Throughout the years, email marketing has remained one of the most effective ways to convert prospects, as well as existing customers, into sales and revenue.
When you take the time to build an email list, it gives you the ability to reach your audience at any time -- your prospects and customers are within feet of their mobile devices 24/7. Email marketing also provides you with a lot of data that can be used to evaluate performance and make improvements -- open rates, click-through rates, spam complaints, unsubscribe rates, etc.
So, how do you improve your email marketing performance to take full advantage of one of the most effective forms of online marketing? Here are eight ways to get more out of your email marketing efforts, as told by eight successful entrepreneurs.
1. Scrub and verify your email list regularly.
“When someone is adding his or her email address to your list it’s possible they make a mistake, provide a fake email altogether or they eventually change to a new email address. This can have a negative effect on your email delivery performance, as the emails can bounce, go directly into spam folders and even get you labeled as a spammer. Run your list through a scrubbing and verification service on a regular basis to make sure you are always working with an accurate list," said John Rampton, founder of Due.
2. Personalize the email to each recipient.
“Think of how many promotional emails you receive every single day -- the people on your list are no different. You need to understand that even if someone opens your email, they will most likely delete it before scrolling down unless you grab their attention. Personalizing the beginning with a simple, ‘Hi [recipient’s first name],’ can help to engage the reader enough to get them to at least begin to read your offer," Matt Behnke, CEO of Orthotic Shop, says.
3. Use emojis in your subject line.
“Emojis are everywhere. They are a fun and effective way to communicate. Look at the last text message conversation on your phone and see how many emojis were used. Your email is going to be surrounded by several more in the inboxes of your recipients. Using emojis in the subject line is a great way to stand out, often pulling a much higher open rate when split-tested against an identical subject line, minus the emojis," said Aaron Minc, founder of Defamation Removal Law.
4. Test multiple deployment times.
“The worst thing you can do is send off an email to your list and just assume everyone is going to read it. You should constantly be experimenting with different deployment times. Start broad, sending the message to half of your list early in the morning and then to the remainder in the evening. From there, see what one had the stronger metrics and then start to experiment with closer deployment intervals. For example, if your evening open rates were significantly higher, break your next email into several different times in the evening to find your best-performing time," said Jim Rafferty, CEO of Wabash Power.
5. Build a double opt-in list.
“Many people shy away from building a double opt-in list because they assume the extra step might act as repellant, resulting in a smaller list. A smaller list that is more responsive to your emails is a much more valuable asset than a huge list that never opens your emails. If someone takes the time to opt-in to your list that means they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer," said Richard Celler, managing partner of Richard Celler Legal, P.A.
6. Segment your email list.
“Segmenting your email list will help you achieve more favorable open rates and click-through rates. By sending messages to targeted groups within your list, your audience finds your message more relevant, which ultimately provides you with better results. Every list has subscribers who are interested in different types of offers -- coupons, news or special events -- segmenting allows you to give your subscribers what they want," said Elena Eroshkina, CEO of Boston Executive Limo Service.
7. Use a custom responsive email template.
“The majority of your subscribers are going to be opening your emails on their mobile devices, so it’s important that you use a newsletter template that’s responsive. If you use a service like Mailchimp, their templates are responsive and deliver your message perfectly across all devices and screen sizes. Take it a step further and have a custom template designed so your emails are branded and stand out. The cost is minimal and it helps to give your email marketing effort a much more professional look," said Ron Rudzin, CEO of Loom & Leaf.
8. Have one clear call-to-action per email.
“If you don’t have one clearly defined call-to-action, you are going to experience minimal results. Your subscribers don’t have time to read through long emails, trying to determine what you want them to do or what exactly your offer is. If your recipient doesn’t know what you want them to do within seconds of opening your email, whether that’s visiting a page, calling a phone number or completing a form, they will most likely delete your email," said Trevor Nace, CEO of PC Login Online.
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