In today’s increasingly digital landscape, email marketing is one of the best ways to remain top-of-mind with existing customers while gaining traction with potential leads. Smart email marketing tactics not only allow you to grow brand awareness, they also help spread the word about your content offerings and company news.
But to make the most out of your email marketing efforts and ensure you’re reaching the people you want to reach, there are a few key do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do’s For Email Marketing
Create A Great Subject Line
First impressions really are everything. Without an engaging subject line, users won’t be compelled to even open your email. In fact, an average of 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line. Keep it short and sweet, and provide a clear incentive for opening your email.
The body of your email may be fascinating, well-written, and highly informative, but it makes no difference if people aren’t opening it to begin with.
Crafting a pithy, eye-catching subject line — one that gives users enough information to understand why opening the email will be valuable to them — is essential for drawing in readers and site visitors.
Keep your subject lines clear and succinct, appealing directly to the needs of your target audience. And, if possible, personalizing the subject line to include the recipient’s name can go a long way in capturing people’s attention.
Experiment With Different Calls-To-Action (CTA)
Include a specific call to action (CTA) toward the end of your email; these serve as a way for potential customers to stay in touch with your business once they’ve finished reading your email.
For example, if you’re pushing a new eBook, you may include a CTA encouraging users to download it. Or, if you’re announcing a new website design, you may simply direct people to your site.
Most CTAs are designed as buttons containing the given copy, but there’s a lot of opportunity for experimentation here. Play around with different text and button colors, links, and other features to test how users respond, and then assess what resonates with your audience. A/B testing can provide insight into which CTAs garner the most engagement.
CTAs are essential for analyzing whether your email was successful; various software options allow for easy tracking of user interaction with your emails, and changes and improvements can then be made for future campaigns.
Helping to drive your potential customers down the marketing funnel, CTAs can play a major role in converting your subscribers to customers.
Keep Your Message Succinct
The people reading your emails don’t have the time for a leisurely read; they want to hear your message and gain whatever value they can from it. So keep your industrial marketing emails engaging and clear, and offer directly useful content to your readers.
It's important to be mindful of your prospect's time and marketing and especially sales emails shouldn't exceed 150 words. Have more to say than can fit in that word count? Perhaps use the email as a lead in to a blog post or some other type of marketing offer.
Learn how a Canadian electric company doubled in growth after supporting their content marketing with an email nurturing strategy.
Put Together A Targeted Email List
You may have great content, but if your emails aren’t reaching the right people, you won’t be garnering any new leads.
Take the time to cultivate a well-thought-out email recipient list, one that includes current customers, users who have provided their contact information on your site, valuable LinkedIn and other social media connections, and industry professionals with whom you’ve had meaningful interactions. Cold emailing will only annoy people, and those recipients are unlikely to open your emails in the first place. So focus your efforts on those who have already expressed interest in your business and content offerings.
It’s better to send an email to a smaller group of carefully chosen people than it is to bombard a huge group of users who likely don’t have any need for the content you’re providing.
Experiment with different emails for different groups of people — emails for procurement managers, for instance, or emails directed at designers — and gauge the response.
Segment your email lists rather than emailing everyone at once. Segmenting clients and prospects based on where they are in the sales cycle — as well as their specific personas — will help hone in on users’ specific needs, increasing the chances of engagement.
Try Out A/B Testing
As mentioned above, A/B testing — in which two (or more) versions of digital marketing assets, such as emails, are created and tested against each other to gauge which performs better — can be hugely helpful for determining the most effective email marketing tactics. Try playing around with subject lines, messaging, colors, images, and CTAs to see how users respond to different options.
You can also try out A/B testing your email lists, in which one group of people receive an email formatted in a different way than another group, in order to determine what your audience is looking for.
Use Spell Check
Typos are a true and sure way to have prospects not take you seriously off the bat. Trust is an important element of any email campaign, but especially when utilizing email to make a sale. Broken links, typos, and poor grammar are all elements that will have buyers crossing your business off their shortlist.
