Okay, so you’ve probably read dozens of articles and countless tips to improve your email newsletter campaigns… but I wanted to highlight 5 slightly unconventional best practices that can help improve the success of your email campaigns. Assuming you are already aware of the basics, here are some ideas for fine tuning.
Change The Subject
Nobody biting? It could be time for a change. If you can’t get them to click, it might not be a problem with your subject line, but the content subject itself!
So you look at the tracking stats for your newsletters after every issue, and the clicks and open rates are consistently low. Take some time to reevaluate your message to better appeal to your target audience.
I just glanced down my inbox for an example of a subject line I would never click on. Found a bunch, but here is one: “You’ll be saying WOW every time with ShamWow” I don’t even have to open it. I know what’s in it. I’m not interested in reading an ad.
I honestly might, however, click if it had said something like, “ShamWOW Ranked Best For Clean Kitchen” because it sounds like a news story, some piece of information I can take away. But then they would have to deliver on that promise once I opened it. That means their entire email content would have to change. And if they don’t have something interesting to send, they shouldn’t be sending me an email. Read this post on Internet Copywriting for Dummies.
Is it time for you to rethink your message? Test a new approach each time and monitor how the stats change until you find something that works. Keep in mind, very few people respond well to large blocks of text and in-your-face advertising language, so keep it brief and add value. More on this in the next point.
Do More Than Sell… But Sell
Give readers an option other than “Click Here To Buy Now!” Offer some additional resources that won’t distract the reader but will add value to your business in their eyes and give them a more well-rounded convincing reason to visit your venue. Then provide a strong call to action.
Let’s imagine you own a restaurant, for example, as we brainstorm for ideas. You could send your email subscribers a list of the top 5 things to do in the area (offering links for more information). Then remind them that they can top the day off with a nice dinner out. Or send them a coupon for a free dessert with purchase of entrée because they’ve been “such a good customer.” Let them know your pizza won the latest award. Have they tried it? Offer a gift certificate as the perfect gift idea for that upcoming occasion. Give them something for free on their birthday. Remind them that you do kids birthday parties or rehearsal dinners. I could go on and on.
Even if most of your subscribers don’t have these needs, they may forward it on to someone who does. Dig deep and learn how to spark interest and create value in the eyes of your customer with relevant newsletter content.
When you have something to say, say it. If you don’t, don’t! Many email marketing campaigns aren’t reaching their full potential because they are forced or too scheduled.
When you have to pull something together to meet a deadline each week, month, whatever, your content can run a little dry. You might not have much to say, so you end up adding fluff or straight selling. On the contrary, if you have many exciting things going on, but you wait to send them all at once, each might not get the recognition it deserves. And think of the crammed subject line!
Keep your newsletters focused and relevant. Don’t send too often, but don’t send too infrequently. When you have something to announce, announce it immediately. If you are running a special, tell your subscribers about it. You get the idea. Send them to your website to learn more, and make sure you have an enticing landing page and that your contact us page is up to par.
In most relationships, you call when you have something to say, right? It follows, therefore, that you should email your subscribers when you have something to say as well… even if it’s, “We haven’t seen you in a while. Here’s a good reason to stop by…”
Borrow Good Ideas
If something works on you, make it work for you. Most of us receive a good amount of junk email every day. On occasion, as we’re check marking ten in a row to delete, there is one that catches our eye. It makes us stop. It makes us click. Next time that happens to you, take note. What was it about the subject line that got you to notice it? Was it short? Was it irresistible? Did it say your name? Make that work for you.
Even if it’s from a totally different industry, you can borrow good ideas from great campaigns. If you are very clever, you may even subscribe to e-newsletter lists from businesses in your own industry to monitor their techniques!
Oops, that image didn’t come through, and you just sent your newsletter to thousands of subscribers. Oops, that was the wrong link, and now you are confusing clickers. Oops, that was the wrong date, and now you have to send a correction email.
Mishaps are a fact of life, but many times you can spare yourself some time and embarrassment by simply sending yourself a test message first. Open up email accounts (even if only for testing) on Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc. so you can see how your message will display in each account. You would be very surprised at the differences!
Also, double check dates, times, locations, other information, spelling, links… anything your message contains… to ensure accuracy – or better yet, get a second pair of eyes on it.
Want some more expert advice on Internet Marketing or email newsletter campaigns? We here at Mannix Marketing would be happy to answer your questions and help you map out a plan that will work for you. Just call the office at (888) 395-9035.