can be inconclusive)
Make sure to include a significant sample size in your testing
Once you figure out that winning element, move on to the next test.
Always remember that along with your product, your recipients are also changing. That is why a good email marketer is never done testing.

Keep A Pre-Send Checklist Ready

You can't take set yourself up for failure on your next email marketing campaign. That is why it's good to create a checklist of all the important steps you need to consider before pressing "send."

Here are some of the basic steps that must be a part of your checklist:
Don't worry. We will explain more about these steps later in this post. Also, you can add your own steps and customize your program to ensure a seamless sending experience, every time.

Remember Segmentation

If you want better results, remember that marketing is much more than a numbers game.
You may have subscribers who are interested in different types of emails, such as coupons, events or news, but not necessarily all three.
Sarah Vandenberg, founder and CEO of Vandenberg Digital Communications
So, you should know who you are sending emails to.
Focus more on establishing and nurturing real connections with customers. Segmentation will offer you economies of scale and allow you to best apply your marketing and R&D resources. Also, when you send emails only to those who are likely to be interested, you will minimize the risk of your emails being relegated to spam.

Don't Try to (Excessively) Push Your Products

Your emails should engage your customers with a genuine and empathetic tone. If you sound overly sales-y or too pushy, you may send the wrong message.
Do not, under any circumstances, mislead the customer!
They are smart and will know if you are being disingenuous. So, they will not respond positively and may even unsubscribe from your list.

How To Leverage Cold Email To Supercharge Your SEO Strategy

Use Short Subject Lines

As mentioned earlier, you should limit your email subject line to three to five words. Keep it specific and in a clear and familial language for your customers. You can also personalize it as the subject line will push your customers to open, read, and act upon the emails.

A subject line is the first thing that they see, and it determines whether they will open your email. That is why it is important to use limited but meaningful words in the subject line.
Remember that your subject line should stand out amongst the hundreds of emails that your customers are receiving each day. So, keep it short, simple, clear, punchy, and relevant to the content in your email.
You can also use some action words and power words that help in creating urgency, emotion, curiosity, and excitement to encourage opens and compel action. And yes, don't forget to test subject lines by resending your email with a new subject line to those who didn't open the first time.

Picking the best subject lines for your emails is going to be much more efficient with Serpstat's Keyword Research tool. Its Search Questions feature allows you to choose your title based on real questions users ask on Google and, therefore, have a better chance of catching their attention.
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Test Your Subject Lines First

You will get more leads, conversions, and revenue from high-volume email marketing campaigns. However, the subject line that you use is key for conversions. You can either do it manually or through a third-party platform.

What's important to remember while manually testing your subject line is:
Narrow down the main point you wish to convey
Try a variation of your subject lines
Set your own rules and barriers for testing, identify groups that will receive these different versions, and measure their response for effectiveness.

Have a Clear Call to Action

Your email should have a clear call to action. Any buttons and links that you may include in the content should be easy to find and click.

It can be about anything that you want – reading a blog post, getting in touch, claiming an offer, asking to sign up for a trial, or filling out a form.

You need to first figure out the main purpose of your email and what you want it to achieve.

Then, you can add a clear CTA that will direct your customers to a specific landing page, product page, or web page.
Inverted Pyramid Model
Inverted Pyramid Model (Source)
Here are some CTA examples you could use in your emails:

Use Videos and GIFs

Visual media have often been considered more engaging than just text. So, your emails will work more effectively if you use GIFs, videos, and pictures to illustrate your message. Research shows that 93% of marketers consider them an important part of their strategy, while 87% of them believe that they generate a positive Return on Investment (ROI).

Ask anyone in the industry, and they will tell you that using videos in the marketing strategy mostly translates into:
Higher conversion;
More engagement.
You can also use GIFs for more impact. Although videos are a great marketing tool, not all email services support them. Sometimes customers open an email and can't load the video, which cuts into their experience. To avoid that, you can add a GIF in the email. These animations will do an excellent job of delighting your customers, especially if you are using them for storytelling purposes.

