Today we have various marketing channels available to us for digital marketing but email campaigns still remain the most powerful and effective tool. If you are using email marketing correctly in 2021 then you will find that your efforts and financial investments will pay off big time.
You can still generate leads for your business using other means; there are many small to medium sized businesses that have thrived without an email list. But the benefits of email marketing are substantial when compared to social media marketing and other search channels. According to Patrick Tripp who is a senior product marketing manager for Adobe, email will continue to lead the way when it comes to engaging with customers and it is estimated that you get $39.40 return on every $ that you invest into email marketing.
But as we all know, its not enough to send our emails to your leads, you have to make sure that your open rates are the best they can be and continuously tweak your email campaigns to increase your performance.
What’s in your “Subject”
To have an effective email marketing campaign its very important that you have an effective subject line. The subject line is like a cover of a book, or the headline to an article – its what compels your readers to click and start reading.
Just as with most digital media content, your subject line should strike a balance between informative and intriguing, it should attract clicks without over or under promising on what’s inside.
According to one recent study 69 percent of email recipients report email as spam based on the subject line alone.
Subject lines writing is part science and you should always test multiple subject lines before sending out your final campaign. We did a basic split test for our client, we sent out the same newsletter with different subject lines and then measured the open rates. We also took into account the rate of un subscription as well before deciding on the subject line that will work best for this particular client.
It’s a simple test and you can create a pool of 10-20 prospects and send the same newsletter with different subjects of various lengths and values to see which one is working more in your favour before sending out to your broader audience.
Images are more important than you think
A picture may be worth 1000 words, but only if it’s the right picture. According to reports, images / graphics also play an important role when we talk about increasing email click-through rates and number of replies. Statistics, reports and complex data can often be hard to comprehend but using graphics to represent the data can make it much easier for your readers to grasp the key message you’re trying convey.
Using screenshots in your email campaigns can be a great way to showcase features or products, or as we did in this particular case, screenshots of reports for Plans that our client wanted to prospect. By using screenshots, you are allowing your reader to have a visual overview while establishing the fact that you are a professional who is serious about the service that you are providing and have put thought and time into the email.
If you can’t do custom images for your email campaigns the next best thing is to use stock images, it not only increases the value of your campaign but immediately separates you from emails that are all just text and numbers or pixelated clip arts.
RiXtrema has recently published a bundle of email marketing letters for our Larkspur customers that have custom images and dynamic content specially designed to convey the message and data more easily to prospects. In this case we went even beyond that and added custom banners and CTA buttons to each emails, started a drip campaign to test it initially and then released them to a broader spectrum of leads and we immediately saw a rise in the click through rate for our client.
In case if you don’t have a team or are unable to do them yourself then there are some great tools out there that allow even those without professional design skills to create great-looking images. Consider trying a tool like Canva. Or use the following sites for stock images that you can use to make your newsletters and emailers more attractive and professional:
- Death to the Stock Photo – A great site containing hundreds of extremely beautiful stock photographs. You can sign up for the newsletter and get a free pack of photos delivered to your inbox each month or upgrade to a premium plan for $10, which gives you access to the entire library of photos.
- Gratisography – A collection of photos from Ryan McGuire that he’s made free for download and use by anyone. The range is limited, but each photo is beautifully shot and would go great in your email campaigns if you can find one to match your content.
- IMFree – A great site with a solid collection of beautiful stock photographs. Photos are well organized into various categories, which make it easy to find the right image to match your content.
Segment your audience if possible
It’s possible for a proven strategy to improve open rates to fail for a particular client. While there can be numerous reasons, it may be the case that differences in the target audience require different tweaks.
Different people subscribe to your newsletter or read your emails for different reasons, some of them might have been attracted by a deal while others might just simply be interested in your copy.
Using the same principle as A/B testing, writing subject lines that appeal to different audiences and grouping your prospects in different segments or lists. You may find that your open rates would improve collectively this way, rather than sending out the same email to everyone.
If its your first time attempting to optimize your email marketing efforts and if you are not a Rixtrema client yet 😉 then the task may seem overwhelming. Focus on improving your email open rates and that way you can be sure that the customers are opening your emails in the first place.
Its not necessary to use all the tips that we have listed in this article, start with the subject line first and see if that improves your performance and then implement the rest and keep using the techniques that work for you. You would likely see an increase in your campaign performance