email marketingSome would argue it’s dead in the water. However studies show that three quarters of companies agree that email marketing offers excellent to good return on investment. Not only that, email use is set to soar with a whopping 3 billion users expected by 2020. These figures speak for themselves – email marketing is very much alive and kicking.

And it’s not hard to see why. There’s an abundance of benefits to using email marketing to promote your business activity and drive sales. It’s doesn’t require major technical expertise to make it work, it’s easy to track, it’s immediate and whilst there might be a small overhead for sending thousands of emails at a time, the costs are far lower than what you would expect to pay using other marketing channels. In order for your business to get the opens, clicks and leads your aiming for there are a few key ingredients that you must consider first.

1.Subject line

It might seem like a small part of your message but subject lines play a crucial part in creating a good first impression on your email recipients. Think about the amount of emails that pour into your inbox on a daily or even an hourly basis – how do you think you can stand out in this crowded marketplace?  It starts with a compelling subject line that ultimately encourages your recipient to take action. Research has shown that 33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone.

2.Subheading

The subheading is the text that appears right next to the subject line. It acts as a way to give your readers a sneak peek at what might be contained within. Think of the subheading as a way to prop up or a support what already should be an engaging subject line.

3.A/B test

Well thought out A/B testing, also known as split testing, can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your e-mail marketing efforts. How it works is that you compare two differing sets of email messaging to determine which is best for generating opens and clicks. There are two common ways to A/B test – either by subject line or by body text. Once you’ve settled on what element of the email you’d like to test email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact will then select the worthy victor for you.

4.Email testing

So now you’ve crafted your compelling copy that’s sure to convert, next it’s time to hit send and wait for the sales to start rolling in right? Wrong. Before lifting a finger it’s important to consider how your finished article might appear to your email recipient. It’s crucial to see how your message might look to someone on their mobile or on their PC. Instead of manually testing every email across countless devices, Litmus is a tool that enables you to preview your email in 70+ environments with one click.  It will even scan for potential spam issues, broken links and much more.

5. Length

So what’s the optimum length of an email? 50 words? Twice that length? From our experience short and sweet works best. Splitting the email with coloured sections and engaging images make it easy for your recipient to skim and scan. Nobody wants to wade through reams of unsightly text. Behind every great subheading should also be a standout branded banner image that should aim to stop the recipient in their tracks.

6. Metrics

By studying some key metrics you’ll be able to gauge the relevancy of your content. The open rate and click through rate are the obvious ones to look out for. If neither are particularly high consider experimenting or tightening up your proposition by having a stronger call to action.

In summary, remember the importance of offering value to the customers right from the very beginning. Don’t mislead by over promising in your subject line and subheading and then under deliver. Test everything to ensure your content is relevant and looks presentable to your recipient. Ensure your body text is easy to read by splitting it up into digestible chunks and keep a keen eye on your metrics so you understand what you need to tweak to add more value to your message. So what do you think are the best ingredients for a strong email? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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