Now that Christmas is a distant memory and we’re fully settled back to work, there’s never been a better time to consider upping your marketing game for the year ahead. A fresh start and a new year is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your marketing techniques and look to see where you could improve.
Email marketing is perhaps one of the most underrated forms of digital marketing, not helped by the sharp and steady increase in social media marketing that’s taking the helm of most marketing strategies these days. However, it’s important to not neglect that all important email database; that data is gold dust, especially if you’re looking to revamp your marketing methods in 2016. Here are some top tips to help get your email marketing back on its feet after the festive period:
Time for a clearout
It might seem a tad early for a spring clean but it’s important to keep your email database refreshed and up to date. Take some time to go through your contact list and delete any obvious “spammy” addresses that have registered. Another good idea would be to send out an e-shot to any subscribers that haven’t opened or engaged with an email of yours for a while (let’s say six months) and give them the option to unsubscribe. It might seem odd to encourage people to stop following you but it’s better to have a database full of interested, legitimate subscribers that will genuinely take interest in your email marketing.
There’s no time like the present to give your email marketing a bit of a makeover. If you’ve been using the same template for years, why not consider setting up a new, revamped layout? Your subscribers will appreciate a brand new look and it’s likely to get people talking. It could be as simple as updating your font; or why not go the whole hog and design a completely new template from scratch? Be sure to include some great high-res images in every e-shot and always include your social media links somewhere to drive traffic to your platforms. If your emails can look like your website in terms of brand colours and the overall appearance, this will also help your brand awareness efforts.
If you’re anything like the BritWeb team, you’ll love a good content plan. Having a detailed email content plan in place will help you not only be consistent with your communications but you’ll have less work to do along the line. Depending on the size of your business, plan for at least one email a month and be clear on what you want to include in each email ahead of time. Tie your content in with national holidays, industry events and UK awareness days to truly maximise engagement and ensure the content plan is kept as up to date as possible.
First impressions count
Undoubtedly, an emails subject line is the most important tool when it comes to your email marketing. It’s the first thing your customer will see, even before opening the e-shot itself and can be the difference between someone opening your mailer and reading it or simply deleting. We always suggest testing subject lines where possible – most email marketing software has the functionality to split test or A/B test subject lines so you can see which proves most popular.
Linking is key
Like any digital marketing, one of your end goals with email marketing should be to drive traffic to your website. Therefore, links in emails are hugely important and if you aren’t including them, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to gain more visitors. Ensure there’s at least one link to your website within the email content itself as well as links off to your social platforms, a blog or registration page. Be careful though: over-linking can make the email look messy and too promotional. Try to stick to a maximum of four or five links per email.
According to recent research, 45% of emails are opened on a mobile device; hardly surprising given how much time in and out of the office lots of us spend on our phones. When writing the content and designing the email itself, it’s important to bear mobile in mind and think about how the email will look on a phone or tablet. Again, most email software has the ability to get a mobile-preview of the mailer so be sure to check this and make sure no text is being cut off, images proportioned correctly and all links are working. To be extra sure, send a test to yourself and check it on your own phone to be certain.
Use images where possible
No one wants to read an email that just includes reams and reams of text. Marketing emails are intended to be snappy, short and easy to skim if necessary with stand out calls-to-action. If you have a lot of content in your email, divide it up with images to make the post more engaging and friendly to the eye. Ideally, use pictures that are unique to you and your business and try to avoid stock photography; this will further help your brand flourish in a hugely saturated market.
Content is king
After the subject line, your emails main content is, of course, the most important factor when it comes to sending out a marketing communications. Take your time in writing the content; make sure there are no typos, remind yourself regularly of the email’s end goal and always make sure at least one other person reads the email before it’s sent out. There’s nothing worse for a digital marketer than sending out an email that’s rife with mistakes.
Track your results
Once you’ve hit send, don’t sit back and think it’s all over. It’s important to keep a close eye on your emails analytics during the aftermath, particularly those initial couple of hours when you’re most likely to see a high open and click-through rate. Your email analytics are treasure to your marketing: you can use them to see who is actually opening and reading your content, where in the world they’re based and who’s unsubscribing. Perhaps one of the most precious pieces of email analytics is seeing what time the majority of recipients engaged with your email. Sending out a mailer at the optimum time is of huge significance so be sure to watch the clock and keep tabs.
To truly maximise your engagement, follow-up emails are a great way to get more from your customers. Segment your data properly and you can send a follow-up to those that clicked on a certain product or followed you on Facebook. It’s not only a fantastic customer service opportunity but yet another way to convert those clicks and engagements into a life-long relationship.
If you’d like any help with your email marketing and are unsure how to get started, give our digital marketing team a call today on 01403 261491 or email email@example.com.