Carefully Place Content on the Screen

When you are designing the content for the email marketing campaign, remember that you have limited screen real estate.

All content, subject, lines, and calls to action need to be brief. They should be clear and concise enough to fit on a mobile screen.

Insert Links

Your emails should have internal links so that you can drive traffic to a landing page, a blog post, some product on your site, or send users to a specific offer.

Although CTA does help, including these links will also encourage users to learn more about what you have shared in your email.

Add Buttons to Enable Social Sharing

You should include links to your social media profiles in your email with social sharing buttons. It helps in further promoting your business and allows your customers to easily share your content.

This will generate new leads, and soon you will have access to a larger audience than those already subscribed to your list.

Personalize

Get personal when drafting the content of your email for every receiver.

It includes referring to the customers by using the recipient's first name, speaking directly using 'you', and signing off with your personal name instead of your corporate brand name.

It will help you improve open rates, engagement rates, and click-through.
Personalized promotional mailings' statistics
Personalized promotional mailings' statistics (Source)
Another way of personalizing emails is by using past purchase data of your customers and customizing the email with content that they will most probably engage with.

This way you can create more impactful emails as your customers will receive messages related to their unique interests.

Send Emails That Can Be Scanned Easily

Most users tend to scan the emails and not read the entire content. In fact, data suggests that nearly 81% of users only skim the content they read online. That is why you need to make sure that your emails are easy to read, and the messaging is clear.

Here are a few ways you can ensure that:
Try to use a lot of white space, subheadings, bullet points, and headings. It will break up your content into sections that can be read conveniently.;
Remember to highlight the important points, avoid using long blocks of text, and keep your messaging short and to the point;
Your emails should be design-consistent and on-brand so that they perfectly align with your overall brand on your website;
Be honest and authentic. Your users should be aware of who has sent them the email and why;
Make sure that clicking through from an email to your website is a fluid experience for your users. Your templates should be designed in a way that makes it easier for them to easily take the next step.

Test the Best Times to Send Emails

As mentioned earlier, testing is always crucial. You need to check at what times your audience is most likely to open your email. These timings can vary from industry to industry and business to business.

So, you need to figure out when your audience will most likely engage and interact with their emails.

Experts are well aware of the importance of this fact:
Don't assume that all business people will respond between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays
For an email campaign directed [at] attorneys, [for example], we discovered a much higher open rate between 8 am and 9 am. After 9 am we could see a significant drop off in the open rate.
Nancy Gerstein (CEO of Creative Marketing Associates)
That is why you need to test and send emails out at different times.

It will help you find the time which is most effective for engaging your customers and the different segmented customers within this main group.

Avoid Spam Filters

More often than not, business promotion emails get sent down to the spam folder which negatively impacts deliverability rates. You can make sure your emails are read and acted upon by avoiding spam filters.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while creating the content:
Avoid using any spam trigger words or phrases in your subject line, such as "this isn't spam";
Get permission from your customers before sending them emails;
Try to include a double opt-in form in your emails to ensure your customers have subscribed to receive emails, and you are added to their address book;
Avoid getting flagged by other receivers. You can do that by ensuring that all components of your email, including text, images, links, and design, are properly formatted, user-friendly, read well, work properly, and look appealing to the receivers.
Spam Trigger Words
Spam Trigger Words (Source)

Always Track and Measure Progress, Pick Valuable Metrics

You should set clear indicators and basic benchmarks to measure your email marketing campaign.

It should include delivery rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. For more detailed analysis, you can include data like engagement over time, bounce rate, email sharing rate, revenue per subscriber, and revenue per email.

However, you don't need to complicate it. If you know what the goals of your emails are, you can set determine what metrics are best to monitor. For instance:

  • Use a compelling and urgent subject line and measure your opens if you want your customers to read an important update to your terms of service (and if the content is directly in your email).

  • Consider clicks as your main metric if you want to extend an offer or discount.

