Do you stress out about sending emails to your customers? I know a lot of our clients have. It’s hard to find an appropriate amount of contact. And then getting anyone to pay attention when you finally send something is even harder! Don’t despair. A good long look at some awesome studies, and at your own customers, will give you a solid base to begin your email marketing efforts.
Let’s start by looking at open rates. While marketing email open rates vary from company to company, in the service industry it hovers around 22%. That’s not terrible. But I think you can do better.
Create Amazing Subject Lines
Why is the subject line of an email so important? Well, 33% of emails are opened based solely on the subject line. Wow. Spending time to ensure your subject line accurately conveys the message you want suddenly becomes more compelling.
What makes a subject line amazing? It might not be what you think. MailChimp compared the best performing subject lines with the worst and found some interesting information. Straightforward and incredibly clear subject lines win the day. If the subject line is too clever, or sounds like marketing material, it doesn’t perform well. It may even be marked as spam. Customers want to know, at a glance, the reason you are sending an email.
Other stats to remember, courtesy of Sidekick’s slideshare:
- 30 or fewer characters in the subject line lead to higher open rates
- 40% of emails are opened on mobile first – where subject lines only display 4-7 words
- A sense of urgency or exclusivity in subject lines can increase open rates up to 22%
Don’t stop after creating a beautiful, clean, and clear subject line. Add your customer’s name. If you personalize the subject line, your email is 22.2% more likely to be opened. If sending one personalized email at a time sounds daunting (it sure does to me!), use an email messaging service. Personalization tokens and automated tasks will make your life a lot easier and your customers happier.
Even putting personalization just in the body of your email improves click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. All customers want to feel important. Personalizing your emails lets your customers know that you care about them. Still not convinced? Look at how much personalization did for Coca-Cola!
You’ve set the perfect expectation with your subject line. Now it’s time to deliver. Make sure that the content you provide matches your customer’s desires. If they signed up for newsletters, make sure they aren’t only receiving coupons. If they joined a discount club, don’t send them daily newsletters. Make sure your content matches your customer’s needs.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t take any study or blog post’s word as absolute. Every customer base differs, and yours might respond to something entirely different. You should know your customers. Go with your gut, and then create some A/B email testing. Do these best practices work for you? Or do your customers like something else? Find out what will increase email open rates for you.
Don’t be afraid to let go of bad leads. What does this mean? It means that if you follow all these best practices and still get unsubscribes, respect their wishes. Learn to let go. Trust in the value of your content, and understand that those people may have been a bad fit. That way, when someone comes back, you know you can provide exactly what they need.
Need a bit of help with your repeat customer marketing and customer communications? Check out our integrated and targeted campaigns.