Emails are extremely powerful. How powerful are they? I’m glad you asked. Did you know that about 35 percent of customers who visited a website or purchased something did it just from seeing an email? Most of these people don’t even bother to open the damn thing – that’s the power of email marketing.
There’s no doubt about it; email marketing has the highest ROI of all other avenues. And whether you’re selling online, running a blog, or gathering sales leads, every company needs a healthy email list. But getting the list isn’t the problem – the real question is, how do you keep the list engaged? Simple, by following a set of best practices. The email industry is constantly changing. To keep you on top of these changes, we’ve compiled 10 of the best practices for effective email marketing.
1: Test your Email Content
This one may feel like a no-brainer, but you quickly realize it isn’t when you reflect on how few people actually do it. The easiest way to test your email content is to send one to yourself first. This best practice will ensure that there are no typos, missing data, broken links or images that won’t load. Simply put, it will help ensure that everything looks and works the way it’s supposed to. Don’t just stop there; make sure you use different devices and platforms to see what the email looks like all across.
2: Thou Shall Not Spam
As obvious as it may sound, the importance of this best practice makes it worth repeating over and over again. Never spam. In this case, spamming refers to poor judgement in the email such as using all uppercase, irrelevant content or just poorly written emails. As an email marketer, the aim is to entice customers so they subscribe and engage with your brand. To achieve this, one best practice is to keep your emails relevant, consistent, and highly engaging.
Buying email lists or signing people up without their permission is a major no no; you won’t get away with this due to strict anti-spam laws. Other best practices here include adding your physical address in the email footer and giving people an option to unsubscribe. Without either of these, you are breaking several anti-spam laws. Using Veloxy Engage you can send emails (single or bulk) from your Inbox (Outlook, Exchange and GMail) and be fully CAN-SPAM Compliant.
3: Build a Squeaky Clean List
All companies are guilty of focusing on the quantity instead of the quality of their email lists. After collecting email addresses for a while, it’s always considered best practice to ‘refresh’ your list. What this means is that you should send a quick reminder campaign first to find out if your prospects still want to receive your emails before sending out the main campaign. It really doesn’t matter how you collected the email list, we recommend confirming everyone’s interests first seeing as how they’re ever changing. Oh, and don’t forget to include that unsubscribe button in compliance with the law.
4: Make it Easy to Subscribe
With all these anti-spam laws and an insistence on the unsubscribe button, it’s easy to forget the most important prompt of all. Since you won’t be buying any email lists, you’ll want to make it as easy and enticing as possible for new people to subscribe. Some of the best practices and ideas to achieve this include adding a signup form on your facebook page, regular tweets for links to the subscribe page, including pre-checked boxes in registration forms and embedding signup CTAs throughout your entire site.
5: Track Click and Open Rates
Tracking open and click rates are usually turned on automatically for email campaigns. To reap maximum benefits and ensure your campaigns are effective, we recommend leaving the tracking enabled. Not only will this best practice let you see how your subscribers engage with your content, it will also give you a better idea of what content they respond to. Naturally, this will help inform and shape future email campaign decisions. Using Veloxy Engage you can send emails (single or bulk) from your Inbox (Outlook, Exchange and GMail) and track open rates and other engagement analytics.
6: Formulate Drip Campaigns
Extending the metaphor of the sales funnel, drip campaigns are a successful type of automated email strategy. As the name suggests, the aim is to dish out the right information at the right time as opposed to overwhelming your prospects with everything at once. Below is what a typical drip campaign might look like for a new subscriber.
-A welcome email along the lines of ‘Thanks for subscribing! Here’s a small discount coupon or voucher to start you off.’
-After a week or so, you can follow up with ‘We hope you’re enjoying our services. How about a look at some of the things you may have missed?’
-Let another week pass before hitting them with ‘If you like our blog, you’ll love hearing about…’ Go into more details.
-If the prospect responds, that opens up an opportunity to close or another drip campaign.
7: Encourage Sharing
Think you’ve got a long email list? What if everyone on your list invited a friend to subscribe? Your list could not only double or triple in size, but there’s nothing more powerful and effective than receiving an email form someone you know. Try to encourage people to share your email and forward it to anyone who might be interested. One best practice that could help you here is linking the CTA to prepopulate new emails with the subject and body text already prefilled.
8: Reward your Subscribers
Getting people to subscribe is the easy part. Ensuring they remain subscribed is where the real task lies. The easiest way to build a loyal subscriber base is to make them feel special. I mean, these people invited you into their personal inbox, invested in your company in one way or another and are still subscribed. The least you could do is acknowledge this and show them your appreciation instead of just bombarding them with emails. Give out freebies, special discounts, exclusive previews and access to new offerings. Offer them something in the emails that they can’t get in the store, tweeter, facebook page or anywhere else.
As we mentioned earlier, the email industry is changing on a regular basis. There was a time when spamming was a non-issue: not really viewed as breaking the law by any account. Today however, there are several laws and regulations that govern how companies send out emails.
To help you observe and follow the best practices above, you’ll need to use Veloxy Engage. Not only does Veloxy protect your company by ensuring full CAN-SPAM compliance, but you can reap the following additional benefits as well:
- Create unlimited personalized email templates
- Reach numerous prospects in one go
- Add more people to your email list
- Know when your emails are read or forwarded with real time alerts
- Analyze and improve email engagement
- Log all email activity and save key emails to Salesforce
- Make bulk cold emails CAN-SPAM compliant before sending
- Add new prospects to Salesforce and set up a meeting in seconds