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5 simple steps to your email marketing MOT

You already know the power of your email marketing. It sends a friendly prompt to encourage your audience to engage with your content. But with competition for eye time rising every year, it’s easy to lose valuable readers.

Here’s how to keep your emails and recipient lists in tip top condition…

1. Streamline

As a subscriber, one of my biggest pains is having to delete/spam/unsubscribe all the emails I receive from companies that I’m just not interested in. So, do your email recipients a favour and streamline your list first. Send it only to those who want to hear from you and remove those who don’t open or no longer engage with you. That way you won’t annoy anyone and your good reputation will remain intact.

Don’t make people puzzle over where you got their information – if they think you’ve got it through dubious means (buying email addresses) then they’ll dump you in spam. Ensure the consent of your subscribers, and include details in your email content. This is particularly important with GDPR coming into force next year.

Unfortunately, no matter how good your content is you won’t please everyone. If your open rate is falling it may mean that unsubscribes (and worse, spam complaints) will follow. If more people keep unsubscribing, try to identify the cause. Keep doing what works, stop doing what doesn’t.

Take notice of what people are telling you by not opening your emails. If they’re not already opening them, they’re not likely to start any time soon. Remove them from the list and your open rates will increase.

Don’t be a victim of the email recipients’ kiss-of-death: move to junk. Great newsletters work because they are aimed at a specific group of people. Attempt to cater to all and you’ll miss your mark. Focus on the kind of people who make up your specific audience and deliver content that they will appreciate.

2. Personalise

Use that personalisation button to ensure the recipient feels that the email is for him or his business. Yes, of course he knows that you’re sending the same email to hundreds, possibly thousands of people, but nothing is likely to turn people off reading than receiving a “Dear Customer email. Also, personalise the “from” email address. People are more likely to engage if they know they can respond to a real person.

3. Avoid clickbait

There’s nothing more frustrating that clicking on a subject line that turns out to promise more than it delivers. Manage readers’ expectations by providing good quality content that is truthful to the subject line. Otherwise your click-through rates will suffer and you’ll start getting unsubscribes, or your email sent to spam.

4. Have purpose

Do you want to tell people about an upcoming event? Are you offering exclusive content in exchange for more information about their organisation? or are you offering a promo code for a purchase on your website. Ensure you have a clear and concise goal for your email and make sure it’s clearly laid out. Give calls-to-action and plenty of links, so recipients have multiple avenues to engage with you.

5. Build trust

As I’ve mentioned above, it’s important your recipients actively show that they want to receive news from you. This means that when they receive your email they’ll instantly recognise you. The DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2017 report showed that almost half (49%) of recipients need to recognise the brand before opening their marketing emails.

People are put off by gimmicks but a carefully crafted email, with well-written text and energising images, is vital if you want to create trust in your recipients. It’s trust that you’ll deliver good quality content that will get your recipients buying your goods and services, and sharing your message.

Don’t know where to start? Look at newsletters that you love to receive, why do you love it? What are they doing to incite your engagement with it? Do your readers say, “Wow, I love reading this.”

Unless you’re producing quality content, every single time, then you could just be a nuisance to your recipients who’ll dump your email straight into ‘Trash’.

It’s getting more competitive just getting your subscriber’s eye but don’t be discouraged. Email is still the mainstay of digital marketing. Put more effort into giving your subscribers good quality content that they’re pleased to receive, and they’ll reward you by opening and sharing your message.

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Image credit – 1972 Chevy Chevelle by Holmes Palacios Jr.