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Who is Best Email Marketing Software?
Bestemailmarketingsoftware.org is a guide for everything email marketing. Learn why email marketing is an essential tool for large and small business operations, how you should be using email marketing, best practices in crafting emails, the different types of campaigns, the basic components of an email, and how to get your emails opened. Also, learn how to read your campaign analytics and find out what’s working and what needs improvement. We also review the top email marketing software brands and provide insight on if their email marketing platform free plan, is even worth a free trial. If there is anything you would like covered, please email our support team. We can research the topic and expand on our email marketing and email marketing software resources.
- What Is Email Marketing?
- Why Use Email Marketing?
- What Email Types Are There?
- Effective Email Campaign Basics
- Growing Your Email List
- How Often Should You Email?
- How to Increase Email Open Rates
- Email Campaign Tools: Analytics and Social Media
Table of Contents
WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING?
Email marketing is a communications tool with a professional look that delivers relevant content to an interested audience. It is intended to elicit an action by the reader. A call in action or CTA, is an example of a possible tool that can be implemented within the email to help encourage this ‘action by the reader’ to happen. The CTA gets the reader to respond in the way of a visit to the sender’s website, or a link to a guide or white paper, a download, coupon redemption, etc..in order to increase sales, production or whatever your business goal is.
WHY USE EMAIL MARKETING?
Email marketing has a high rate of ROI (return on investment) for large and small businesses. When used correctly, it is one of the most formidable marketing tools. It will help you create and increase brand awareness, drive new business, and trigger repeat business through marketing automation. Plus, it has 3x’s the conversion rate of social media marketing. When combined with social media, it will garner the best results for sales conversions.
WHAT EMAIL TYPES ARE THERE?
Email campaigns consist of different kinds of messages, those of which can be featured in a multitude of ways, such as newsletters, coupons, surveys, promos, flyers, and events. The CTA will usually determine which type of campaign you’ll want to create. For example, a NEWSLETTER is a long form email with lengthy content and could simply be informational. Often times, nonprofits use monthly newsletters as a way to keep donors informed about how the organization’s mission is being carried out or how the funds are being allocated. Their CTA might include a donation button to collect charitable funding.
A flyer, on the other hand, is usually a short and more creative type campaign where an event is taking place, or a sale is being promoted. In this case, it would act as a “notice.” The CTA would most likely be a registration button or an RSVP link. It would also include the date, time and location of the event.
A promotional email will usually include an offer or coupon code in the email body. This offer would be in the form of a button, or link that might say “shop now” or “buy here” and can take the reader to a website or product purchase.
An event email will include a registration form that is created separately but accessed when the registration link is clicked. The form should include a longer description of the event, the date, time, location, map, and event fee if applicable). The fee can be collected directly from the form using a credit or debit card through We Pay or PayPal service. Also, you have the option also to collect payment at the door on the day of the event.
EFFECTIVE EMAIL CAMPAIGN BASICS
Let’s get to the MAIN COMPONENTS of crafting an effective email campaign. In addition to the body (message) content, the least you most certainly need to include are:
- Your logo
- A picture relating to your content
- A CTA (call to action)
- Signature or contact information
- Your website link
It’s also essential you have a ‘why’ for all of your choices. Why should I include this picture with the content? Why should they have a link to this page?
Here is a diagram of the layout:
You will need to make sure you choose and use mobile-friendly email templates. It’s important that your services can be accessible to your audience, no matter what type of technology they may be using. A template that is not mobile-friendly will not show up correctly on a smaller device as it would on a desktop or laptop. The page may be cut off, the formatting could be lost, and it would be harder for the reader to understand the message.
What makes good content? Make it entertaining, educational, visual, informational, or promotional. Keep this ratio in mind as you create your content calendar: the 50, 30, 20 rule. 50% of your content should be entertaining and informational, 30% educational and 20% promotional. Let’s move deeper into what this means. Content can be very entertaining as long as it includes the informational component. Never forget the purpose of the message. use your sense of humor, but don’t go too far and add an informational component.
Entertaining & Informational:
“Did you know?” moments. What information do you know or possess that they don’t have access to? Focus this content on being helpful and engaging for readers. Both entertaining and informational content aims for the same goal, and this goal is all about providing factual information about your business or cause.
Educational & Promotional:
This is all about you. Why should people use your services or buy your product? People are time-starved and probably read most of their emails on their smartphones. So, something to consider is that less is more and shorter is better. If you absolutely must include more, then you should include a link or “read more” button offering the reader that choice.
GROWING YOUR EMAIL LIST
Let’s start with your email list. It is where most people get stopped in their tracks. They have no idea how to grow their email list so here are some ideas:
Keep a printable customized paper signup form and leave it at the checkout counter or check-in counter of your place of business. You can use the same format at an expo that you participate in or at an event that you have. You can have a raffle where you collect business cards in exchange for a prize. But do remember to build a permission-based email list, so make sure in writing that you let the participants know that when they enter the raffle, they will also have opted into your email list. These are some simple ideas. You can get creative with your ideas. Even without a list, you can still send out emails to most of your social networks.
