Have you heard that one joke that goes “email marketing will be dead soon”?
Cracks me up every time.
It turns out email marketing grows and develops by the day. It’s pretty much like those growing toys you used to dunk in the water as a kid. You might already know this, but the ROI for email marketing is up to 4400% ($44 for every single dollar you invest in a campaign). In other words, it’d be wise to bank on email marketing at this point.
The bad news is: if you don’t adapt your email marketing to 2021’s endeavors, you’ll be lost. And that’s not about competition only, it’s about money, baby. It’s about having more people open your emails, but also read them from top to bottom, click your CTAs, share, and ultimately buy. If they do at least one of the above, it’s already a small win.
Think of it this way: if you survived 2020, there’s nothing you can’t do. So start by improving your email marketing this year. Here are our best tips:
Let’s not dive too deep into the fact that people spend more than 3 hours on their phones daily (on average). You read about it everywhere, and see it all around you. You do it yourself, for crying out loud.
That means almost half of email opens are done on smartphones. And you guessed it. If emails are hard to load or look chunky and weird on mobile, no one will take their time reading it. Nobody has time trying to decipher where things are supposed to be.
You mean I’ve got to optimize even my emails now?
Yes. But it’s not that difficult, and it pays off big time.
Mobile optimized templates are your salvation. They already come optimized for you, and all you need to do is make a few changes if you feel suitable. But it’s important to pay attention to the following:
- Short and enticing subject lines are more likely to be opened. Want people to do an immediate double-take and open your email instantly?
- Optimizing your emails’ preview pane (the section subscribers look at before opening an email and decide whether they should carry on reading). A simple adjustment could make a world of difference. In fact, the guys at the AWeber blog wrote that you could engage half of your subscribers more intelligently with a better preview pane. Use strong offers as headlines, a table of contents in case they want to jump to a certain topic, and of course, a visible and compelling CTA.
- Calls to action work better as large buttons that don’t get lost within the template or the body text. Check it out:
Avoid “noreply” emails
Everybody has had a problem with noreply emails in the past. Let’s describe one:
You desperately needed an urgent reply from a certain company. So you went to one of the recent emails they sent since it’s the only email address available to you and askee your question. Days went by, and your faith was fading…until you realized: that was a noreply email address.
You felt like ripping every hair out of your head, but at that point, you had already gone to someone else for assistance. You’ve lost your patience, and they’ve lost a customer.
If you don’t want the same thing happening to your business, you or a customer service representative better start personally replying to emails. As you’ve probably already felt on your skin, noreply emails come across as negligent. They really do sound as if no one feels like replying to you, even though that’s not the intention.
The intention of noreply emails is to save time and get more done in fewer hours, but most times, getting personal pays. It’s much better to have a team member respond with a friendly reply than have a robotic answer followed by “don’t reply to this email”.
Well, okay then. I’ll go somewhere else with my business.
Words you don’t want to hear.
Where’d your CTA go?
This one ties strongly into mobile friendliness. To this day, CTAs are underused. Because they’re so small, people often just put them wherever they feel like it and don’t think about them too much.
It turns out CTAs are magical words. They can make people decide to click or leave. That has to do with the words in the CTA, as well as button positioning. Or, if you aren’t using a button, it depends on your anchor text link relevancy to the underlying landing page.
Some people even forget to add a CTA altogether. Make it obvious so your readers know exactly what they have to do next.
Make sure your CTAs are crystal clear, whether on a (visible!!!) button or an obvious link.
Take a look:
Front and center. You won’t mistake this CTA for anything else. You won’t have to scroll far down to find it AND you have direct access to the owner. Perfect.
Find out your audience’s best open times
Just like you need to schedule social media posts to a time when your audience is more likely to see it, you should schedule email send times accordingly.
Regardless of how many subscribers you have, it’s very likely that they’re in different time zones. For instance, you might send a timely email when Jane Doe is making a fresh pot of coffee in the morning because you know here timezone.
But if you don’t know your subscribers’ time zone, you might send that same ultra-valuable email when John Doe is fast asleep. The notification will reach him, but by the time he’s awake, he’ll have a lot of them from different sources. About your email? Not sure he’ll see it.
That’s why, when you hear “you must know your customer/subscriber”, you should also consider time zones.
Let customers have the upper hand
Ugh, one of those annoying emails again.
Someone could be thinking this about your newsletters at this very moment, which begs the question. Have you given your subscribers the opportunity to unsubscribe or see your emails less often? Hint: the answer should always be yes.
Sounds scary, but maybe that’s the sweet spot.
When you give subscribers the chance read somethign valuable at a time that’s convenient for them, you’re showing them that you care. That you get them. And yes, even if they don’t see your emails as often as you want them to, it’s much better than shoving emails in their faces. That’s too unprofessional, which is the opposite of what you are.
Plus, you don’t want to be known as the person who sends annoying emails, do you? Instead, this is a great way to make sure you’re seen as the cool newsletter they get instead of the one no one wants to read.
Creating personalized emails is more than just adding the subscriber’s first name to the subject line. Way more.
Personalization is about segmenting your email lists.
Segmentation is about grouping your subscribers based on their actions, age, and preferences, and then sending them emails based on content they’d love to see.
Here’s why it’s so important:
If you keep sending informational blog posts to a shopaholic customer and product sales to the curious lead, you’re doing something absolutely wrong. Now, switch the targets and watch what happens.
By knowing your subscribers and what they want exactly, you won’t make the mistake of being ignored. And it’s as easy as emailing the right segments with the right content.
Some of us are compulsive almost-buyers: we put all products and then some in our carts and end up not buying anything.
One can dream, right?
But who knows? You just might want to buy one of those products at some point. But until then, you might have forgotten about the product you longed for so badly. It happens.
You won’t let your product fester in your customer’s cart. You’ve got to remind them about it instead of assuming they don’t want it anymore. That’s the role of trigger emails. Whenever someone abandons the cart, they’re sent a friendly reminder, which you probably already got one yourself. You want people to go back and complete their purchase. You can opt for a reminder only, or include a small offer as a gift for returning.
You can also try to re-engage subscribers who have been inactive for a while by sending them heartfelt emails like this one:
Remember the old guy who said “I know that I know nothing”?
What he was really talking about, was emails without A/B testing. Just kidding, but it’s true: you’ll never know if a campaign is successful unless you test it.
A/B testing works well for headlines and CTAs. In email, though, you can (and should) test send times, different subject lines, templates, email copy, and even button positioning. Send different versions of the same email to a subscriber group and stick to the one that brings the highest open rates.
You’ll amaze yourself with what you can learn about your subs just by making a few changes here and there.
The Bottom Line
Email marketing is what will bring all the $$$ 2020 has taken from you. The tips above will take you one step further to profits. Because believe it or not, a lot of marketers simply write their emails, send them, and call it a day.
You’re not one of them. You want to grab 2021 by the throat and show who’s boss.