We’ve been marketing through the mail ever since the days of the Pony Express, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. After all, if you can advertise to everyone in a geographic area without ever leaving the office, that’s a great way to get your clients to see what you have to offer with minimal effort on your part. Thanks to the digital revolution, though, email has taken the accessibility of the postal system and made it global. You can now market yourself to practically everyone in the world, and you can do it right from the comfort of your desk.
There’s a difference between marketing, and getting a response to that marketing, though. Which is why we highly recommend you follow these 8 best practices to ensure your email marketing is as effective as it can be:
#1 Get Consent:
It’s important for you to get people to volunteer to be part of your email list. By making it something they signed up for, it feels less like an obligation and more like something they chose to be a member of. And in Canada, obtaining permission is a requirement!
As of July 1st, 2014, Canada has implemented and been enforcing its Anti-Spam Legislation which requires all senders of commercial emails to abide by the following tactics:
“To send a commercial electronic message to an electronic address, you need to have the recipient’s consent, to identify yourself, to offer an unsubscribe mechanism and to be truthful.” And includes the following:
Can be written or verbally expressed. But it’s up to you—the sender—to prove consent was obtained and by lawful means.
Must be Opt-In:
According to what is outlined by CRTC’s Anti-Spam Legislature Frequently Asked Questions: “Consent must be obtained through an opt-in mechanism, as opposed to opt-out. The end-user must take a positive action to indicate their consent.” In other words, no pre-checked boxes that auto-subscribe your readers unless they manually uncheck the box.
Clearly Identify Yourself:
Include your business address, mailing address, email address, phone number and/or your website URL at the end of your emails so that your readers can tell who you are.
Easy Unsubscribe Option:
You must also include, in every email, an unsubscribe option that your readers can select if they don’t want to continue receiving emails from you. Your unsubscribe option can be a simple link that when clicked, takes your reader to a landing page where they can choose to unsubscribe from either some or all of your future emails.
(Image Source: copied and pasted from https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2012/2012-548.htm)
“[Your emails] must not have false or misleading sender information, subject matter information, URLs and/or metadata.” This also means no “click-bait” email subject lines.
For more details on how to ensure your email communications comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, refer to Frequently Asked Questions about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
#2 Check Twice:
Spelling and grammar matters! Few things are worse for your credibility than spelling or grammar mistakes. So, before you hit send, have someone else read over the text to be sure you didn’t miss something. Even the best writers make mistakes and you can never truly proofread your own work. A psychologist explains why even the most brilliant writers tend to miss their own typos.
#3 Make Your Emails Feel Exclusive:
Reward Your Readers:
People like to feel special, and if you make your email list feel like an exclusive club with members-only deals and discounts, your readers are more likely to stay involved than if you just spam them with random promotions. Which brings us to the next point.
Segment Your List and Personalize Your Emails:
Regardless of the size of your email list, break it into segmented lists based on things you know about the people on your lists, such as:
- Things they’ve downloaded from your site when subscribing to your list
- Previous purchases or inquiries
- Expressed needs and interests
- Pages of your website that they’ve recently returned to
Depending on how simple or how sophisticated your email marketing software is, segmenting a small list can be as simple as making two categories: leads and customers. That said, the more detailed you can get, the better. Here’s a good example of how a small software company might segment their list:
- Leads that enrolled for a free trial of our software
- Leads that either abandoned or completed their free trial without proceeding to purchase
- Customers that bought single user subscriptions
- Customers who purchased enterprise subscriptions
By categorizing the readers on their email list into the four separate segments above, they can prepare and send content and offers that are super-relevant to their readers’ use-case and where they are in the sales-funnel. This means you’ll want to be tracking how you capture leads.
#4 “Stop, Collaborate and Listen”:
Why are we quoting Vanilla Ice? Because if there’s a problem, yo, he’ll solve it… Okay, no really, his lyrical advice is relevant to our own: take the time to stop and listen to your clients’ feedback and be helpful.
If people are telling you what they like, want to see more of, or don’t like, consider yourself lucky that they’ve taken the time to respond to you, and then seriously consider what they’re saying. If the people on your email list have questions you aren’t answering, here’s your chance to start answering them. And if some readers reach out to you about being unhappy with your content, products, or anything else related to your business, take them seriously, respond politely, and see if you can use their feedback to make improvements. Being a good listener and a prompt problem solver wins and retains customers.
(Video Source: YouTube https://youtu.be/rog8ou-ZepE)
#5 Give Your Emails A Call to Action:
It’s one thing to get someone to read your email, but it’s another to get them to take action once they’ve finished reading it. Tell them what to do next, and you’ll get a lot more of the action you’re hoping to see. Whether it’s contacting you for a free sample or trial, visiting your website for more information, or placing an order to take advantage of your current deals, you need to make sure you provide your readers with some helpful direction.
#6 Have A Recognizable Subject Line:
People need to know it’s you at a glance, so make sure your subject line is easy to recognize. And carefully craft your subject line to be interesting while avoiding the use of these common spam-filter trigger words which are likely to get your email sent straight to your readers’ spam box before they even get a chance to see it.
#7 Give Your Readers Value for Their Time and Effort:
If there’s always something worth checking out in your emails, people are going to keep opening them. Whether it’s discount codes, tips, interesting product information or even just something entertaining. If your email campaigns are getting good open rates, add a call-to-action to your emails, asking your readers to share your content with their own friends.
These are just a few things you should be doing to make your email marketing stand out from your competition.
Now that you have 7 ways to make your email marketing more effective, consider the next step to learn how to build your list.
#8 Get Professional Help:
We don’t mean it as an insult. What we do mean is that it’s often wise to delegate your email marketing to email marketing professionals. Getting the right help with your email marketing can include getting assistance with everything from setting up ways to build your email list, establishing ways to track and segment your subscribers, and even preparing content for you that is on-brand and includes relevant calls-to-action.
Our team of email marketing experts at McAllister Marketing can help you do all of these things and more. And you get to be as involved as you want to be in the process. We serve as an extension to your own in-house team, tailoring our services to your business’s specific needs. Interested in exploring whether we are the right fit? Let’s start with a no-obligation chat today. Here’s how.