We all get a ton of emails in our inbox every morning when we wake up and spend at least five precious minutes deleting each and every one of them. Yet, us digital marketers and PR professionals are personally contributing to this clutter!
Rising above the inbox chaos is a challenge we all face in our marketing strategy. While I don’t yet have a magic recipe (Hey — If you do, please share it with us!), here are three things I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately.
I think we forget that the majority of our audience is typically opening their emails on their phone. And even if you may be aware of this reality, as you sit on your laptop and craft that perfect email blast with pretty graphics and links, you’re entirely ignoring their mobile experience.
What does your audience want to see? Quick, catchy information. Your subject line is key here and it is what separates you from a click versus a swipe left into the trash. According to the Return Path blog, you should keep the subject line from 25-30 characters so it’ll fit into mobile email subjects.
Also, ditch bulky graphics and remember they may not even show on everyone’s phone. There’ve been a few times I’ve scrapped an email because it wasn’t viewable when I was data-less on the subway (my prime email reading time in the morning). While images may look pretty on the computer, keep in mind it’s way too much scrolling for the easily distracted mobile user.
Content vs. Offers
Spam is emails from clothing companies offering me sales and deals, to the gym trying to guilt me into a membership. Rise above the average “offer” emails! Offer your audience something they can actually use.
This is where content marketing is key. Educating your customer on something relevant to your product is much more productive than offering them a discount (I mean, we all love a good discount but it’s not what’s going to build loyalty). Honestly, a discount is like a one night stand. They’ll use ya, and then forget to text ya back. Thanks for the great time, coupon!
Offer your customers something they can find value in and give them a reason to think about you, come to you, and start to see you as an ally rather than a brand. It’s time to get creative here and I admit, it’s not always easy. If you’re a hair salon, why not offer video tutorials or DIY idea blog posts with lots of photos? If you’re a software company, why not offer your audience ideas that’ll actually enhance their day and teach them something? Or, give them something to talk about and share on the office chat. Content is key and thinking outside the norm and getting into a content marketing state of mind sooner, rather than later, is key.
Make. It. Personal.
Most marketing teams try to avoid using the word “email blasts” and I think that’s a really good practise to use. Why would you want to be blasted with anything? Instead, “reach out” to your customers.
Customer segmentation is key. If you start sending irrelevant emails to some because you’re using a huge list, people are going to drop like flies. According to HubSpot, Customer Personas are key. Know who your customers are, divide them, and conquer accordingly. Really think about the messaging behind the emails you’re sending and tweak them as necessary. Is this a bit extra work? Yep. Does anything good ever come easy, though? Your customers are worth it.
Also, don’t make rookie mistakes. Have the return address be a personal address if you can (who wants to hear from firstname.lastname@example.org?) and put a face on your email messaging at the bottom. Depending on your company voice, keep it conversational and easy to understand. Lastly, keep track of how often you’ve been contacting your lists and what you’ve been sending out. Be smart!
Email marketing is a huge part of your company’s marketing plan and it’s crucial to treat it with the thought and respect as every other aspect of your marketing plan. When done right, it can be highly effective and can earn you valuable business.