You’ve got mail.

Ok, so we don’t hear that automated line anymore, but you definitely still do have mail waiting for you in your inbox. Though our inboxes look a bit sleeker now and we don’t hear a screechy dial-up tone when we connect anymore, email still proves to be a sure-fire marketing tactic for reaching your customers and audiences. In fact, 56 percent of respondents in a recent Gigaom Research survey identified email as the most effective digital marketing tactic for retention, when compared to other digital marketing tactics.

The key is to be smart about the emails you’re sending so that they aren’t immediately deleted or marked as “junk.” Below are a handful of tips to get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

Distribution tool: Choose an email marketing tool that offers a simple interface, adaptable HTML templates/design options and comprehensive metrics reporting. Even with limited resources, a tool that pairs professional-looking designs with valuable metrics will allow you to see what’s performing well and optimize based on that.

Mobile optimization: This is key. Think about how often you’re reading emails on your phone—your customers and partners are doing the same thing. A subscriber is much more likely to open and engage with your email if it’s optimized for mobile—set to the correct width, quick to load with optimized images and containing short, digestible content that’s easy to click and share.

Solid subject lines: Keep subject lines concise, simple and to-the-point. Avoid any words like “free” or “buy now” so that your emails aren’t caught by spam filters. Grab the reader’s attention with an event date or deadline—something that will catch their eye (that appropriately fits within your brand’s voice) when they’re scanning their inbox. 

Clean, simple layout: Let your message be the highlight of the email. Choose a modern, but simple uncluttered layout that doesn’t detract from your content.

Compelling imagery: Stock imagery often lacks authenticity and personality. Try sites that offer user-generated images for a fresh, modern look at a low price. Or, use high-quality images from your company’s image library (if available). When it makes sense to include mobile captures from tradeshows or events, follow industry best practices to capture the best photos possible.

Balanced text-to-image ratio: Too many images within your email causes certain email service providers to flag it as spam, which can damage sending metrics.

Emphasize calls-to-action: Ensure all CTA’s are clear and simple to encourage more engagement.

Photo credit:Tom Page.

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