Let’s paint a familiar picture; you’ve spent weeks on end trying to create a perfect marketing campaign, and once you’ve finally hit send, it yielded no results. Unfortunately, this happens way too often, as many marketers spend too much trying to create something they enjoy rather than focusing on the potential customer.
In addition to this, there’s also the issue of not knowing how to create something great about marketing. Sure, you might be great at creating content for your site or products for an eCommerce store, but email marketing, while it can be similar, doesn’t work the same way.
To try and remedy this problem of not getting the desired result, we came up with a definitive list of tips that are sure to advance any future attempts. To try and cover all the bases, we’ll give you practical advice on developing an email list, writing the subject line and content, so let’s get to it.
Email and Subscriber List Tips
1. Make a Promise and Set Expectations
The place where your marketing campaign begins is your opt-in page. The opt-in page is where a potential subscriber is asked to leave their email. To get people to commit to the newsletters that you’re offering, make sure to tell them precisely what they’ll be receiving from the get-go.
While you might be tempted to be vague in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience, the only thing this does is alienate those who were interested.
2. Collect Emails Through Your Website
Collecting emails is a tried and tested method, and over 75% of successful marketers rely on it. Something has to be offered to the visitor in exchange for their email address, whether a discount, a free update, a guide, etc. The golden rule of collecting email addresses is; how much you give is how much you get back.
Backlinko is an excellent example of this strategy done right. In exchange for an email address, they offer only methods found on their blog.
3. Show Good Manners
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and few will find pleasure in what seems to be just a marketing tactic of a large or small corporation. Showing good manners is an excellent two-in-one as it makes your subs feel appreciated, and it also lets them know that the registration process went through.
4. Try to Retain Those Trying to Unsubscribe
When a contact tries to opt out, it’s unavoidable that some will try to retain them by asking them to change their preferences first. Be witty as people tend to respond better to that kind of language because it feels more personal and less corporate.
5. Clean Your Email List
Having inactive subscribers is relatively common, as many tend to lose interest after some time. Of course, you can try and re-establish contact, but if it’s not working out, the best thing you can do for your business is to purge the list of inactive subscribers.
Purging your list will not only benefit you by alleviating your workload through keeping only active contacts, but it will also improve the open rate and your overall reputation.
6. Don’t Give Up Right Away
Before you decide to purge the list of any inactive subscriptions, give them a chance to become active once again. Come up with an engaging and witty email to inform them they’ve been missed and invite them to rejoin the conversation. While it might seem like a silly idea at first glance, it works.
Here’s a great example of how that can be done. This will, of course, differ depending on the industry you’re in and how you generally talk to subscribers.
Subject Line and Copywriting Tips
1. Testing Is Key
For the longest of time, there was no way of knowing how well your subject line would do until you sent it. All of the analytics had to be done retroactively.
However, lucky for us, those days are over, and there are plenty of tools out there that can help you test out your subject line before ever hitting send. Some of the more popular ones are tools like; SubjectLine.com and Test Subject.
2. Communicate Like a Human, Not a Business
The subscribers that stay the longest are those that feel in some way connected to the service you’re offering, which is why they’re choosing not to opt out and stay by your side.
So, make sure to communicate conversationally and maybe even sprinkle some humor in there while you’re at it. If you’re in a line of business that can afford itself to be a little fancier as well, we’d also recommend you give it a go.
Here’s a great example of what we’re talking about:
3. Storytelling Is Key
Storytelling ties in with the first tip we gave. You cannot be vague, all of the information has to be presented from the very beginning, and your subscribers have to know precisely what they’re getting themselves into.
In addition to this, all of the information you put out there also has to be interesting, and this is exactly where many reach an impasse. Think of it as a movie. But it’s not as hard as it looks.
First, introduce them to the topic, top it off with some drama and interest, and finish off with a sale. This might take some practice, but you’ll get it in the end.
4. Understand What They’re Interested in
To gain email subscribers and retain them, your only task is to educate and entertain. We mean by this is to have a long-term active subscriber, you have to understand what it is they’re interested in and why they’ve chosen to do this in the first place.
5. Stick to the Point
Sticking to the point is essentially common knowledge, but regardless there are still so many would-be marketers out there composing epics instead of newsletter emails. This is counterproductive as most people scan through the text in any marketing email.
So, instead of going the Homerian route, maybe try and keep it brief. Split your content into bullet points, organize and compose something short and sweet.
6. Make a Promise and Stick to It
The subject line must include your offer, or in other words, whatever it is you’re promising to your subscribers. As we’ve mentioned before, people scan marketing emails, and the only thing they might read is the subject line, so make your intentions known and show them what you’re offering from the very start.
7. Include Images
Including images is a great way to keep the visitor’s focus and give them something to keep their attention. Of course, it has to be relevant to your offer, but as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s a timeless truth too many forget when opting for email marketing.
In addition to just adding images, make sure they have alt text. While you might not know why this is important at first, think about it. Some people have images disabled on their email, and others may not receive them, so make sure that they still know what it is even if they can’t see the image in question.
Here’s a great example:
8. Only One CTA
Moderation is key, don’t do too much, don’t do too little. And when it comes to CTA’s, two is too much. One is just enough to put your message through and offers only the desired action to the subscriber.
However, do not hesitate to add it to more than one location in the email, as this can be further incentive to engage.
9. Put the Customer First
Always talking about yourself is boring to listen to, regardless of the context. So, instead of going on and on about how your brand is better than all the others, make it about the customer and show them in simple terms how your product can benefit them.
Imagine a sales pitch of two different brands. One opens their email with; Our new croc-pot cooks 12% faster than any other competitor in the market, and that makes it the best.
Now, counter that with; “Cook your food 12% faster, and spend more quality time with your family while still enjoying great meals.” I know very little about croc-pots, but you get the point.
To Sum Up
While one can never be 100% sure about the outcome of a marketing campaign, there are tried and tested strategies that certainly do help. So, dress up your next campaign, connect with your subscribers and make both them and yourself a little happier in doing so.