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5 Actionable Tips for Email Marketing Beginners (And Experts)

5 Actionable Tips for Email Marketing Beginners (And Experts) Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

January 18th, 2016 min read

tips-for-email-marketing-beginners.jpgEmail marketing may be one of the oldest digital marketing tactics, but it remains one of the most effective.

Marketing email conversion rates are 3x higher than those of social media, according to McKinsey & Company, and according to Salesforce, 95% of those who opt into receiving email from companies find them useful.

There are plenty of marketers who abuse email out there, but when done strategically, email marketing can push all of the right buttons and help your prospects feel more comfortable making a purchase.

When done right, it can also nurture your contacts down the sales funnel so that when your team reaches out, they are well-versed in your product and what your company has to offer.

Here are five simple, but actionable tips to help you ramp up or revitalize your email marketing strategy!

Tip #1: Personalize It

Nothing screams spam or email blast more than a generic greeting like "Dear Customer" or even "Good Morning, Music Lover!" Replace these with "Hi John!" or "Jane, Check this out!".

Addressing your prospect by name automatically grabs their attention more than you would without it. Depending on the extent of your contact database, you can also customize the content of your email to incorporate information about the recipient's:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Location
  • Company Name

These little extra details will give your email a more human touch and also help the message feel more relevant -- not like a cyber “cold call.”

Tip #2: Be Concise

We live in an age of instant-gratification. In order to have an impact, you need to deliver your message as quickly as possible or risk losing your prospect’s attention.

While this can seem easier said than done, look for clever ways to keep your written copy short.

For example, tease the message at hand in your email, then link out to a video or a page on your website with more detail. This will not only keep your text short, but it will pique your readers’ interest and get them to click through to learn more.

You can also try incorporating icons, diagrams, or more bulleted lists.

All of these tactics will help keep your email short and to the point and lower the risk of losing your audience before you’ve even made your point.

Tip #3: Use Visuals

As we mentioned above, visuals are essential to keeping your copy concise and easy to digest, but they can also be the difference between a truly engaging email and one that gets deleted.

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and images are processed 60,000X faster than plain text. To get your message across effectively, you need to capitalize on this wiring by enhancing your email copy with high-quality, on-brand imagery.

Try incorporating some of these visual elements into your next email:

  • Charts/Diagrams
  • Graphs
  • Icons
  • Videos (or a thumbnail link to a video)
  • Gifs
  • Emojis
  • Headers
  • Badges
  • Crests

Remember, every audience is different, so you’ll need to know your buyer persona and test each visual out to find which is most effective.

Tip #4: Target/Segment the Recipients

The goal of most email marketing isn’t simply just to deliver a message, but to prompt an action (i.e. a click back onto your website, a purchase, a form fill, etc.)

In order to elicit this kind of active response, your message needs to resonate with the recipient. It needs to be relevant to their needs and situation and interest them. Afterall, no one is going to take action on something they don’t care about, right?

The easiest way to increase relevance and improve the response to your emails is through targeting and segmentation, or separating your contacts into different groups depending on certain characteristics or activities.

You wouldn’t send a B2B prospect visiting your website for the first time the same email as a B2C that you’ve already spoken to, would you?

With multiple segmented lists, it will be easier not to.

Rather than “blasting” something out to your entire list, you can pick and choose which make sense for the email at hand (or frame the same message in different ways based on that list’s interests).

Just as you would in Tip #1, use the information in your database to segment your contacts into different groups. Your lists may be based on:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Industry
  • Site activity (i.e. Offers downloaded, pages visited, etc.)
  • Position in the sales funnel
  • Interests

Tip #5: Optimize for Mobile

Nearly 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices -- that includes 64% of decision-makers.

If these numbers aren’t enough to make you realize that your emails should be optimized for mobile viewing, just a look around any city street.

Anyone and everyone is on their phone or mobile device. It’s a staple of our everyday lives and in order to effectively reach your audience you need to adapt to this behavior.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Email width should be no wider than 600px
  • Test your font size. Larger is usually better on a mobile device.
  • Use single-column designs
  • Keep your subject line short. Most mobile screens can only display 4-7 words before getting cut off.
  • Make clicking easy. Make sure your CTA button or link is the largest, most prominent feature of the email.

Keep Going! 

The content above is an excerpt from our guide, The Ultimate Inbound Marketing & Sales Playbook. In the full version, you'll learn all about how inbound marketing and sales work together as well as:  

  • The benefits of inbound marketing
  • The essentials of website optimization and SEO
  • The website's role in the sales funnel
  • How to approach inbound leads via mail
  • Using social media for sales
  • Using content to delight & renew customers
  • And so much more!

Get your free copy here or simply click the "keep reading" button below to keep learning.

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