15 Tips for effective Email marketing strategy

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For years the rumor has persisted that email marketing no longer works in times of new forms of communication such as social media or Whatsapp. But even in 2020, reality shows something else. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your target audience and build a personal relationship. It's inexpensive and its success is easy to measure.

1. The right email distribution list

Before starting an email newsletter or a campaign, it is important to put together the right mailing list. Here it is important to obtain the consent of the people to whom the emails are to be sent. The General Data Protection Regulation, which was introduced in May 2018, has made everything much stricter. You have to make sure that you have permission to send the newsletter to your mailing list. You also run the risk of ending up in the spam folder or getting a high “unsubscribe” rate.

To collect new contacts, you can include a newsletter form on your website, for example in the footer or with a pop-up. Such a form can also be added at the end of every blog post using Call To Action. In order to achieve the highest possible reach, the newsletter can also be advertised using social media to draw the attention of people who are interested in a certain topic. But personal contacts can also be added to the mailing list if you have received their consent beforehand.

2. Different email content for different buyer personas

Most companies have more than just one target group (buyer persona). The individual buyer personas therefore also have different interests. It is therefore important to respond to this and to adapt the content of the emails to the respective target group. For this, it is necessary to create different distribution lists in order to align the mailings as well as possible with the interests of the recipients. If the newsletter does not offer the reader any interesting content, there is a high probability that it will not be opened at all the next time, or that it will be canceled immediately.

With marketing automation software such as HubSpot, the content can be adapted to the target groups using smart content. The text is written differently for the respective recipient list and adapted to their interests. So everyone gets the content they are really interested in.

3. A captivating subject that arouses curiosity

Even if someone has signed up for your newsletter, that does not mean that they will open it and read it. The subject plays an important role. This has to make the reader curious about the content so that he absolutely wants to read the email. The title must therefore be interesting for your target group and arouse their curiosity, otherwise, the email will immediately go to the trash.

Try different titles to see which one will appeal to your audience the most. Brainstorm your colleagues with me and be creative. Do not forget that with the subject you are making a promise that you have to fulfill with the content. You can also test different subject lines for the same newsletter to see which type is best for your target audience. Here, too, there is the possibility of inserting a so-called “Smart Subject Line” with modern email programs, which is aimed at the respective target group. Success can then be easily measured using the opening rate.

4. Personalized sender

Do you prefer to open emails that come from a specific person or from a general office address? I think the answer is very clear here. Therefore, enter the address of a real person as the sender and not the office address of your company. This is much more personal and increases the chances of your email being opened. If there are any questions or if more information is required, the recipient immediately knows who to contact. He thus has a real contact person whom he can contact and through whom a relationship can be established.

5. Personal address

If you have the name of your email contact, speak to him personally. Avoid forms of address like “Dear Sir or Madam”, this is very impersonal and looks like a big broadcast that is not tailored to the individual. Therefore, the reader does not feel addressed and the likelihood that he will not open the email next time or even unsubscribe is very high. It is often very easy to research the name based on the email address. If you take the time, the chance that your email will actually be read increases.

If you ever make a mistake in your personal address (it should have happened that a lady was addressed as Mr.), then it is best to apologize immediately as soon as the mistake is noticed. With many contacts, it can happen that the salutation is accidentally reversed.

6. Useful and engaging content

If you have passed the first hurdle and your newsletter has been opened, it is now important to provide readers with useful content. Avoid long novels and self-promotion and address the problems and interests of the target group directly. Think about what interests your target group and how you can help them with your newsletter or your mailing. The content should consist of 90% useful and helpful information and only 10% promotion for your own company. A short personal introduction is usually well-received. Tell a few anecdotes from your company or what's new. The human aspect should not be lost.

Keep the content as simple as possible. The newsletter should only give a taste of your content. Don't try to overwhelm your subscribers with information, let them decide for themselves what content they want to read. Include links to other websites and link to blog posts to incorporate more useful content. Your readers should be made curious by the email and encouraged to click.

An example of a content structure can be:

short personal introduction

1-2 Helpful content tailored to your target groups (download, video, etc.)

Teaser of 3 blog posts

7. Simple and clear design

Use images to support the text and make the email more appealing. Avoid long paragraphs and use bullet points instead to make the text easier to read. Most people don't have much time to read newsletters, they just skim them. Therefore, the text should be structured as well as possible.

The design should be as simple as possible so that the newsletter doesn't look cluttered. Add enough white space to visually support the outline. This also makes it easier for smartphone users to read.

8. Call To Action

Offer your readers a further step in your email distribution. Do you have an interesting e-book or are you offering a seminar soon that could be of interest to your target group? Add this to your newsletter using Call To Action and thus strengthen the connections to your contact.

You can design the CTA in an appealing way, for example: with an image, you increase the click rate. Use words that emphasize urgency and prompt action, such as “download now”.

Concentrate on a CTA in your email for an offer that seems most important to you at the moment. Too many offers can quickly become overloading.

9. It all depends on the timing

There are a few basic rules regarding when to send emails. Newsletters should not be sent out on the weekend or after 5:00 p.m., a few people work at these times. Monday and Friday are also not good days, as there is usually a lot to do on Monday and many go home earlier on Friday.

However, every company has different target groups. It is therefore not possible to define a “right point in time”. The easiest way to determine when the time is right for your business is to test, test, and retest. This is the only way to find out when your newsletter has the highest opening or click rate.

10. Optimize for smartphones

Nowadays, many only read their emails with their smartphones. It is therefore particularly important to optimize the newsletter for this. Make sure that your email is displayed correctly on smartphones and is easy to read. Links should not be placed too close to each other so that incorrect clicks on the small display can be avoided. Make sure that photos are of good quality and of the correct size. Photos are often displayed distorted and that can quickly appear unprofessional.

11. Test, test, test

There's nothing more annoying than sending a mail to a large crowd of people and only realizing there are errors after the button has been pressed. Therefore, the newsletter cannot be tested often enough before it is sent. Let your colleagues check the content for spelling mistakes and send test emails to different email addresses. We also like to use spelling tools to make sure that there really are no mistakes. Because it's often easy to overlook small things. This is the only way to avoid errors and to be sure that the newsletter is displayed correctly. It is particularly important to test the email on smartphones and tablets.

12. Ability to log out

Even if nobody wants a contact to unsubscribe from their newsletter, it is still necessary to offer the option to do so. This should be made as easy as possible for your contact without them having to search for it. However, if you follow all of the tips, the unsubscribe rate should be as low as possible.

13. Use an email marketing tool

Even if your email distribution list is still small and you are just starting out with email marketing, you should already be using a tool for it. You can use it to automate and analyze your processes and save yourself a lot of time. There are numerous free and paid email marketing tools on the market. It always depends on your strategy which one you choose.

In the beginning, take some time to find out what is right for you. The tools offer different options for personalization, automation, and subsequent analysis.

14. Analyze your emails regularly

In order to determine whether the tips work for you, you need to analyze them at the end of every newsletter or other e-mail. With the help of an email marketing tool, you can take a closer look at the opening and click rates of your emails. This is the only way to optimize your email strategy. Is your open rate too low, reconsider whether the wrong subject was chosen? If your click-through rate drops, reconsider the content and offers in it. You can only improve through ongoing analysis.

Conclusion Email marketing

Email is still an integral part of any marketing strategy. Even if she has been pronounced dead so many times. With professional email marketing tools, you can precisely measure and analyze the success of your campaigns and thus continuously optimize your strategy. Start your next broadcast with these 14 tips and see for yourself whether you can improve yourself as a result.

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