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How to improve your marketing emails

Archived content

This page has been archived because it is no longer current information but is still relevant, or it is current but over 12 months old
  • Publish date: 01 February 2014
  • Archived on: 24 February 2016

Email marketing can be a powerful and effective medium if used correctly. Is your firm using this valuable tool to its full potential? Read the following 10 useful tips to improve your marketing emails.

Define your objectives

First consider what you want to achieve from the campaign. Do you wish to communicate to existing clients, attract business from new clients or a combination of both?

Build your email list

Start by adding a sign-up form on your website. If you use social media, ask your followers if they would like to receive your email newsletter and do the same at networking events. Always ask permission before adding people to your email list. If you fail to do so, you risk being considered a spammer.

The dangers of spamming

Adding people to your email list whom you don’t currently do business with (and without their permission) is called spamming. In addition, if you send unsolicited emails to private addresses, you could actually be breaking the law. Have a look at the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office for further guidance on this subject.

The power of the subject line

People receive more emails than ever and don’t have time to read every one that appears. They use your subject line to determine whether or not to open your message, so make sure you give the recipient a specific reason to read what you’ve sent.

The importance of an unsubscribe facility

It’s a legal requirement for every marketing email to contain some kind of unsubscribe facility.

Images versus text

Although it’s tempting to include many images (eg, logos), bear in mind that some email readers may default to hide images in emails. This means that the user has to make the effort to click on the content to see what you’ve sent. Therefore, be cautious about sending emails that contain solely images.

It’s far more useful to balance images and short, punchy, yet informative text that allows the reader to understand your message, even if they can’t see the images.

Personalise your emails

One of the many advantages of using an email marketing provider is they offer you the option to personalise your emails.

Personalisation allows you to easily add content such as the individual’s name (eg, “Hi Sam, welcome to this month’s newsletter.”). But this is just the start. Assuming you have the information saved in your contact list, you can personalise your emails to include almost anything.

Make your email design mobile-friendly

Don’t assume your emails will be solely read on a desktop device or laptop. Consider those using a smartphone or tablet device. The industry standard for emails viewed on a desktop device is to keep the width below 600 pixels. The optimum width for a smartphone is 300 pixels or 480 pixels, depending if the content is viewed vertically or horizontally.

Determine the best time of the day to send your email

Take a look at your website traffic to establish peak viewing times during the day, as this will give you an indication of when your audience is most active.

Additionally, take into consideration when your client-base is likely to be available to view your content: if the majority of your clients are, say, dentists, they are unlikely to read your email during working hours. Instead, consider sending your email early in the morning, at lunchtime, in the evening or at weekends.

Test, review, improve and test again

There are many variables that could have an impact on the success of your email campaigns. The best way to find out what works and what doesn’t is to test different variables. Split your contact list in half and send one version to one list and a second version to the other.

Try the following :

  • different subject lines
  • different content, or
  • one email personalised, and
  • one not personalised etc.

Once you know what yields a higher response, you’ll be in a better position to improve your email results in future.

February 2014