In most circles, email marketing is highly underestimated as a revenue driver for businesses and even when the potentials are understood, it’s frequently done wrong. So I put together a simple list of tricks you can act on now without spending anything to improve your email marketing strategy.
1. The gist about sender names and email address
This is obvious, but very much ignored. I see marketing emails with names such as email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org when the sender obviously wants a reply.
Getting replies to your emails is actually great for your email marketing practices as it informs the algorithms of the inbox provider that your emails are relevant to the recipient.
For your sender name, try and keep it consistent, but I have found out that the best variation of sender names are either:
a. The Brand’s name or;
b. Sender’s name + Brand Name, e.g: Joel from Buffer
But my favourite sender name hack has to be from PushCV, they use a combination of the recipient’s name and the intent of the newsletter, “Jobs for Adeyemi.” This genius hack from them must have taken their open rates through the roof — downside is that they send me too many emails so they remain unopened in my inbox.
2. Give your subject line a boner
This is 70% of the reasons your emails will ever be opened. And with so much competition from other senders, how do you make your emails stand out?
Personally, I receive at least 100 emails everyday across all my inboxes and I’ve trained my eyes to quickly peruse for content that’s relevant to me at the time. A great subject line could make your email more relevant at the time and gets my open.
For short term tactics that can get you the results you seek:
A. Try personalizing your subject line with the recipient’s name.
B. Be creative with emojis in the subject line.
C. Use alliterations, copywriters swear they work wonders. Just ask Joanna of Copyhackers
3. Ever heard of Alt text?
On the web, it’s a common standard for content creators to include alt text on all images for SEO reasons and for readability purposes. So why not do it in email when email clients are notorious for blocking images (I’m looking at you Yahoo).
See how Buzzfeed does this. They’re literally the kings of copywriting so don’t expect your first attempt to look as awesome, but try hard regardless.
Bonus read — Writing for all people: How to use Alt-text well
4. What to do about your pre-header text
This is literally a goldmine for email marketers and copy writers. The space compliments your subject lines and allows you to pack in more meaning to your subject lines.
In the example below, the gibberish in the subject line will reduce open rates by at least 2%. From my experiments it did.
5. Consider ditching your nav bar
I see a lot of emails coded with nav bars because marketers figured that they can make their most common search terms visible which is great, but have you considered other strategies. Maybe a search box instead?
Eliminating the jargons that commonly appear in the nav bar will make your message easier to communicate and your email distraction free.
I especially like this new email template that my good friend, Taqwa designed. He got rid of the Nav bar and included the search box at the bottom — The design solution to boring copy as click to see more.
6. The truth about your deliverability
You might actually be doing everything right but you are experiencing abysmal results. Don’t sweat it, there’s a solution.
For a lot of folks new to email marketing, there are a lot of technicalities that you’ll only figure out along the way if you don’t ask questions. One of those questions are about your DNS records.
Because of the high rate of spam mails and phishing out there, inbox providers cross check your records in the DNS to authenticate your email and combat phishing. If these records are not present, you could experience very low deliverability rate even though you are a legitimate sender. Most important of these records are your DKIM, and SPF records.
Learn more about SPF and DKIM.
7. Segment your list if you can
If you are gunning for better results, then you must do this. Email gives you a great way to market items that are relevant to a particular buyer so it makes obvious sense to gather information about your audience when they join your email list.
For a fashion eCommerce store, it would be in the best interest of your store to send relevant content to your subscribers. You really do not want to send an email about beautiful sunflower dresses to your male subscribers unless you are trying to get them to buy for the special ladies in their lives.
See how Adidas does this — they send emails about male track suits to their male subscribers, and female track suits to their feminine audience:
8. Much ado about CTAs
This right here is what will make or mar your CTR (click through rates).
Click here is about the most banal phrase on the web, and as a marketer you deserve no points if your default CTA is “click here.”
This is an avenue for you to get creative and let your CTR soar like an eagle as this gives you extra breath to be more creative with your email copy.
9. Re-engagement campaign? Ditch the coupon code!
Every email marketer is presented with this nightmare — subscribers that no longer open your emails. Most times, it means that this persons have churned and you really want them back.
There are different tactics out there to re-engage churned subscribers, and depending on your business type you might go with what fits your business best.
One common tactic is to offer coupon codes, and this is exceptionally tricky as it could put you in debt.
And it’s for this reason I love Dropbox’ email marketing. They go emotional with illustrations and copy, and it touches me in the right places 🙂
If the emotions don’t work, then you can gun for the coupon codes. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep the coupons for your best customers because they represent 80% of your revenue. Treat them special.