As a business coach, one of the key things I focus on with my coaching clients is that you must not keep all your business assets on your social media platforms. You must own your own race course and ensure that you don’t have all your eggs in one basket because you never know when you may just get your accounts closed for no reason at all. I’m excited to have on the blog Janelle from Little Bird Online Marketing to share with you the importance of why you need to control your business better and how to do so with her 6 tips to optimise your email marketing campaigns.
Last week when Instagram went down was your heart in your throat – like ours was – and your mind racing about how this will affect your business? What would happen if it took days – or even weeks – to get back up and running? What impact would it have on your business?
In reality, it was really only down for 30 minutes, but for business owners that rely heavily on social media for running and marketing their business, it would have been a loooong half hour. And while all is now happy days in Insta land again, it really highlighted why business owners shouldn’t rely on a channel that they have zero control over when it comes to their business. That old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket and all that.
So… if you don’t put all your eggs into the social basket, where else can you put them? Email of course! Email is such an effective marketing tool, and better yet, you own your email database, so external factors – like crashes and outages – won’t have as big an impact on your business. Having said that, these days our inboxes are flooded, so for your email marketing to be effective, you really need to optimise them to the max so that you get the most out of this channel.
6 Tips to Optimise Your Email Marketing
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the top six tips to optimise your email marketing so you can start to nail this strategy for your own business.
#1. YOUR SUBJECT LINE
The subject line of an email is the number one thing that prompts recipients to open your email over the hundred others sitting in their inbox, so if you really want to make sure your email stands out, make sure to optimise your subject line. Here are a few tips to ensure your subject line is working hard for you:
- Make it relevant – personalise it to the sender, make sure it addresses a concern, and ensure that it reflects what is in the body of the email
- Use actionable language – words like “join us”, “download”, or “get your free…”
- Be clear about what your offer is – strive for clarity over persuasion and keep it brief
- Front-load the important words – that way your reader knows immediately that your email is worth their time
- We mentioned this already but it’s worth a point of its own – get personal! Use their name, use pronouns like “you” and “your” – it adds a personal touch and tells the reader that you know them!
- Use rhymes, alliteration and puns – they make your email sound more interesting and stand out
Remember, those first impressions last – your email’s subject line is like that first handshake when you meet someone new, and there is nothing worse than a limp, weak handshake!
#2. TEST YOUR SENDER NAME
The sender name is the name the email is from and is the second thing readers consider when deciding whether or not to open your email. So, make sure you use this name consistently in order to create recognition and build trust with your audience. But first, you can test what name works best with them – it could be your business name, or it could be your actual name. The beauty of email is that you can test these things – try an AB test with the different sender names and see which one gets a better open rate, and then use that one consistently.
#3. OPTIMISE THE BODY COPY
The body of your email is obviously the main communication with your reader, so you want to make sure it is on point! Our top tips include:
- Using clear, compelling and brief language
- Telling a story with words, images and stats
- Don’t be afraid to use strong, actionable language (more on that later)
- Use short paragraphs and bullet points
- Keep it light
Most of all, you want to make sure it clearly conveys what your offer or message is, and make sure the reader 100% knows why it is valuable to them! Before you hit send on that email, review your copy from the perspective of your reader and keep the above tips in mind, changing things where you think they could be stronger, clearer or more precise.
#4. STORYTELLING THROUGH PICTURES
Images can make your email visually compelling – they attract attention and convey information about the offer, and they are vital to the story you’re wanting to tell.
So, make them relevant, eye-catching and appealing to look at. But play around with what kinds of images resonate best with your subscribers to find the right balance! Test product images versus lifestyle images, images with people or without – whatever might be relevant to your business, products or services.
#5. GETTING PERSONAL
These days it is so easy to personalise your communications with your customers that it’s not really an option! So, wherever you can, make your emails personal and relevant – use first names, business titles, geographic or demographic information, or even data on pages viewed/products bought before. Get creative and show your customers that you know them!
#6. TAKE ACTION
Ultimately you want your email to make people click through and convert, so make sure each email campaign has a primary, focused call to action (CTA). A few guidelines include:
- Include a prominent button or link prominent that is visually distinctive to the rest of the email so that it is the clear focus
- Keep the call to action above the fold
- Use words that are clear and action-oriented (download, register), urgent (now, today) and friendly (join us, get your)
- Include multiple links and buttons throughout your email that direct the reader to the same place – it’s just more opportunities for them to click and convert
You may have noticed a common thread starting to emerge throughout the post – TESTING! It is so easy to test each of these elements – you don’t need to guess what your customers respond to – doing it the same way over and over again isn’t going to help you find that magic formula that drives amazing results. Just test it!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re testing elements of your email campaign:
- Only test ONE element at a time. JUST ONE! If you test your subject line, your sender name, and your images, and suddenly get amazing (or worse, poor) results from your email – how will you know which element caused that result? You won’t! So, be patient, just test one thing at a time okay!?
- Choose your sample sizes wisely – if you’re AB testing an element, you need a decent sample size for each version so that you get results with any significance. So, sending each version to 10 people probably isn’t going to cut it
- Listen to the test results. They may be surprising, they may not be what you thought. But guess what, you aren’t your subscriber or your target audience, so listen to what the people say!
And there you have it, six quick and easy elements that you can tweak, test and optimise to get your email campaigns working hard for you! If email is already part of your marketing mix – good on ya! Hopefully these 6 tips to optimise your email marketing will help you get even better results from your activity.
If you have yet to dabble in the world of email marketing, we recommend getting it higher up on your to-do list because it really is one of the most cost-effective ways to connect with new customers, and reinforce relationships with current ones. Plus, by balancing your activities across channels that you own (your website, your email database) and don’t own (social media), if Facebook or Instagram were to disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow, your business wouldn’t disappear with it! And when you follow these 6 tips to optimise your email marketing you are sure to grow your business for future success.
Have an awesome day,
About the Author: Janelle has 10+ years experience working in marketing, having worked both in traditional and in digital marketing, for small agencies and big brands, in both the UK and Australia. Janelle is passionate about digital marketing, and has specialised in it for the last seven years, with a specific focus on website management, copywriting and the digital customer experience. To learn more about Janelle head to Little Bird Online Marketing which is a small digital marketing agency.