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Getting started with email marketing? What you absolutely must know (part two)

Email marketing ABC

To keep your email subscribers hooked, you need to know what works – so we’re looking at the essentials of great email marketing in this two-part blog series.

We discussed building your subscriber list in the first installment. This second part explains the basics of crafting and sending successful email campaigns.

Email appeal: what works

Every element of your email matters and should be considered. It’s no good pairing beautiful design with an irrelevant headline or unappealing content, for example.

Things to consider when writing and designing emails:

  • Will this content appeal to my subscribers? How?
  • Will my subscribers have a good user experience no matter the device they’re opening my emails on?
  • Am I saying something that’s appealing and relevant?
  • Will it help or hinder my relationship with my customers?

Remember: emails should tell your customers things they actually want to know. Don’t send emails just because there’s something you want to say.

Understand subject lines

Subject lines matter. The words you put in them can make or break open rates, as our Subject Line Report shows. Get it wrong and your customers might never read your exquisitely crafted email, because you didn’t convince them to open it.

Even changes that seem simple can have a significant effect – like swapping ‘thanks’ for ‘thank you’, which gets double the open rates.

Things to know about subject lines:

Why you should test your emails

Email testing is a great way to discover what works. General research is a helpful starting point, but the only way to learn about your individual subscriber list is through experience.

Examples of what to test:

  • Subject lines – what words to use and in what order
  • Design, including the selection and placement of images and click-through buttons
  • Copy, including sub-headings and personalisation – does using the customer’s name bring more click-throughs?
  • Calls to action – what benefits appeal to your customers and what wording do they prefer?
  • Time of sending – does the time of day, or day of the week, make a difference to your results?

Remember: only change one thing at a time, or you won’t know what has made the difference. For other crucial tips, check out our testing guide.

And for even better results…

Make the most of your data and you can improve ROI, so make sure you check your reports regularly. You can always learn more about your subscribers.

Get the most from your data by thinking about:

Targeted communication matters because you’re not at the same point in the same conversation with every subscriber.

There may be times when you have something to say to everyone on your list, so a universal email is potentially okay – but you might still adapt the way you say it to different segments.

Ongoing conversation

Every email is part of a wider conversation with your customers and there are plenty of ways to continue talking to them.

Keep the conversation going by:

By establishing a programme of automated emails, you’ll stand a better chance of retaining and engaging customers at every point in their journey.

Key takeaways

  1. Keep your sign-up process quick and simple with incentives for subscribing
  2. Think carefully about design, content and subject lines and run tests to see what works
  3. Check reports regularly as there’s always more to learn about your customers
  4. Use automated emails to keep the conversation going

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