How can you make your email marketing more effective? That is a question that every e-commerce store owner should ask themselves on a regular basis. In this article, I’ll share seven email marketing tips that will help you get better results. Let’s start with the most important one…
Email Marketing Tips: #1 Commit to providing value in each and every email
The days when people would get excited about getting a new email are long gone.
Today, when people open their inboxes, they feel overwhelmed…Which is why they are going to click “Unsubscribe” or “Report as Spam” the moment they feel like your emails aren’t providing enough value.
This especially applies to e-commerce emails. As an online shop owner, you need to strike a balance of keeping your customers up to date with your latest offers without making them feel bombarded with sales pitches. So make sure that each of your emails adds value to your customer, not just asks them for their money.
Email Marketing Tips: #2 Segment your list to ensure that your emails are relevant
There was a time when people were okay with general marketing. After all, if you run TV ads, you can’t really personalize your message much, can you? But those days are long gone. Today, people want stuff that is relevant to them, especially in their inbox.
For example, if you are a 25-year-old woman who wants to lose weight, you probably aren’t that interested in getting “These 3 Tips Will Help You Build MONSTER Biceps!!!” kind of emails. But that’s what might end up in your inbox after you buy something from a health and fitness online store that caters to both genders… Unless, of course, their email list is segmented properly.
Segmenting your list is the key to avoiding blunders like that and ensuring that your emails are relevant to your subscribers. MailChimp took a sample of 2000 users and compared the performance of their segmented campaigns to the performance of their non-segmented campaigns. What did they find?
Segmented campaigns have, on average, a 14.13% higher open rate.
The important thing here is to understand what different types of customers are interested in, and then organize your list in a way that makes it easy to send them content related to those interests. So make sure to segment your email list based on the the different demographics you cater to.
Email Marketing Tips: #3 Use subject lines that people can’t help but click… And then deliver what you promised
Nowadays people have attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish.
No, seriously. Microsoft conducted a study during which they surveyed 2,000 participants and observed the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms. They discovered that average human attention span, which in the year 2000 was 12 seconds, have decreased to 8 seconds. And what is the attention span of a goldfish? It’s believed to be 9 seconds.
That means that you really don’t have that much time to catch someone’s attention, especially in an environment of an overflowing inbox.
You want people to open your emails? Then you better make sure that your subject lines grab their attention immediately, otherwise they are going to move on to something else in a matter of seconds.
And the importance of catchy subject lines can’t be overstated. For example, Mauro D’Andrea doubled his open rate by changing the subject line from “How to Make a Best-Selling Product” to “Make Your Product Sexier Than Nicole Kidman”. It went from 17% to 33%! Could it be that the reason why your conversion rates are low is boring subject lines?
Take a look at your subject lines. Would you click on that email if it landed in your inbox? No? Then come up with something more enticing. Just make sure to deliver what you promised!
Email Marketing Tips: #4 Mix promotional content with educational content
People get tired from an onslaught of sales pitches really quickly… That’s why you should mix yours up with some educational content. What does that mean?
Let’s use an online health and fitness store example again. What else could you send to your customers besides sales emails?
- Instructions on how to use the product they just bought. Are you sure that they know how to install that pull-up bar properly? A short video might be very helpful.
- Health and fitness advice. Are you sure that the customer who just bought a pull-up bar knows how to use it? There’s so much more to it than classic pull-ups! Why not send them a video featuring various calisthenics exercises on a bar?
- A list of various interesting links. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that people who buy health and fitness products are interested in, well, health and fitness. Why not send them a monthly newsletter that includes a collection of articles and videos on relevant topics from all around the web?
Sending your customers material that is interesting and helpful will show that you see them as more than just dollar signs… Which, in turn, will make them more likely to buy from you.
Email Marketing Tips: #5 Make sure that your emails are optimized for mobile
The widespread adoption of smartphones has changed the way people access the Internet.
Nearly ⅔ of Americans own a smartphone and 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. And 71% of email users delete the email immediately if it’s not displayed properly. You better adapt to this, because mobile is the future!
Here are three things you can do to make your emails more appealing to the mobile users:
- Use large fonts. The text should be at least 13px-14px, meanwhile the headings should be at least 16px-18px. Anything smaller than that means that the readers will have to either squint or zoom in to read it… And odds are that instead of doing that they will simply move on to something else.
- Resize images by the proportion of the screen. Set the proportion of the screen you want the width of your image to take up, then set the height to automatically adjust to any given width. That way the images in your emails will be adjusted depending on the size of the screen on which they are being viewed.
- Make sure that people can easily tap your links and CTA buttons. People on mobile devices are using their thumbs, so you have to adjust the clickable components accordingly. CTA buttons. People on mobile devices are using their thumbs, so you have to adjust the clickable components accordingly. You can use Apple’s iOS Human Interface guideline of a minimum target size as 44px wide and 44px tall as your reference point.
Email Marketing Tips: #6 A/B test everything to find out what works best for your audience
It’s tempting to rely on your sense of aesthetics, copywriting skills, and intuition when crafting your emails.
However, you should never assume that just because something seems right to you, it’s right for your audience – you must test it. And sure, most tests won’t yield much, but even small improvements add up over time. Plus, if you run tests regularly, you are bound to hit a jackpot once in a while.
For example, Conversion Vooodoo wanted to know which subject line, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!”, would work best for their client. So they tested both subject lines using a segment of 100,000 people by sending an email on 21st of December. What happened?
As you can see, “Merry Christmas!” subject line resulted in 5.09% higher open rate, and in 2.57% (almost double!) higher click through rate. That’s a BIG difference given that their client was a large retailer with a massive email list.
So stop assuming and start testing. Which subject lines work best? What is the right layout for your emails? Should you include testimonials? What about images? Should you offer free shipping or a discount? There are countless of factors that affect your conversion rates… And the only way to know for sure what works and what doesn’t is to run A/B tests.
Email Marketing Tips: #7 Regularly clean up your list
Even the best email marketers in the world have some inactive subscribers on their email lists. Maybe these people lost interest in whatever it is that you are offering, or maybe they simply changed their email address… All that is completely normal.
However, if you never clean up your list, those inactive subscribers accumulate, and eventually you reach the point where these ghosts start distorting your stats.
You can prevent that by reconfirming the inactive subscribers on a regular basis. Ask people who haven’t opened your emails in a while to reconfirm their subscription. Give them 1-2 weeks to respond… Then remove the inactive subscribers who didn’t reconfirm.
Do this every 3-6 months and you will have less inactive subscribers on your list and more reliable stats.
An email list is one of the most powerful assets an online entrepreneur can own, so make sure to use yours well!
And now, your turn…
What are your favorite email marketing tips? Let me know in the comments!
Featured image credit: Mathyas Kurmann