Create A Well-Designed UX
Creating a positive user experience (UX) is just as important as offering valuable content. If your email formatting is confusing, outdated, or just plain boring, you run the risk of quickly losing readers’ interest. On average, recipients spend just 51 seconds reviewing an email campaign, so it’s critical to make a lasting, positive impression.
Avoid garish, overwhelming colors and fonts, and keep an eye on graphics and image sizes. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience. Make sure the body of the email isn’t too dense, and try to break up larger sections of writing with bullets and separate paragraphs.
Including the right type of images is also critical for capturing users’ attention; don’t just include graphics or photos for the sake of it. Users can spot sloppy or lazy formatting, and an unprofessional or outdated image will only detract from your content. Use images that speak to your brand and relate to the content you’re offering, and be sure they’re not too heavy, or the emails may never even make it into users’ inboxes.
To get some ideas for sophisticated, clean email design, check out some of these examples.
Don’ts For Email Marketing
Over Promotional Email Campaigns
Users aren’t opening your emails to hear you promote your company; they’re hoping to gain insight into industry challenges, learn more about your offerings, and keep up with relevant news. So don’t make sales pitches out of your emails, and always write with the reader in mind.
Although it's important to let readers know what your company is all about, your emails should directly show what you can offer them and how you can help fix their pain points. This is another reason why creating lists and knowing your audience is necessary.
For example, if someone viewed a blog post on your website once, it may not be a great idea to try and immediately sell them something. Know which part of the funnel your readers are at and hit them with messaging that is in line with a specific part of the buying process. Top of the funnel users usually need more email nurturing than someone who you already have a relationship with.
For more insight into the types of content that work best, download our eBook Content Marketing For Industrial Companies.
Avoid Spam Filters
Avoid using words that will set off spam filters. Emails with overly promotional language that relies heavily on words like “free,” “sale,” “cash,” and so on are likely to end up in users’ spam folders, meaning your target audience won’t even get the chance to read your message in the first place.
Campaign metadata, IP addresses, coding, content and format can all be the cause of a failed email send. Learn how to overcome these types of spam filters here.
Unbranded, Anonymous, Or Generic Email Address
People like to know a real person is behind the email, so avoid making use of email addresses like marketing@yourcompanyhere or customerservice@yourcompanyhere. These look fishy, and email filters are increasingly registering them as spam.
As already mentioned, first impressions are everything. Professionalism will win in an email campaign every time. Using a branded email address in your email marketing efforts shows prospects that you're a legitimate business that offers real products and/or services. Not to mention that branded email addresses provide more security and privacy than free email hosting platforms.
Optimize Emails Across All Email Platforms (And Devices!)
Don’t forget to double-check how your emails look on different email clients. Try out different options, such as Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, or Thunderbird, to see how your messages appear across different clients. Formatting should remain consistent. And keep in mind that over half of your contacts will likely be checking their emails from a mobile device, so ensure your messages are optimized for all types of devices.
Option To Unsubscribe
Don’t prevent people from unsubscribing. Failing to include a way for people to opt out of your emails isn’t just unethical — it’s also unlawful under various consumer-protection regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act.
Purchasing A List Of Email Prospects
Although purchasing email lists might seem like a quick and easy win, it's most often a mistake. Why? There's no guarantee that the names on your list will actually want to receive information about your company, products or services. More often than not, quality leads are better than quantity.
Leads from a purchased list are less likely to engage with you since they have no prior connection to your business, and god forbid they mark your email as spam. One of the last places you want to end up is in someone's junk folder, this can lower the reputation of your company and decreases your chances of connecting with qualified buyers.
Any users you connect with in this way won’t have opted in to receive communications from you, and they won’t appreciate you cluttering their inbox. No good business relationship has ever started with “How did you get my information?”
Industrial marketing emails are a powerful tool, and can be hugely helpful in gaining new clients and garnering further brand awareness. But sending off emails without a solid game plan won’t do you or your bottom line any favors. So be sure to take the time to create a multifaceted email strategy that will reach the right people with the right information.
Need help getting started, or looking to boost your existing email marketing efforts? Download our free eBook, Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Winning Email Marketing Campaign.
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