Although social media is often touted as the best way to gain exposure and sales, the fact remains that email marketing is still the most effective method for increasing sales conversions and brand awareness. Likewise, subscribers who continually receive email newsletters are more likely to stay loyal to your brand and even refer your products to others. The ForeSee Results Report on Social Media Marketing states that a majority of customers prefer email over social media when receiving marketing collateral. Overall, email campaigns have a higher ROI than social media campaigns.
Given these data, how can you create an effective email campaign when attempting to relay your message to your subscribers? Here are seven tips for creating a successful email marketing campaign that goes beyond just creating an opt-in list, writing quality content and emailing subscribers on a regular basis:
1. Create subject lines that grab reader attention. The 50-60 characters that make up the subject line of your email are arguably the most valuable part of your entire email newsletter. Why? Because, based on your subject line, your readers will either open up your newsletter or delete it. Thus, it pays to spend a little bit of time creating a subject line that stands out and grabs reader attention. Good subject lines typically spark reader curiosity, make an outrageous or controversial claim, or offer a personal story.
2. “Pepper” in your call-to-action. Many email marketers make the common mistake of placing their call-to-action at the very bottom of the email, where it is most likely to be ignored. Regardless of whether your call-to-action is a white paper download, a product link or a customer survey, you should “pepper it in” throughout the body of your email to increase its chances of being clicked on and opened. Also, avoid making your call-to-action a big flashy postcard or button, which instantly alerts ISPs that your newsletter should be sent to the junk email folder. Instead, use simple links that don’t interrupt or stand out from the body of your email.
3. Publish your newsletters on social media platforms. Don’t hide your newsletter once it’s been sent out to your subscribers. Instead, republish your newsletter on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. This gives readers a chance to see what your email subscribers are receiving. By doing so, they will hopefully subscribe as well.
4. Offer free ebooks, guides and white papers. Offer your subscribers additional downloadable content within the body of your email. Make sure that this content is ad-free and is provided solely as a goodwill gesture on your part. On the other hand, your free content can include references to more complete ebooks or guides that are available for sale.
5. Hold contests and giveaways. Nothing stirs up reader interest quite like a promotion or product giveaway. These events can be used to attract new subscribers and also create a buzz about your site and/or its products. The given promotion need not be big; for example, you could hold a contest for a $10 book. Consider these promotions and/or giveaways as alternative strategies to advertising your website or blog through venues like Google AdSense.
6. Don’t plug products all the time. Your email newsletters should contain occasional product ads. However, if all you do is make your newsletters a platform for product promotion, your subscribers will either start designating your emails as junk/spam or unsubscribing from your list altogether. In short, view your newsletter as a tool to garner reader interest in your website or blog and not purely as a sales generator.
7. Obtain subscriber feedback. Don’t be afraid to send out surveys to your newsletter subscribers asking for their opinion about your email marketing and how it may be improved. Most of your subscribers will be happy to offer their input and make suggestions. You’ll end up not only improving your email marketing but maybe even finding new marketing directions.