Did you know that over 90% of Americans who use the Internet use it for email? Statistics show that email marketing is still an essential sales tool for retaining customers and attracting new ones. According to Chief Marketer, email marketing’s ROI is 28.5% higher than direct mail, and outperforms every other means of lead generation. But while email deliverability rates are still strong across the board, mail provider filters are becoming smarter and more sophisticated—and so are users who flag and triage emails more than ever. So how can you ensure high open rates for your emails, and keep them from being treated as spam?
Start with a clear strategy.
Create a strategy for your emailing efforts, segment your lists, stick to a content schedule, and fully understand what messaging points you are trying to get across.
And keep in mind there are two types of email marketing that tend to get the best results. Transitional email marketing is focused on the masses and creating content for wide audience. Transitional is a great promotional tool for product launches and announcements. The other type is relationship email marketing, which is more focused on quality of content and attempting to develop a two-way relationship with the end user. This type could mean you need to manage interactions with your users with short replies, but you can always include subtle promotions to your site in your responses. Relationship email marketing can also assist in marketing research efforts by gaining customer feedback. You can take your email strategy once step further by setting up automated email campaigns that are triggered by users’ actions on your website or by implementing an onboarding series for a new subscriber to your email list.
Make your content more engaging.
Email marketing efforts are really only deemed effective if the recipient takes action. To get a recipient to take an action, they first have to open the email. This is why subject lines are crucial. Many experts suggest personalizing emails and optimizing email subject lines. Then deliver helpful, engaging content. It only takes one instance of a sloppy, boring, or irrelevant message for an individual to flag an email as spam, and end your future opportunities to connect with them.
You also have to make it easy for them to take an action inside your emails. Create engaging calls to actions with links to your site. Feature any promotions and sales or other content they will want to engage. Use images or animated gifs for visual interest.
Deliver mobile-friendly emails.
86% of smartphone users use their devices to check email, and email ranks second on users’ most important smart phone activities. So make sure your email template is responsive so users always have a good experience, no matter what device they use to open it.
Depending on what program you use to send email, you probably have some built-in analytics. Use those reports to help you understand what content your recipients are engaging with most, and other insights like the days and times people tend to engage with your emails.
Email has proven the test of time as a communication form. Good email marketers know how to watch the trends and keep making emails an effective way to connect with their customers.