Email marketing messages need to be read - not just delivered 
Email newsletters are still very popular and some people subscribe to many newsletters, so how do you ensure that yours gets read?  
 
Many senders make fundamental mistakes that could easily be avoided.  
 
If they do not get delivered or read it doesn’t matter how brilliant your service/product is the call to action won’t generate anything 
Using an emarketing tool such as ClickDimensions (which integrates with Dynamics 365/CRM) many of these are easily avoidable.Carefully crafted email newsletters not only ensure that they get delivered and get read, but should also drive traffic to your web site, or other call to action. Integrating ClickDimensions (or similar) with your Dynamics CRM will provide your marketing team with valuable information about who clicked, where, when and how often. 
 
My top tips for successful email marketing are … 
 
1. Have a good subject line 
Many people make a split second decision on whether or not to even open an email based on who it is from and the subject line. It needs to generate enough interest to make the reader want to open the email to read more. Does your email generator allow you to specify who the emails is from, maybe dynamically according to who “owns” the record in the CRM database. 
 
2. Don’t include too many images 
A large number of images is more likely to trigger a spam filter. It is (wrongly) used as a way of trying to hide “selling” messages rather than using text. Spam filters are becoming more suspicious of images because of this. Also consider, if someone doesn’t download the images what does your email look like, does it still make sense? 
 
2a – make sure you include a plain text option – this again will lower your spam score. 
 
3. Test for spam before sending 
By understanding what content may be marked as spam, and replacing it with safe content, you will have a better chance of achieving a high delivery rate. ClickDimensions will allow you to send test messages to yourself (or other nominated email addresses) and as part of this will give a spam score and breakdown so you can fine tune the message and content before sending. 
 
4. Test your email thoroughly 
This includes proof reading (ideally get someone else to do it, it is always harder to check something you have written), testing all links within the email, and sending to different email clients to check the display (Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail, and read on a smart-phone) 
 
5. Know what you are trying to achieve 
What do you want the reader to do – call, book on an event? Make sure the call to action is clear and that all your contact details are easy to find. No-one wants to search all over an email looking for a phone number. 
 
6. Unsubscribe links 
People sign up for numerous e-mail newsletters, but after time these may no longer be relevant. They may have moved jobs, purchased whatever they were interested in or simply not be interested any longer. Make the unsubscribe process as easy as possible for them. No one likes having to search to unsubscribe. Also, make sure you check the link works. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for the unsubscribe option and then finding it doesn’t work – even more time wasted dealing with an email you didn’t want. 
 
7. Layout 
Make use of headings and sub headings and provide clearly defined articles which are easy for the reader to skim through. Use of bold or different colours to highlight key words or phrases can help ensure you get the key message across even to readers who skim the email. Think of it as providing signposts so they can find the relevant articles as quickly as possible. 
 
Also consider which font to use. As mentioned in Tip 10, more and more people read emails on smart phones and the font can make all the difference. I recently received a link to a blog which I tried to read on my iPhone, but it was in italics and impossible to read on a phone! 
 
8. Content 
Do not make the email too long, if necessary link to further information on a web page. Make it interesting to the reader – what do they want to read? Put yourself in their shoes (or eyes!) – what would you think if you received it? Would you get bored reading it, would a picture or two break up the text better? 
 
9. Time 
If you are sending to business contacts the email needs to arrive during the working day. Many consider that mid-morning Tuesday and Thursday is best, but experiment and monitor the results. Any e-mail marketing tool (ClickDimensions, DotMailer, MailChimp) will provide you with metrics to see when the emails are opened. This is just one of the benefits of using a true email marketing application rather than just sending out using Outlook or similar. 
 
Also, consider splitting the sending if you deal with different time zones rather than assume everyone is on GMT. 
 
10. Size 
The ideal width for an email is 600px. Some applications will sort this for you, and within this you can still set separate columns to make the layout more interesting. More and more emails are read on smart phones and having to scroll from side to side is a real turn-off and can lead to readers simply deleting your email because it is too difficult to ready. 
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