Email is a tried and true platform that has woven its way into much of our online lives. In order to shop, sign up for social media websites, or log into any number of other sites and services, there’s a good chance you’ll need to have an email address.
Despite its ubiquity, the mere age of email has had some pundits predicting its eventual death as far back as 2004. Those predictions have yet to come to fruition; in fact, a more recent study by Merkle found 82% of people surveyed prefer email as the preferred method for receiving messaging from brands and businesses.
Email may be an older tool in the scope of Internet history, but it’s proven to have staying power. With that in mind, it would be wise for businesses to leverage email marketing as the great resource it is, and to do so with these best practices in mind:
There are numerous email marketing businesses out there which can help any company, big or small, plan and send mass emails. However, just because you’re sending the same email to thousands of people don’t think you can’t get personal—many of these marketing tools give you the power to individualize your emails. Something as simple as associating each address in your list with the owner’s real name and then using that name in the subject line can increase your open rates.
A/B Test Everything
If you are regularly engaged in email marketing then you can probably afford to change things up from time to time. Try taking a different approach to your subject line or the types of images you include. Just like A/B testing in web design, A/B testing in email marketing can lead to a more successful campaign.
Do your readers prefer shorter or more descriptive subjects? Do big flashy images result in more or fewer link clicks? How do illustrations perform compared to photographs? Try experimenting a little and see what techniques elicit the best response.
Follow Up on Failed Conversions
Did someone start to sign up for a service or buy a product, then abandon the process halfway through? Don’t just let it go, send an email highlighting the item they left in their cart or explaining the benefits of the service they didn’t sign up for. You might just make a conversion or close a sale yet.
When promoting a product or service, add in a brief review or comment from previous purchasers. Positive reactions from real people who have already have a relationship with you can encourage leads to take the next step into becoming customers.
Naysayers may tell you that email is an aging platform, but the fact that it’s old doesn’t mean it’s going away. So long as people are using their email accounts, it will likely remain a valuable marketing tool.