What are the most important elements affecting the response rate you get from your email marketing campaign? According to a recent survey of email marketers, having a high-quality mailing list is the number-one factor for success.
Here’s a closer look at the six most important elements in an email marketing campaign—and how to get them right.
- High-quality mailing list: Practice good list hygiene. Build your own permission-based email lists for email marketing, rather than buying or renting third-party lists, which are often outdated. Use double-opt-ins and validate all email addresses before you launch your email marketing campaign. Remove bounced emails from your lists.
- Segment selection: Divide your email list into groups and send each segment personalized emails tailored to their interests. Segments can be based on demographics (like gender or city), buying habits, user-provided preferences (such as what type of email they want to get from you), the time of day they most often engage with your emails or even what devices they use or what they look at on your website. The more narrowly you can segment users, the more specific information and offers you can put in front of them.
- Subject line: Put care into crafting them. Always A/B test your email marketing subject lines and pay attention to the “Preview” line so you can maximize the space. Stay away from spammy words. Today, shorter subject lines get more results (remember, many emails are opened on mobile phones). Numbers, clever subject lines, limited-time offers, calls to action and personalizing the subject line with the recipient’s name/city/interests also helps.
- Rendering properly on multiple devices: There’s no excuse for emails that don’t serve up correctly on multiple platforms and devices. Always test to be sure how your email will render and that’s it’s readable, engaging and easy to click on. (Equally important, ensure that the landing page the email leads to is also mobile-friendly.)
- Aesthetics/design: As with subject lines, the general trend here is simplicity. Keep mobility in mind and aim for design that’s clean, with plentiful white space so users can click links or buttons easily. Make sure the design carries your brand identity so users can recognize its authenticity.
- Time of day: By assessing your email marketing campaigns’ analytics you’ll be able to tell what days of the week and times of day get the best (and worst) results. Tailor your emails to fit with the times when your customers have proven most likely to engage.
What matters least in the success of your email marketing campaign? The technology used by your email service provider and the size of your list are the least important factors, marketers say.
Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.