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How to use Twitter pollsHow to use Twitter pollsDid you know email marketing got its roots way back in the 1970s? The first-ever mass email was sent in 1978 to users of a computer network known as ARPANET, what we now consider the precursor to the Internet.

Although, by today’s standards, this earliest of marketing emails would be considered spam, it helped pave the way for the onset of email marketing in the 1990s. Twenty-some years later, email marketing campaigns provide one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) when it comes to reaching customers.

When looking at the government sector alone, email open rates top the charts at 26.9 percent. And among all industries, for every $1 invested, $38 is returned. Plus, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook® and Twitter® combined when it comes to reaching new customers.

But just as email marketing has evolved over time, so must the strategies employed by those using it. Here are some best practices you can use to keep your email marketing campaign operating at peak performance.

  • Brand it: You wouldn’t send a direct-mail piece without branding it with your agency’s logo, look and design. Your email communications should be no exception. Most email marketing platforms have customizable templates from which to choose. At minimum, include your logo and brand colours and use consistent fonts. A uniform voice, engaging imagery and relevant links are also a plus.
  • Get personal: Emails with personalized subject lines have a 26 percent greater chance of being opened than those without. And forgoing the “one size fits all” message for dynamic, segmented content increases the chance that your email will be seen as relevant and valuable. Segment recipients by location, services used, interests and more. Then tailor your message to these individuals to connect, engage and inform on topics that are meaningful to them.
  • Give a call to action: Chances are you’re looking to evoke some type of response to your email. Include a strong call to action (CTA) to help recipients understand what you’d like them to do with your email—whether it’s to visit your website, rally attendance for a community meeting or share feedback on an important issue. Make sure your CTA is concise. For example: “Go online” or “Share your viewpoint.” A timing element is also helpful in soliciting a response. For instance: RSVP by <insert date>.

You can include incentives in your CTAs for added impact. For instance, ask recipients to go online for a chance to win a rechargeable power bank, grill/cooler combo or tool set. Or have the first 25 to sign up and receive a USB drive or stylus pen.

  • Optimize for mobile: More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. And close to 70 percent of mobile users will delete your email if it isn’t optimized for mobile. Be sure your email is optimized so it can be viewed on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet, or you risk it being deleted forever!

The proof is in the numbers. Email is still an effective way to reach customers. Make sure your email marketing campaigns stand the test of time by keeping these best practices in mind. Good luck!

“The evolution of email marketing [infographic].” Smart Insights. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2016.

Chaffey, Dave. “Email Marketing Statistics 2016.” Smart Insights. N.p., 29 June 2015. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2016.

Donner, Brigitte. “5 rules for the new era of email marketing.” IMediaConnection.com. N.p., 03 Sept. 2015. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2016.

Pinkham, Ryan. “How to Brand Your Emails So That You Look Like a Pro in the Inbox.” Constant Contact Blogs. N.p., 19 Aug. 2015. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2016.

Ferguson, Samantha. “5 email marketing best practices for the new year.” Campaign Monitor. N.p., 04 Jan. 2016. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2016.

 

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