Email is a great tool to use to engage with your audience. Assuming that you don’t have to buy a database to find out who they are (this can open up a world of pain, it’s a subject for another day!), it is a great opportunity to get your message in front of people. You can send them to a very specific link on your website, useful if your website structure is complex, and you can engage them with interesting content.
But all of that assumes that your audience actually see your email. What if your biggest problem is getting people to open your email? Here are some things to look out for when running an email marketing campaign:
Make sure they can open it: Avoiding the spam filter is the first hurdle that you need to overcome. Doing this is a blog in itself (shameless self-promotion), so let’s just say that this should be a consideration.
Timing is everything: When thinking about email marketing, you need to get into the mind-set of the recipient. If you are on your way out of the office on Friday afternoon after a hard week and you receive a marketing email, are you going to stop and read it or just delete it and start the week with a clean inbox? Timing is really important. Consider when your recipient will be in the right mood for your product, e.g. emails for holidays or financial services products may be more effective at different times of the day or days of the week.
You don’t call, you don’t email: The frequency with which you email your audience is important. If you don’t do it enough then the user will have a good enough reason to open your email, but if you email them too often, they will become tired of your communication and it becomes wallpaper. There are no hard and fast rules, but doing some research into your industry’s email frequency should offer some guidance.
Who is it from? You should have a think about who your email is from. On most email marketing packages, you can determine what the recipient sees in the ‘sender’ column. Should it be from ‘sales’ or ‘admin’ or should it be from a person – i.e. their name. In my experience, using a name tends to have a better open rate, but it does depend on the market that you operate in.
Subject line: The one element which has the most impact on the open rate of your emails will be the subject line. This needs to be enticing enough for the user to open the email, so it is a good place to personalise (with either their name or if it is time for the recipient to renew / upgrade your product), summarise your offer and grab the recipient’s attention.
What actions have you taken to drive up your email open rate? Leave a comment and share your experience.