Better Digital Marketing

Key Tips for Effective Email Marketing [5 Minute Read]

Photo of Jasmine LeBlanc Jasmine LeBlanc - September 7, 2018

Believe it or not, email is still a highly effective channel to communicate with your audience. Over 200 billion emails go out every day, and that number is only expected to grow in the future. So you shouldn’t be questioning if you should use email marketing. Instead, ask yourself: what content do I promote through email marketing? We’re here to help answer that! This post discusses how to make sure you promote the right content to the right audience via email.

Segment Your Contacts

Woman-Reading-Content-Promotion-Email-on-Smart-PhoneDid you know 56% of users unsubscribe to emails because the content is not relevant to them? You can ensure your contacts receive relevant content by segmenting them into lists. Separate them based on buyer persona characteristics or on actions they have completed on your website (fill out a form, complete a transaction, etc.)

New subscribers should receive content that introduces your organization and lets them form a connection. Long-time subscribers already know why your organization benefits them, so the emails they receive should be updates, success stories, special offers, and news.

By making sure that your contacts are receiving the most relevant content, you are building a personal relationship with them which will encourage them to engage with your organization.

Relevant Content to Send

After segmenting your lists, think about your goals for each list. What action do you want them to complete after they read your email? It’s easier to choose what content to send once you know what the end goal is for the user.

Here are some ideas for relevant content to send to your subscribers:

Most Successful Content

Refer to your data and metrics to see which pieces of content performed best on your website and on your social media. After you identify your “high-performers,” promote it even more by finding a way to make it work in your email marketing strategy. Think about why these posts were successful with your audience and what value they will provide to your subscribers.

Newsletters

Newsletters are a very traditional part of email marketing—and for good reason. They are relevant to both new subscribers and long-time subscribers because they’re simple and informative. You can include your latest blog posts, share an upcoming event, or just provide organizational updates all in one email. The goal for sending newsletters is to get your readers to click through to your website to further engage with your content, so don’t include full stories in your email. Instead, write a small blurb that sparks their interest to click through to your site for the whole piece of content.

Individual Success Stories and Blog Posts

Newsletters have multiple calls-to-action on them to click through to various stories, but there’s no guarantee that your readers will read every single one. That’s why it’s effective to also send emails promoting your latest blog posts or success stories individually.

Your goal for these emails is for your reader to click through and read your post. To entice them to click through, your email should explain to your reader why that specific story is relevant to them. For example, if you're leading them to a blog post that contains time-saving tips, then let them know that they should read it to simplify an everyday task they already do.

Event Promotion

If your goal is to improve attendance at your next event, then it is crucial that you send event promotion emails. While these types of emails make sense to send to all of your contacts, they may be relevant for different reasons. For new subscribers, it is a great way for them to learn more about your organization and build a connection. For long-time subscribers, email is a great channel to excite and inform them about an upcoming event. Consider sending different emails to each list, so that the copy meets everyone’s needs.

Sending event promotion emails to your audience is a great way to encourage them to engage with your organization. In each email, be sure to inform them of the value they will get from attending, as well as important event details. You should send multiple emails to each segment such as reminder emails a month before, two weeks before, and the week of the event to those who have registered. For those who haven’t registered, try sending reminder-to-sign-up emails at the same frequency.

Urgent Needs

If your organization is in urgent need of supplies or volunteers, then email is a great channel to get the word out. Your most loyal advocates are more likely to help, but depending on the level of urgency, you might want to reach out to your new subscribers too.

It’s always more effective to stay positive and make your reader feel like they’re making a difference by helping your organization, instead of using a sad, guilt-driven appeal.

Email Marketing Best Practices

Here are some email marketing tips and best practices to simplify the process for you and ensure your reader clicks through!

Use one CTA per email

Too many different calls-to-action (CTAs) in one email can cause your reader to overthink and to not click on anything. The only exception to this rule is a newsletter because they are widely known for having more than one story on them.

To ensure your reader clicks on your CTA, only use one per email. You can have the same CTA in multiple places in your email (above the fold and at the end of your email) so that your reader doesn’t have to scroll around to find it.

Provide alt text on images

Some email service providers don’t display images by default, so it is important to use alt-text. Alt-text is the text that appears in place of an image when it’s missing. The text should be descriptive of what the image is or be used as another call-to-action.

Never assume that your reader will see the picture when they first open it. Images are great for visual appeal, but don’t let your whole email depend on the image. For more tips on designing effective emails, read our email design blog post.

Use an email platform and automation

The best way to ensure your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant is to use a reputable email marketing platform like HubSpot, MailChimp, MyEmma, or Constant Contact. Using a platform will automatically include all of the necessary CAN-SPAM compliant details in every email you send.

These platforms come with many features such as ready-to-use templates, data analysis, and the ability to automate emails. We highly recommend using email automation to save time in the long run and be more effective. You can create all of your emails beforehand and decide when they should be sent to your audience. After that, you just have to periodically analyze your results and optimize when needed!

Build organic lists

Be sure you are building your contact lists organically. That means that you should only email people who have opted in to hear from you. Never buy contacts or send emails to people who did not agree to receive emails from you. They will either ignore you or mark you as spam, which will affect your deliverability in the long run.

 

Email marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy because it can effectively promote your organization’s content. Follow these tips and best practices to ensure that you are sending the most relevant content to the right people.

Are you ready to get serious about sending out the right content to your audience?

Then it's time to create a smarter content strategy with the help of our free workbook guide, Content Marketing Made Easy. This guide will walk you through each step of content marketing—from planning to promoting. Plus, it provides time-saving tips along the way! Click below to learn more and download it today.