Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of content marketing . . . if you know how to do it right.
While we can all admit that we need to engage more in a strategy to maximize our email responses, it can be tough to know where to start. After all, we send and receive emails every day yet never really study the science of what makes a campaign successful. Not to worry, though, as I've compiled a few helpful tips for you:
You're not sending confirmation emails.
Confirmations are one of the surefire ways to up your subscriptions, yet only 26 percent of well-known companies send them. Furthermore, confirmation emails add a layer of trust for new customers, assuring them that their submissions have been recognized. Take the time to set this up; you'll see more results right off the bat.
You don't have a call to action.
According to Wordstream, emails with a call to action increase clicks by 371 percent, and sales 1,617 percent, which means this strategy could boost your business tremendously. Start giving actionable responses in your copy or headlines (e.g., Shop now) to engage more subscribers.
Your content isn't relevant.
While it's important to have content that drives sales, that content has to be relevant to your audience. Remember, you're partly a source of education/entertainment for your subscribers, so keep that in mind when creating a post.
You're sending emails at the wrong times.
Believe it or not, there's a science as to what time to send an email. According to Hubspot, the most optimal time for click-through is 11 a.m., which, depending on your industry, might be a good piece of advice to test out.
You're not optimizing your subject lines.
This is similar to your call to action, only it entails gauging what words to use in subject lines, to gain the highest response. As noted in another study by Hubspot, nearly half (47 percent) of marketers surveyed said that they test the optimization of their subject lines. This might work well for you too, if your open rate is low.
Your emails aren't personalized.
Personalized emails are a small gesture, but one that's been proven to help increase your open rate. In the study by Hubspot, it was found that personalized emails had an open rate of 17.6 percent, versus 11.4 percent for non-personalized messages. Plus, there are plenty of services that can automate this process for you, such as MailChimp.
You're not using email as a primary channel.
Even given how much we love to consider social media as the reigning king, email is still the bread and butter of content marketing. In a study by Mailigen, 89 percent of marketers stated that email is their primary channel for lead generation. So, yes, email still has a lot of value for your outreach, which could help bolster your business.
Your emails aren't designed for mobile.
Mobile accounts for 54 percent of opened emails; therefore, if you're not optimizing your content to gain a response from it, you could be losing out on over half of your customer base. A quick fix for this is to use templates or customized design kits that will be responsive.
Your emails have too many images.
Images are a great tool to use for email, but as noted in the Hubspot study above, the more images you have, the more likely it is that your click-through rate will decrease. Don't let your pictures and graphics be distractions, but rather tools that help increase engagement.
You lack branding.
If your email doesn't look like it's coming from you, then what's the point in even sending it? Customers are going to feel much more secure with emails that follow your branding guidelines. Reason: They'll evoke trust, as well as a sense of care. Take the time to invest in your branding, and it will pay off tremendously in the long run.
You're not hitting the right metrics for your industry.
As noted by Smart Insights, the average click-through rate for an industry can range from 15 percent to 28 percent, so it's important that you compare yourself only to the other folks within your field. Trying to aim outside of this group might be great down the road, but for now it's imperative that you gauge where your competition lies and how you can fall within a reasonable metric.
Your content is too long.
No one likes to read long emails, so don't plague your customers with them. This is one of the quickest ways to lose subscribers, and in turn, recommended/new leads. Focus on the most important points of your message, include a call to action, and be informative and entertaining.
If these goals don't seem like something you can accomplish consistently, it might be a good idea to bring on someone to do your email copy for you. Doing that could pay off tremendously much sooner than you'd expect.