Things You Need to Know About Email Marketing Before Sending Your First Email

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by  Kristen Dahlberg IN  a world where online users are all about latest tweets and status updates, the role of email seems to have dr...

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IN a world where online users are all about latest tweets and status updates, the role of email seems to have dropped out of the spotlight. However, data about email deliverability supports the fact that email marketing is certainly a strategy your company should pursue.

If you’re just starting out with your first email marketing campaign, here are a couple of things you should know to be sure your strategy is optimized for the best possible results.

Permission is key

Nobody likes uninvited guests, and that’s what you are when you send someone an email without being given the permission to do so first. Don’t use ready-made email lists, but instead, build your own email list with users who have actually given you permission to contact them. Some strategies to build your own mailing list include:
  • Having a subscribe button on your website
  • Organizing an online competition
  • Asking users to fill out a form
  • Giving away freebies in exchange for an email address

Using tools helps you create stunning emails

If you’re serious about email marketing being a part of your business, you should get acquainted with tools for creating email marketing campaigns, such as Sendlane and GetResponse. The main benefit of such tools is the possibility to use and customize email templates, to use different layouts, add photos, links, etc. All of these features together make your emails look more professional and more engaging, which ultimately increases the efficiency of any marketing campaign.

Think about mobile users

As the number of mobile users is overtaking the desktop usage, you as a marketer need to think about how this affects your email campaign. Based on Campaign Monitor reports, about 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. For you, this means that mobile-friendly design is imperative. As you are about to come up with that killer subject line, or some interesting graphics, think about how these will look on mobile devices. For instance, the subject line will most likely be cut off after three or four words on a mobile device screen, which means the readers won’t see the entire message unless they click on the email to open it.

A personalized approach is proven to be more effective

Although you’re creating an email that is supposed to reach hundreds or thousands of your subscribers, you still need to make it as personalized as possible. This approach is proven to be most effective in terms of clicks and conversions. In fact, when comparing Click Through Rate (CTR) based on first name personalization, we can see a significant rise in the data:

The subject line is the first thing the recipients see

Being the first thing the recipients notice, subject line is what shows off your email message, and is what makes recipients decide whether to open or skip the email. Before you send your first email, you should know two very important statistics related to the subject line. According to Convince and Convert:
  • 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone
  • 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line
This means that subject line actually has a tremendous impact on whether you’ll be able to get the recipients to read your message, or whether your message will end up being reported as spam. Based on HubSpot’s study, most clicked subject line words include: posts, jobs, and survey.

An excellent subject line, combined with personalized approach is a proof you really know your target audience. Leveraging these two well is a skill you’ll find essential for a successful email marketing campaign. This is what will help you differentiate yourself from the spammers, and one thing that will convince your recipients that they made a good choice when joining your mailing list.

Understanding spam filters

Spam filters use an extensive number of factors to differentiate what is junk from what is a relevant message. They ultimately determine whether your email is successfully delivered to the inbox of your subscribers, or whether it’ll end up buried in the spam folder with other unwanted (and unopened) emails. Here are a couple of things to know about spam filters to understand how they work:
  • Spam filters will most likely flag an email if anyone sent spam messages from the same IP address in the past
  • Spam filters may be triggered by specific words in the subject line
  • An email with no content might be filtered as spam
Ready to learn more? MailChimp has a great resource with some of the most common spam filter triggers and we have our own email curse word database!

The art of the call-to-action

A call to action or CTA is a tool you use to motivate the readers to perform a certain activity or function, such as clicking on a link, buying a product, downloading a document, etc. Since the goal is to persuade the users to do something, a CTA is naturally a big part of your email strategy, so make sure you perfect the art of CTAs.
When sending your first email, as well as later on when you work on improving your approach, make sure you view CTAs as a creative way to inspire people, rather than being sale-oriented and sounding too promotional.

Wrapping it up

Everything here is very important to the success of your email marketing efforts. As soon as you are familiar with both performance boosters and pitfalls that might get in the way, you will be ready to take advantage of email marketing as a strategy to improve your business.
In the end, we also want to highlight that email marketing requires a delicate approach and sense of personalization, as your ultimate goal is to communicate with your subscribers. The only way you will be able to do so successfully is by knowing the tricks and mechanics behind email marketing.
Being a good communicator yourself, as well as being a great listener, and learning from the campaign data obtained over time will help you tweak your approach for better results. Knowing email marketing trends is always helpful, but analyzing email marketing metrics is also a good way to keep your eyes on things that might need changing.

Over to you

If you learned something new, or know someone who might benefit from these tips please share and  help get the word out!
Have something to add? We’d love to hear your experience and any helpful ideas for others to get started with their first email marketing campaign.

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