17 Tips to Maximizing Your Email Marketing Success

Permission-based email marketing has a higher return on investment than unsolicited email, direct mail, or traditional advertising and has revolutionized the way we do business. Backed by measurable results, studies show email marketing is the marketing tool of choice for businesses looking to attract, retain, and grow loyal customer bases. Businesses all around the world use email marketing to:

• Boost sales
• Generate leads
• Strengthen relationships
• Increase website traffic
• Build brand loyalty

As the popularity of permission-based email marketing grows, so does the amount of email in every inbox. Are you doing everything you can to make sure your emails are opened, read, and responded to? You know your business best, but here are 34 tips to maximize permission-based email marketing success.

Know your Audience
You could have the best message in the world, but without the right audience it means nothing.

1. Start by building a permission-based list.

2. Be sure to include a way for people to unsubscribe in all your email campaigns. Unsolicited email or spam can be damaging to your reputation.

3. Since email addresses can change frequently, keep your list current by carefully tracking the number of bounce-backs or undeliverable emails after every campaign.

Craft your Message
An interesting message that offers value is critical to the success of any email campaign.

4. See what others are doing. Take a few minutes and sign up for email newsletters from competitors. Choose a few on your favorite hobby or a topic you’re interested in too.

5. Get the length right. A good rule of thumb is the more frequent your emails, the shorter they should be. People will open a short “Tip of the Day”, but almost no one wants to get something longer on a daily basis.

6. People respond best to messages written by one particular person at a company who they can get to know over time. This is part of building relationships.

7. Personalize the ‘From’ part of your email and be clear who the email is from.

8. Choose a subject line that grabs your reader’s attention. Avoid vague content like “Our September Newsletter.” Instead, use an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as “Best Practices for Email Marketing” or “Inside: Exclusive Interview with Tiger Woods!”

9. Personalize each message and watch response rates climb. At the very least, always include the recipient’s name.

Choose the Right Format
Once you have the right message, you need to present it in the right way.

10. HTML and Rich media messages that include audio, video, and animation generate high response rates, but it’s still important to always have a text version for people who prefer or can only receive text.

11. Minimize the use of ALL CAPS and italics as they are hard to read.

12. Test your messages through a number of email accounts to make sure they look good in all mainstream email clients.

13. Consider writing your message in the same format it will appear on your customers’ screens so you can see what they will see. For text-based emails set your font to 10 point Courier going 60 characters (five inches) across.

14. Unless your newsletter is unusually long, recipients will probably read it on their screen. Your job is to make this as easy as possible. For headlines, use a larger, bold font that can be scanned the quickly.

Look for Measurable Results
Being able to measure your email marketing efforts is key. Measuring allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t so you can improve each and every campaign.

15. Test using different subject lines, copy, offers, and creative designs, etc. Use real-time results to see which get the best response rates. Consider sending out an A/B test to two sub-segments of your email list to see which is more successful. Refine, and then send the more successful email to your larger email base for better results.

16. When running a series of email campaigns, tweak your message as soon as you understand the results of your first campaign.

17. Above all, take the time to understand email as a marketing medium. Always analyze results and think of new ways to provide value to your members and customers.

What other tips do you have?  What tools do you use to send your emails with and how do you like them?

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