Email marketing is one of the best ways to nurture and maintain relationships with current and future customers. Most businesses overlook or under-utilize email marketing as a viable marketing tool. But email conversion rates are 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter.

When executed correctly as part of a strong marketing strategy, email marketing can have incredible results. Emails not only increase top of mind awareness and brand potency, but drive sales. Here are some of our favorite email marketing tips to get you started.

Begin and Grow Your List

It does no good to begin a campaign with no emails! But we often hear, “I haven’t been collecting emails.”

You may have more emails at your fingertips than you think. You can use any and all of the following to get started:

People you email: Most email programs like Gmail and Outlook allow you to export your contacts in to an Excel list that you can trim. Don’t be afraid to include family and friends. Ask them to help you grow by sharing your emails.

Client databases or files: Hire an intern or student to input email addresses from hard copy paperwork in to an excel list that can be imported in to your email database. Most contact databases like ACT and Salesforce will allow you to export emails, also.

Organizations you belong to: Many membership organizations allow members to email each other their marketing information.

NOTE: It is very important that with your first email, you give these folks the option to “opt out”. Let them know you are beginning a campaign designed to add value to their lives and that their support is essential. However, if they’d like to opt out, that is available.

Now that you’ve begun, you need to immediately and continually grow your email list. The more “veins” you have feeding your list, the better. Here are a few options:

• Collect addresses at events. The best way to do this is to have a giveaway that requires an email to enter.

• Ask for addresses at retail counters or in waiting rooms. Having an iPad that folks can use to enter is a fun way to do this.

• Collect business cards at networking events and send each contact their first “awesome to meet you” email directly afterwards with an invitation to connect again.

• Have opportunities to sign up throughout your website and especially on high traffic pages. Make it easy (don’t ask a lot of questions.) Consider a pop up on your website; it will be hard to miss and is VERY effective.

• Staying involved in social media is helpful, especially when you link your email marketing to your social media accounts. Promote a signup link and share emails through your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Tell people an email is coming a few days ahead to create sign up urgency.

• Regularly ask current subscribers to share your emails.

• Offer exclusive content or discounts to email subscribers.

First Impressions Matter

When a customer gives you their email, they are telling you that they are interested in learning more about your business. It is important that you encourage this relationship by sending a welcome email. Welcome emails are opened 50% more than other emails, so don’t skip greeting new members of your email list! Subscribers that receive a welcome note show 33% more long-term brand engagement. Keep your customers by showing that you recognize their involvement.

Know Your Audience

Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. When you send out a broadcast email, without any segmentation, the email loses some of its value to your readers. By sending relevant and useful content to a tailored audience, your readers will be more inclined to read because it appeals to their interest.

EXAMPLE: You own a store that sells to both business and residential clients. Don’t send business related content to residential customers. Instead, segment your campaign so that each person on your list ONLY receives information that is RELEVANT.

Using a strategy that includes automated emails will help ensure that your customers receive the information they want to know about consistently (and with the least amount of effort for you). Leads nurtured in this way make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Using personalized emails, i.e. including your client’s first name, also increases an email’s effectiveness. Personalized emails improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

Attract Attention

Make sure that headlines are well thought out so your readers want to read more. Some email marketing programs even allow you to test subject lines before sending out the whole campaign.

Pay attention to the design of your template and the format of your email. Having an attractive and clear design that supports and promotes your brand is important.

Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text so use relevant and interesting images to attract interest. If the image pops out to your reader, they are more likely to read the accompanying content.

Consider other options to enhance your email, such as a video or a slideshow. Adding video to email increases click rates by 300%. Your customers may be more inclined to watch a short video than read long paragraphs of body text. Many people are just more visual than others, and in this case, watching a video is simply more appealing.

Incorporating interesting facts or a humorous graphic can also be extremely helpful. People will share content to entertain and bring value to one another. If one of your customers found something you sent out to be particularly entertaining or thought provoking, they may forward it to others.

Recognizing detail is important. Details such as surrounding text with more whitespace can improve comprehension by 20%. Additionally, eye tracking data shows that viewers look to the same part of the screen where images of people are looking. Recognizing these photo placement strategies can help you place call-to-action buttons and other relevant information in the best possible place for engagement.

Timing is Everything

58% of adults check email first thing in the morning, so it’s a good idea to send out your emails early in the day.

In addition to time, the day of the week is also important. Mid-week is usually an effective time, and you want to avoid Mondays and Fridays. Most email marketing programs allow you to schedule your emails and newsletters at the best time to ensure optimal viewing.

Analyze data from previously sent emails, such as how many people received, opened, and clicked through your emails, what time they read it and where they clicked. This will help you better decide how to improve your results and make your emails more successful in the future.

Make It Mobile Friendly

51% of emails are opened on a mobile device, so there is a good chance your email will be passed up if it isn’t fully viewable or looks funny on a phone or tablet. People check their mobile phone up to 150 times a day which means they are checking their email more often than ever before! Make sure your email is formatted correctly for the smallest of screens.

When creating things like a clickable button, it’s helpful to remember that the human fingertip is 46 pixels. Make sure everything is sized accordingly to provide efficiency and minimize frustration for your customer.

The subject line is also important for mobile formatting. IPhones will cut off a subject line over 32 characters, which is important to keep in mind when deciding on an interesting title for your email.

Additionally, make sure your business is following the rules and regulations pertaining to the CAN-SPAM Act.

Do you want to begin email marketing, but feel overwhelmed on how to begin? UplinkSpyder provides email marketing strategy, support, and full campaign management. Let us help you use our experience to create and administer an amazing campaign for your organization.

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