Start with a signup form that can be easily accessible on your website. Also, if you have a blog, write an entry that includes the sign-up link and use social media subscription tools. You can add a signup form to your Facebook page and likewise, include the sign-up link in your social media posts. You can try Constant Contact’s feature ‘Text to Join’ where you choose a keyword, and Constant Contact has an autoresponder with a default message that will appear once they enter a predetermined number to text. The subscriber is then prompted to enter their email address. After it is entered, another autoresponder will thank them and let them know that they are now subscribed to your list. The good thing is that you can customize your message and even notify how often they will receive your emails and what content they will receive. It’s important to know that people are not always open to being added to an email list unless there is a good reason for them to sign up. In other words, ask yourself this, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
With this in mind, you should be willing to have an enticing incentive for your subscribers to sign up. So, take some time to think about the reason someone would sign up for your emails. What one-time offer are you willing to give away? Could it be 20% of a first order or an exclusive offer to which only email subscribers would be privy? What about a download of an informational guide to which only they can get access? To clarify, make it something special and don’t forget to let them know what kinds of content and how often they should expect to hear from you.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU EMAIL?
Depending on your type of business, this will determine what kind of campaign you should use and at what rate. Each business will need to use the ‘tried and true method’ in determining what works best for them and their audience. In other words, each business should build a campaign that is customized to their own business goals and their client’s needs. Focusing on your client’s needs should also help you predict the frequency of messages in delivering the necessary and desirable information.
Particularly in our research, a nonprofit company with an informational email campaign typically sends a culmination of articles and will send a monthly update. On the other hand, a small local business might send a bi-weekly or weekly email. Many larger retailers send out emails more than once per week. For instance, restaurants can do well by sending weekly emails, and they may have weekly specials, announce a menu change or showcase live music and want to include special offers. With more offerings, the frequency of your message can follow suit.
EVENT emails are data-driven so their frequency will differ from informational campaigns. However, advance calendar planning must be in place at least six weeks in advance for strong attendance. Even further in advance if it is an annual event with an expected attendance rate that is significantly higher.
The scheduling calendar looks something like this:
To make sure your readers are keeping interest and not unsubscribing from your list, you may want to send out a periodical SURVEY to gather information and reporting. Content could be about what they’d like to read more about, less about, and give feedback. Also, this is an opportunity to get the necessary information to SEGMENT your email list. Most important is this is where you pull out only the portion of people on your email list who most likely will respond to an offer and you offer it only to them.
If you are considering adding a new product or service to your line, here is where you can find out the potential level of interest before rolling it out.
HOW TO INCREASE EMAIL OPEN RATES
There are specific rules that you want to follow when it comes to the sender of the email. How does the subscriber know you? Is it the product you sell, your nickname, or your company name that they recognize? The best practice is to have both your first and last name as well as your business name. This way you are pretty much covered, and people will recognize the sender. Additionally, this is a major consideration because you don’t want someone deleting your email before they even get the chance to see what’s in it.
The Subject Line:
Here is the second most important item when trying to get your email opened. So, how do you create an open-worthy email? The first thing to know is to create the subject line after you have created your email message. The main message of your email will dictate the core idea of your marketing campaign. Once you have completed the content, you will find it easier to craft a simple yet catchy subject headline. Therefore a rule of thumb is to use 4-7 words gets the best open rate. The more generic or vague, the less attractive it is for the reader. A vague example is “Summer Newsletter Happenings” as opposed to a more creative and enticing one such as “3 Fun Events in July”.
Another key point is to make sure to avoid SPAMMY words or phrases like, “Act Now”, “You’ve Won” or “Make Money” and refrain from ALL CAPS and excessive punctuation!!!! In other words, these are all no-no’s in email marketing. A good way to double check that you are not using spam-like words is to look in your spam inbox and see what kinds of inappropriate subject lines are there and then avoid them at all costs.
EMAIL CAMPAIGN TOOLS: ANALYTICS & SOCIAL MEDIA
The reason campaign analytics is so important and should not be skipped as part of your strategy is that it is what will guide you going forward. As an email marketing tool, it will tell you what is and what isn’t working. You can then use this valuable information as a guide to make better decisions on subject content, email content and best times to send emails. Top brands will offer built in campaign monitor tools and when paired with website analytic tools like Google analytics, you can dial in your email campaigns significantly.
On which reporting should you focus? The number of emails opened and the number of clicks are two important stats to consider. In detail, the clicks are the calls to action (CTA). Figure out what’s most important to you, your opens or your clicks. Make sure that you also check your bounces. Generally, emails bounce for such reasons as the recipient’s address no longer exists, or a recipient’s mailbox is full. Remove them to make room for quality people who do want to hear from you. Adjust your strategy based on your reporting.
Social Media Sharing:
Any email marketing service you choose or use should include a social share button. The social share buttons allow you to send your email to a whole new audience, everyone who is not on your email list but with whom you are connected to on the more popular social platforms. Most notably Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Nevertheless, if they don’t offer the social share, they should include an email link that you can cut and paste into your posts. So actually, as you are building an email list, you can still use email marketing with success by sending the campaigns to your followers and connections.
Putting It Altogether:
A tried and true approach to the design of your campaigns is to:
- Create a non-spammy subject line with 4-7 words
- Craft the subject line AFTER you have entered the content
- Make sure your subscriber immediately knows who it is from
- Keep content short, under 20 lines of text
- Use a “read more” button if you need to expand your content
- Apply your brand colors
- Include your logo, a CTA, website, and contact info
- Keep your CTA above the scroll line
- Include a clickable, clear picture that relates to your content
- Limit the images to three
- The more links, the fewer clicks
Also, consistently grow your list with opt-in features, and never purchase a list. Create a content calendar – use either a holiday calendar as your guide or decide on your mailing frequency and then create the topics in advance, so you have everything ready and planned. This will keep you on schedule.
So, there are a lot of things to consider when creating email marketing campaigns but as long as you start with these tips, you will get better and better at crafting and designing, and new ideas will spur. Before you know it, you’ll be a real pro.