Improve Your Email Marketing

1. Improve list quality
When it comes to your subscriber list, longer isn’t always better. Focusing on those prospects who are most interested in what you have to offer can get you the best results, whether through gaining more sales or receiving helpful feedback on your products or services. Build your targeted prospect list by including links to your e-mail sign-up page on your website, in your social media profiles, by your cash register and on your customer receipts.
Once new subscribers opt in to your list, send an e-mail asking them to confirm their subscription and to specify their preferences, such as how often they wish to be contacted and the type of content they are most interested in. Your e-mail service provider may be able to help with this. You may be able to improve your response rate by segmenting your list and sending more targeted messages to subscribers.
2. Create compelling content
Providing engaging, useful content is still an essential part of nurturing customer relationships. E-mail newsletters with helpful articles and tips can help you connect with customers and build community. Social media is another powerful tool to help businesses gauge what is on their customers’ minds and deliver relevant information. For example, a lawn-care service that sees its Facebook fans discussing what fertilizer works best might include suggestions in its next e-mail newsletter. Or a restaurant might feature recipes that social media followers have posted.
When writing copy for your e-mail offers, think short and to the point. Be sure what you want your readers to do after reading your message—known as the call to action—is clear. Make your subject lines enticing and don’t exaggerate the benefits of what you are offering. Include any deadlines to act, such as: “15 percent off rugs — two days left to save.”
3. Deliver your e-mails effectively
Since many subscribers will be reading your e-mails on their smartphones, make your content more accessible to them. Reduce large images and shorten articles so they are easier to scroll through. Include space between Web links to make them easier to click and have your designer use “ALT” tags, or image descriptions, in case images are turned off.
Place your main offer or call to action high up in your e-mails so potential customers don’t have to hunt for it. For subscribers who look at messages in a preview pane, a compelling offer at the top may entice them to click on your e-mail. Include a “forward to a friend” link at the bottom of your e-mails to help extend their reach.
4. Adjust your efforts
E-mail marketing is an ongoing process, so be ready to adjust your approach if you don’t see the results you want. Change the frequency of your e-mails—for example, from twice a month to once a week, or from daily to weekly—to see if response improves. If you don’t segment your subscriber list, see if your e-mail service provider can help you send better-targeted messages, perhaps based on subscribers’ interests or purchase history.
Track delivery rates and open rates, and check in with subscribers who have not opened any of your e-mails after three months. Extend a special offer to those subscribers and ask what you can do to make your messages more relevant.

(via OPEN Forum)

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