Roughly 2.4 billion people worldwide are connected to the internet and 85 percent of them use email. However, only 73 percent of online adults use social media. Social marketing is an important component of every sales strategy but don’t forget to also target people who prefer email over Instagram. Lets take a look at some best practices for reaching your customers with brilliant email marketing campaigns.
Be aware of email filters -- Most email clients have filter options that allow users to sort email according to type for easier batch processing but recent changes to Gmail’s tabbed interface takes filtering to a whole new level. The latest customization features recognize social notifications, newsletters, and other non-essential messages and route them into pre-made folders users can view at their convenience. It’s a boon for users, but it doesn’t have to be a bust for marketers.
To avoid having your newsletters and sales-oriented messages automatically shifted into one of Gmail’s background tabs, your first course of action is to teach your customers how to make sure the emails they request from your company show up in their Primary message tab. A simple “make sure you whitelist this address” message may get the job done, but don’t be afraid to take things a step further and craft a step-by-step tutorial on your company blog and include the link in all your messaging.
Marketers have discovered that leaving out images and having no more than one link per email often helps land messages in their subscribers’ Primary tab. That’s because Gmail’s algorithms often assumes link- and picture-laden emails are either spam or promotional content. Google continually tinkers with Gmail’s message sorting features, however, so the best solution is to ask your customers to set up their filter to route your messages to the Primary tab themselves so they don’t miss anything.
Call out that call to action -- Nothing loses a sale faster than not asking for one. The most carefully crafted email marketing message will fall flat unless there’s a clear call to action (CTA) readers can spot right away. Messages across social channels are typically brief chunks of text that include a link to a company website so the CTA is quite clear. Email marketing messages, on the other hand, give you a lot more space to work with and a bigger story to tell, so don’t let your CTA get buried or overlooked.
Prominently display a CTA button near the top of the page or refer to it at least once per paragraph in your overall message. Or, for maximum effect, try a combination of both.
Use smart subject lines -- The subject line of your email is like the front door to your business -- it should look intetesting and inviting. Choose informative and descriptive wording over clever or quirky. Your subject line should tell readers what’s contained in your message, not make them guess.
Many marketing professionals swear by A/B split testing which involves sending out identical emails with different subject lines. Use an email marketing service like Benchmark to gather analytics that will help you determine which subject line had the best success rate and tailor future subject lines accordingly.
Given the popularity of social networking today, it’s easy to forget that not everyone has a Twitter or Facebook account. Some people have privacy concerns while others simply don’t want to worry about yet another internet-based account to monitor every day. Some of your customers won’t hear your social media messages so be sure to meet them where they are -- in the inbox.