Remarketing

Email remarketing involves capturing and using information about your customers so that you can improve marketing results through personalized email marketing campaigns.

For choosing the right group to remarket, you should focus on homepage viewers, offer page viewers, category page viewers, past converters, and cart abandoners.

If you closely track your customer's purchase journey, you can identify those closest to the sales funnel and convert them easily with targeted messaging that accurately reflects their needs.

Clean Your List Regularly

You will find that some of your customers will take the time to unsubscribe themselves if they aren't interested in opening your emails. However, there are many that choose to ignore your emails indefinitely. It not only negatively impacts your delivery rates, but also signals to ISPs that you are sending unwanted emails.

So, you should take out some time each quarter to remove unengaged subscribers from your email list. If they haven't read your emails in a while, then you don't need to keep them on your sending list.

Make It Easy for Customers to Unsubscribe

If you want your users to appreciate your brand communications, you need to allow them to conveniently manage their subscriptions. It includes unsubscribing from your emails as well.

Try to incorporate a simple 'unsubscribe' or 'manage subscription' option in the footer of your email. You can also give them the option of setting their email preferences and deciding which emails to receive and how often.

If your users constantly get unwanted emails, it gets frustrating for them. It generates a negative feeling towards your brand if they find it difficult to unsubscribe. And, if they mark your email as spam or junk, your emails will more likely be marked as spam in others' inboxes.

Remember that it is not necessary to give your users to only opt-out of receiving emails. You can also allow them to manage their subscription. It will help you still keep your customers, and they will be happy to receive your emails on their terms.

That is the reason to include a double opt-in option while creating the list so that you know the receivers are completely happy getting emails from you.

Reward Your VIPs

You should appreciate your VIP recipients as they are your biggest brand ambassadors. Those who always open, click and even share your emails deserve a little extra attention for their loyalty and engagement.

Additionally, you gain valuable information from your VIPs. You can create a new email template or call to action to survey them and see how you can improve your email program.

You should also remember to reward them for their efforts.

Focus More on Your Landing Page

Although it is important to design and draft your email campaigns carefully, you also need to spend some time on the pages where you are sending your recipients.

If you have included links in your emails that drive them to a landing page, make sure it aligns with your goals and offers a seamless transition. For instance, if you are promoting a specific product, you should only direct your customers to the landing page for that product.

Make Use of the Data

A good thing about digital marketing is that you get access to a large volume of data. Now, it's up to you to best make use of this crucial information.

By employing analytics, you can check how much of your site's traffic is coming from your email campaigns. It includes the number of people that clicked from the email and completed the goal.

You can also combine it with marketing automation software. This way you can easily automate your email delivery and track data on exactly how many emails were delivered, received, and opened. While testing your emails, it will tell you which emails were most effective.

Coordinate Cross-Channel Campaigns

Email campaigns are, no doubt, important and get you results. However, sometimes you will have to consider running pre-targeted campaigns on other channels as well, such as Google Search, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other websites.

It will not only help brand awareness, but also allow you to test your messaging and announcements.

For instance, you may find a specific CTA or message that resonates with your customers on LinkedIn. You can use this data to create better email subject lines.

Stay Updated on the Latest Email Marketing Resources and Trends

Email marketing has been constantly evolving over the years. You will find many best practices emerging every other day, or regulations changing.

If you want to thrive in this industry and keep creating successful email marketing campaigns, you need to stay updated on the latest and the best email marketing resources and tips.
3 Key Email Marketing Trends You Should Know
3 Key Email Marketing Trends You Should Know (Source)

Final Words

Email marketing has been an important part of digital marketing campaigns, and you should not leave any stone unturned to reap the most benefits from this tool.

Creating creative and effective email marketing campaigns doesn't necessarily have to be challenging.

You can use the above-mentioned tips and help your emails stand out, get delivered, and be acted on.
To keep abreast of all the news from the Serpstat blog, subscribe to our newsletter. Also, follows us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or join our private group on Facebook to get all the insights ;)

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The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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