If you're relying solely on social media to get the word out about your small biz, then it's time to give email marketing another try. According to interactive marketing agency emfluence, email drove $67.8 billion in sales in the last year alone. Email return on investment (ROI) in 2012 was also $28.50 made for every $1 spent, which means email marketing has the highest ROI of any direct marketing medium. To ensure that you're really taking advantage of all that email marketing has to offer, here are some facts and tips to help you hone in your email strategy.
In the United States, only 80.8% of valid marketing email makes it to the inbox. Getting your email into more inboxes means more revenue, so emfluence recommends that you make sure your email service provider has the following:
- A good email template code
- Throttled sending
- Automatic unsubscribe and complaint handling
- Built-in CAN-SPAM compliance
Bonus: If your email follows all legal specifications, you can pay an additional fee for a "certified" sender status, which tests and automatically tells the inbox that you’re sending legitimate email.
Yes, you want your headlines to entice clicks, but not when you're employing cheap tricks to do so. Here are two terrible email marketing headlines that were sent around the same time as the 2012 Presidential Election:
Not only are the headlines tacky and offensive to some, this company broke the cardinal rule of a descriptive lead sentence that shows up in the email preview. The HTML code that follows the risque headline tells me nothing of the email's content. Needless to say, I’ve unsubscribed to their emails.
Include engaging content.
Just like with social media marketing, email marketing only works if you’re providing something of value to your fans. Make it informative or fun so that your fans will look forward to each newsletter you send. Include pictures, but pay attention to a good balance of text to picture ratio (especially in mobile viewing).
In our weekly Seeds of SUCCESS newsletter, we publish valuable content ranging from our “editor’s picks” of new articles to newsletter-exclusive thoughts from our experts. Find ways to publish content on your website or blog, so that your newsletter can link out to it and drive more traffic in a new and engaging way.
Reengage with your fans.
Marketing Sherpa reports that as much as 33% of your email list can turnover each year. Make sure you're reengaging with your lost subscribers or you're left with only 16.8% of your original list after 5 years.
Send out a special discount with an easy call-to-action for your fans to claim the promo. Snapfish ran a great reengagement campaign that updated their fans on exciting company updates and offered 50 free prints, no strings attached. They even included password reminder and complaints links, for their users' convenience.
Although email marketing might seem like a numbers game, don't be afraid to trim your list. It will be more profitable, in the long run, to keep a list of engaged, loyal fans, rather than waste expenses sending out emails to inactive accounts or run the risk of being labeled as spam to uninterested users.
For more expert tips and examples to make the most of your email marketing campaigns, read 'Email Campaign Examples: Do and Don't Tips' on SUCCESS.com.