10 Mar Top 10 Tips for Successful Email Marketing
Email marketing messaged 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 e-marketing tool such as ClickDimensions (which integrates with Dynamics 365) many of these are easily avoidable. Carefully crafted email newsletters not only ensure that they get read, but should also drive traffic to your website, or other calls to action. Integrating ClickDimensions (or similar) with your Dynamics CRM system will provide your marketing team with valuable information about who clicked, where, when, and how often.
Our 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 are 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. They are (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?
Make sure you include a plain text option as well – 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 text 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 proofreading (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 onto 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.
Make use of headings and sub-headings and provide clearly defined articles that are easy for the reader to skim through. The use of bold or different colours to highlight keywords 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. More and more people read emails on smartphones these days and the font can make all the difference. I recently received a link to a blog that I tried to read on my iPhone, but it was in italics and impossible to read on a phone!
Do not make the email too long, if the 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?
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 it out using Outlook or similar.
Also, consider splitting the sending if you deal with different time zones rather than assume everyone is on GMT.
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 smartphones 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.