The world of email marketing is quite the tangled web! There are so many approaches to using email to connect with your customers that you may not know which route will work best for your business and marketing strategy. In our last email blog, we discussed the world of eNewsletters and how they may be used as a marketing tool for your customers and prospects. Another type of email that can have a dramatic impact on your business is the email blast, or eBlast for short.
An eBlast is a single email designed to drive a prospect to take action: visit your website or a specially devised landing page, fill out a form for more information or to promote a product or special offer. Read on to learn some of the key ingredients to developing a successful eBlast.
Get It Delivered
This may seem obvious, but reaching your customers’ inboxes is one of the most important goals for email marketers. Staying current with – and following – best practices for deliverability, opt-in strategy and meeting CAN-SPAM compliance is often overlooked but happens to be a critical part in the success of your eBlasts. Be sure to test for compatibility in various email clients (like Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.) and on mobile devices as well. Use a proven platform to deploy your emails. And if your email analytics suggest something is amiss when it comes to deliverability, address the problem quickly – before you get blacklisted.
Create an Attention-Getting Subject Line
The next step to eBlast success is to create a subject line that will capture the interest of your readers. This is a best practice for all emails, not just eBlasts; if your subject line isn’t relevant, attention-getting and maybe even a little mysterious, your audience may hit DELETE instead of OPEN. Be creative. When you are up against all the other emails hitting your customer’s overflowing inbox, it’s a good idea to stand out in the crowd. Just one word of caution: avoid using words like “free”, “money” and “deal” in your subject line. Many email systems recognize these words as spam, and will not think twice about sending your email into the dreaded Junk Mail folder. If you’re not sure if your subject line will keep your email out of spam filters, check out any of the many subject line testers available online. These tools can help you quickly determine your spam score and recommend alternatives if the spam score is too high.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Once your email is open, it is important to get your message across quickly. Your customers and prospects are busy, and if your message is confusing they may be tempted to close your email before taking action. Some of the best eBlasts use strong images and impactful copy to move the reader to the next step. Choose two or three key points which you want your recipient to know and avoid overwhelming them with too much information. (Remember, you can always send them a second email in a day or two to get across supporting points). Don’t be afraid to use bullet points, bold text and color to help your customer digest the message quickly and easily.
Timing is Everything
We often get asked, “How often should I send emails?” The answer isn’t so cut and dry, and this is where knowing your audience will help. Some of our clients get great results sending emails every two weeks, on the same day, at the same time, to their customers. Others like to send out emails weekly or even more frequently. The key here is consistency, and the goal is to condition your recipients to know when to expect your eBlast. For instance, I know that on Wednesday mornings an email from my favorite retailer, Banana Republic, will be waiting in my inbox – chock-full of clothes I may like along with a discount code that will help me save money. The best way to determine the most effective timing of your email is to test a few delivery days and times, analyze the open and click rates, and then tweak as needed. Just remember that your customers’ habits will change over time, so be sure to continually analyze and compare results to keep up with their changing preferences.
Don’t Forget the Point
You may use eBlasts to announce sales, special offers and events happening at your business. You may use them to provide updates about your business, share a client success story, highlight a customer testimonial or to invite them to participate in a contest. The point of a good eBlast is to get your customer to take action: visit your website, stop by your store, ‘like’ your Facebook page or download a coupon. Help the prospect easily find what you want them to do, (Click here!).
If email marketing seems a bit overwhelming, take a deep breath and relax! It’s okay to try different email strategies until you find the one that works best for you. Establish clear goals, test and analyze, and always stay open to new ideas. Give yourself every possible advantage when it comes to email and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with new customers, more sales and increased traffic to your website, stores and social media pages. And if you need help or want a second opinion, just comment below and we’ll be glad to help!