It may not feel like spring just yet (especially if you’re based in the northeast U.S.), but it’s still a good time to do some email marketing spring cleaning.
Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment but making even small changes can have a big impact on your results. And getting these tasks out of the way now will pay off later by ensuring you’ll have time to relax this summer.
With that in mind, here are four suggestions for this your on-the-job spring cleaning:
1. Scrub your mailing lists
If you haven’t paid attention to your lists over the long winter, start with this.
“Clean email lists produce fewer bounces, which improves your sender reputation because it signals to ISPs that you’re committed to respecting recipients’ inboxes instead of spamming them,” writes Jeff Cox at SendInBlue. “This translates to improved deliverability across your entire subscriber base.”
Laura Buxton, at Braze, writes that a list-cleaning effort begins by identifying customers from whom you haven’t heard for half a year. “Users that haven’t opened an email from you in the last six months should be removed from your email list,” she writes. “You can still target these users with re-engagement campaigns but be mindful that continuing to target them can indicate to ISPs that your emails don’t deserve to be in recipient inboxes. So, make sure you’ve got a really compelling pitch before you send them that last-chance email.”
2. Dust off some compelling new subject lines
Subject lines drive open rates, which means you can’t just recycle a few of your all-time favorites and expect to get the results you want. This is a great time of year to determine which of your subject lines performed best, learn from them and come up with new ones that will perform better.
“No matter what they say, people do judge emails by their subject lines,” writes Olivia Allen on the Hubspot blog. “In fact, 47% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone. That’s why it’s so important to craft subject lines that are compelling enough to get people to click through.”
Allen provides 17 tips for creating high-impact subject lines, a list that includes using action-orientated verbs and posing compelling questions and using numbers – and don’t forget to test!
3. Polish your writing’s ‘urgency quotient’
Every word in every message needs to play a role in getting recipients to click on your CTA. Review some of your recent messages – does your body copy tell a compelling story? Does the wording of your CTAs themselves convey urgency? Are you doing everything you can with your writing to drive action?
If a sense of urgency is doing anything less than absolutely popping off the screen, now’s the perfect time to see what you can do to inject some FOMO into your writing.
“While web writing is generally passive, email content should be straightforward and drive action,” writes Joanna Milliken at Marketing Land. “Apply this approach when you’re trying to get someone to click on an offer or register for an event, and when you’re trying to deliver more value to a consumer over email. The call to action for a reader is particularly important. Removing articles, such as ‘the’ or ‘a,’ can drive your message home: ‘Read e-book’ or ‘Buy jeans’ sounds more pressing than “Read the e-book” or ‘Buy the jeans.’”
4. Sharpen your content’s mobile-readiness
“Without question, the emails your company sends will be read on mobile devices,” writes Gabriel Shaoolian at Forbes. “This is true even for B2B companies that target users in the workplace. One of the number-one activities people use their phones for is email, and we all know that today’s modern workers check email at all hours, even long after they’ve left the office. Users won’t be forgiving of lackluster mobile email performance — they’ll trash your message and move on.”
We certainly don’t want that! Fortunately, we can prevent it.
“It isn’t difficult to make sure your emails are optimized for mobile and, in fact, many email marketing services offer responsive templates that make the job easy,” Shaoolian writes. “Remember that what looks like a short paragraph on desktop will take up considerably more screen space on mobile. Use a stacked layout, which is far easier for mobile readers to follow than a column layout. Don’t forget that CTAs should be easy to click with a mouse and a thumb.”
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