5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing

By Amy Stillman, Web Strategist

Email Marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your website and build relationships with your audience or client base.

To build, execute, and maintain effective email marketing campaigns, you need to pay close attention to your audience, the message, and the interactions.

Here are 5 tips that are easy to implement and can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

1. Don’t tell the full story up front

Email marketing is an inbound marketing tool, so the overall goal is to drive traffic to your website where customers can complete further actions like purchasing an item, signing up for an event, or submitting an inquiry form.

Including the full article in your email defeats the purpose of encouraging click-throughs, plus text-heavy emails can appear overwhelming when the user opens them. Instead, include article snippets or teasers, then have the user click through to your main site to read the full story.

2. Include relevant links beyond your homepage

Make sure the pages your email links click to are relevant to the content clicked from. Nothing increases bounce rates and unsubscribes like sending users somewhere on your website that has nothing to do with the email content they clicked on. Instead of sending users directly to your homepage from every link in the email, try to send them to an interior page that has content relevant to the email topic.

3. Put effort into your subject line

Your email’s subject line is still a critical component of encouraging opens. The more specific the better. A subject line like “June Newsletter” is far less likely to get high open rates than something like “June Newsletter: How to Create Great Subject Lines” or “Create a Great Subject Line in 30 Seconds”. Make sure the subject line is directly relevant to the email content and should also focus on the lead article if your email includes more than one topic.

4. Make sure they’re mobile friendly

Recent studies indicate that upwards of 45% of all email messages are opened on a mobile device. If your email layout breaks when viewed on a phone, that’s a huge portion of your audience you are likely losing. Make sure you’re designing emails that look as nice and are as readable on a mobile device as they are on a desktop. Often, this means simplifying your layout and your content, using larger font sizes, and including clearer calls to action.

5. Test, test, and test again!

Most email marketing tools will include a way for you to A/B test so use that to your advantage. This could be as simple as sending out one subject line to half your list and another one to the other half and seeing which one performs better. Or monitoring which day of the week results in higher opens and click-through rates. Or seeing if certain content topics perform better with specific demographic segments of your list like gender or location. There are a lot of industry standards and best practices when it comes to email marketing, but testing allows you to figure out what works with YOUR audience.

The best practice tip of all is measurement. Don't just send and forget. And when you measure, look beyond how many opens your email received. Look at how many clicks, what users are clicking on, and what they're doing when they get to your website.  Know your audience, know what works with them, watch how they engage with your emails and your website as a result, then make incremental adjustments as you go.


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