The Top 5 Tips To Get Your Small Business Email Marketing Ph.D.
You don’t have to look far on the net to find articles about the basics of email marketing such as concentrating on subject lines and preheaders; designing for the mobile viewscreen; and segmenting your subscription list.
Once you’ve mastered the basics and have achieved the status of a skillful online promoter, your small business might be ready to advance to the doctorate level of email marketing. If you’re ready to take the leap to the Email Ivy League, you’ll want to brush up on these top five tips for consummate newsletter campaigns:
1. Focus groups are not just for cars & movies
Although A/B split and multivariate testing is garnering new devotees every day, very few email marketers ever take the next step to actually holding a focus group which can provide input into the overall campaign. Testing can tell you what works better in the cases of a specific element against another element, but a focus group can explain why it works better in a holistic fashion.
A focus group can facilitate a greater perspective over an entire promotional strategy so that an email marketer can proactively direct a campaign, not only just test and adjust as it proceeds.
2. Adopt narrative sequencing
No man may be an island but most email newsletters are. The art of stitching together sequences of emails to form a cohesive whole is orders of magnitude above firing off standalone newsletters which focus on the immediate promotion of the day without any bearing to your brand’s overall image and relevance.
Think of your email newsletters as acts in a play: The first ones introduce the players and the plot; the middle ones flesh out the entire story; and the final ones bring the entire tale to an exciting and motivating climax. Nurturing your clients while taking them through a journey of discovery will pay dividends much greater than any single call to action ever could.
3. Let the subscriber choose the frequency
Allowing the new subscriber to select their preferred newsletter frequency at sign up is effective, but not as much as going with a standard frequency for a couple of months and then asking the customer if they’d like to change it. At the very beginning of the relationship, the customer may not be ready to express a preference as they haven’t seen your newsletters yet and can’t determine as to the specific value and relevance of your email campaign to their needs. Once they’ve had a chance to read a few, they are in a much better position to request a greater or lesser frequency of sends.
4. Send “Billboard Emails”
Freeway billboards are designed to get their point across to drivers zooming by at 70 mph + while they’re tuning the radio, checking the rear view mirror for flashing lights, and wondering what’s for dinner. If you’re still crafting email copy which qualifies as a novella, consider that many of your subscribers really only do a “drive by” skim of your newsletters.
Text heavy messages can be daunting, especially when rendered on the small screen of a mobile device. Learn to write your emails in poetry, not prose, and draw attention to your content through images, design, headlines, subheads and pullquotes.
5. Remind, don’t stalk
Leveraging your tracking of the prospect’s behavior on your website can reveal valuable insights into what customers found of interest, and how they prefer to interact with your brand. Abandoned cart emails can be perceived by your client as a gentle and proper reminder that they may have forgotten or gotten sidetracked from checking out, or it can be seen as merciless cajoling.
To keep from sounding desperate, a promotional form of email featuring a voucher, sale, discount, or offer to a special VIP event will produce more positive results than one which keeps beseeching to complete the checkout.
Master these five tips and get that mortar board, parchment, and tassels ready. You’re now a Doctor of the Email Arts!