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Understanding Marketing Volume VII: Email Marketing

Posted by Renee Watkins, Marketing Coordinator, fi360, Inc. on October 14, 2015

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As a digital marketer, I’m exposed to a wide variety of emerging media trends and marketing mediums every day.  Websites, blogs, landing pages, social media, mobile apps, advergaming – they all hold a special place in my heart and in my marketing toolbox.  However, one of my favorite digital marketing mediums to utilize is email marketing.  Why?  Because it works! 

Email is the number 1 activity on the internet, even over using a search engine.  It is also the number 1 activity on mobile devices.  Furthermore, 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with.  Emails also yield an average of 4300% ROI for businesses in the United States. 

And while we know the importance of the email marketing, some people are cutting their ROI short from its full potential by not following some simple email marketing best practices.  To help you make sure you’re getting a maximum return on your email marketing efforts, I’ve laid out a few industry best practices you’ll want to be sure to follow.

  1. Write compelling subject lines.  A subject line should never be more than 50 characters, should include a sense of urgency or incentive, and give the readers some indication of what to expect once they open the email.  Emails that include an incentive in the subject line are believed to increase open rates by as much as 50%. 
  2. Make it personal.  Use the intended recipient’s name in the subject line or body of the email.  In fact, users are 22% more likely to open emails if they are addressed by their first name.
  3. Keep it simple.  Never use more than 3 typefaces in the body of your email.  Use clear, concise wording.  Get to the point.  Keep in mind most people will be viewing the email on a mobile device.  TIME IS VALUABLE. 
  4. Utilize A/B Testing.  Develop 2 emails around the same message.  Switch up one factor in each email, whether it’s the subject line, the format of the email, or the verbiage in the call-to-action.  Send each email to a random, small test group.  See which email generates the most interaction then send that email out to the larger population.
  5. Always include a call to action.  The call the action should be located below the body of the text as well as above the fold.  Your call to action should be easily recognizable within 5 seconds of viewing the email and include personalized action verbs such as “Download my ebook.”
  6. Don’t Over-design.  Don’t go crazy with pictures and an elaborate design.  The majority of people will be viewing the email on a mobile device and, as a result, the more images the email contains and the more complex it is, the longer it takes to load and the more difficult it becomes to for the device to format.  Make the email attractive but KEEP IT SIMPLE.

I hope you found the tips listed above relevant and helpful as you tackle email marketing.  These best practices are simple to implement and will help you deliver more success in your email marketing efforts.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the next installment where we will focus on Direct Mail Marketing.


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