When it comes to email campaign success, starting from scratch can be daunting. It’s predicted that we will be sending and receiving upwards of 347 billion daily emails by 2022. With all this noise, how could your emails even be noticed – never mind opened?
But there is a way. It’s about being simple, engaging and consistent. We’re going to share some straight-forward steps you can use right now to bring your email campaigns to life and enjoy actual results—and good ones too.
Identify the goals for your email campaign
The first step in this process is identifying exactly why email should be your preferred option. The clearer your goal, the easier it will be to measure progress and results once the campaign has been executed.
For example, goals for your campaign could include persuading recipients to:
- Download an eBook
- Sign up to a webinar
- Buy a specific product or service
As well as provoking actions like these, campaign goals could also include:
- Getting recipients interested in your offerings
- Raising brand awareness for your business
- Re-engaging or nurturing current subscribers
Once your goal is established, you can get started on defining your audience.
Who’s reading these emails, anyway?
Now, before diving into copy, you must first outline exactly who your emails will be seen by. If you’ve been doing email marketing for a while, you’ll no doubt already know who your audience is. But if you’re new to the scene, you’ll probably need to make a few educated guesses so you can tailor your content effectively.
To do this, you can use Google Analytics to access data on demographics, interests, locations and so on. This will provide a snapshot of who your customers are and what they are interested in.
The trick with successful emails is to make them personal. By segmenting your audience, it’s easier to send emails that at least feel personalised.
Curate effective emails for your audience
With your purpose and audience in mind, you’re all set to begin writing. Here are a few simple pointers to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet
When taking into account the sheer volume of emails sent and received every day, it’s important that your copy is engaging. Avoid waffle, keep to the subject and add value.
- Provide clear and obvious value
If you only send promotional emails, your readers will likely lose interest. Keep them interested by outlining how your business or product can benefit them. Seems too obvious but make use of bullet points and bold text so that the important parts of an email are easy to find.
- Stay relevant
When writing your emails, always keep your audience in mind. What is it that they want and need? How can you address their pain points? Rather than focus on what you’re trying to sell, you should focus on what your readers need.
- Include a clear CTA
What is the overall objective of your email? The call to action you include needs to be immediately obvious and move the recipient towards your goal. So, if you’re looking to encourage sign-ups for a free trial, your CTA might read ‘Sign up now!’
- Check, check…and check again
Once the email is written get a second or third opinion, proofread and ensure you’ve ticked off every point in this list. When sending out an email to a large mailing list, you really don’t want to make any avoidable mistakes.
Add the finishing touches
When it comes to selecting imagery for your emails, we’d recommend avoiding stock photos – or at least the most obvious and artificially-posed ones – as these can deter readers. Adding a few interesting images can boost the click-through rate but be mindful of the file size – as images that are too big can trigger spam filters, sending your email to the junk folder.
Your email campaign also provides a good opportunity to highlight your website and social media platforms. Add links where possible to drive people to your site. This shouldn’t distract from the overall objective of your email, but it certainly can’t hurt to include a few inbound links where relevant.
Create your email template
Fortunately, there are plenty of email providers (we use Mailchimp) that will allow you to set up and schedule emails with no need for coding.
A crucial consideration here is responsive design. This ensures that your email looks great on every device and will improve your click–through rate (CTR). If you’re using an automated email platform then this will be taken care of for you. If not, there are lots of tips out there for responsive design best practices!
Set up tracking devices
Before sending your emails out into the world, you’ll need to track them. This is the best way to quantify the success of your campaigns, and it can be executed with relative ease by using a tracking pixel.
The gist of it is that a tracking pixel is added right before the closing body tag of the email. Then, when this image is loaded by the reader, the image request is logged by the server. This information is then collected by your chosen analytics service and you can access statistics on click–through rates, open rates and more.
Testing! Testing! 1, 2, 3
With all of the above in place, you’re ready to test your email. This should involve sending it out to multiple email accounts (accessed from a variety of devices) so that you can ensure everything looks as you want it to. Different email providers tend to display emails differently, so you need to check that yours works across the board.
This stage is vital as it gives you the chance to iron out any creases before your email is sent. Any issues that you spot should be addressed, and the testing process repeated.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to push the button
Sending mid-morning during a working day seems effective in terms of open rates. To find your optimal time, it’s best to trial a few different times and analyse which gets the highest engagement.
Let the data do the talking
Hopefully, you will gain lots of useful insights from the data your campaign accumulates. Understanding this data is vital to understand what works and identify areas for improvement. We suggest looking at:
- The success of your CTA – does it need tweaking next time?
- How many readers are using mobile devices? If you have lots of mobile users, you’ll want to focus on mobile-friendly design.
- Who is least engaged with your emails? You can segment these contacts out and then try to retarget them with tailored content in the future.
Pick a partner to do all the grafting for you
We hope this article has provided helpful insights to get your email campaigns off the ground and produce fantastic results. However, if you don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to achieve this by yourself, we have heaps of email marketing experience and would love to lend a helping hand.