Email marketing is absolutely necessary for every business and every freelancer to leverage. 80% of the sales are in following up with the consumers, and the most effective (and free) way to do that is with emails.
But making your emails perform is sometimes a really tough fight. I know that.
You are searching and searching for data, tips, and info on how to do email marketing correctly. But nothing is working. It is frustrating, isn’t it?
And that is exactly why I am writing this post right now. It is just for you. Today I’m going to show you 7 email marketing tips for online businesses and freelancers.
Take something to take notes. Open a Word document, take a notebook or just a sheet of paper and pen.
I’ve left no stone unturned here and you definitely don’t want to miss anything.
So, do you have something to take notes for? If yes, let’s dive in.
1. Email Marketing Tip: Pay Attention To Subject Lines And Preview Text
In this email marketing tip, we are going to talk about subject lines.
Email marketing subject lines are absolutely key when it comes to email marketing. Everything relies on the subject line…“the whole weight of sky”.
Insane 47% of people open the emails based on the subject line and 69% of customers can report emails as spam based on the subject line only.
A boring subject line could lead your email to get buried under hundreds of other emails. Or even worse, be marked as spam! That’s a little offensive for any email marketer. But, unfortunately, 69% of people will report an email as spam based on the subject line alone.
So, your subject line must be stronger than onions.
Sometimes it can be a little bit hard to craft a subject line like this. You know the topic the email will be about…but how to make the reader open the email?
So, you start writing. You write the first one. And then you think “that’s bad, let’s delete it and try one more time”.
And then you continue and after writing like 50 subject lines, you finally think you got it.
But when you send the email and check the open rate…you want to throw up. I know that feeling.
That is why I’m going to show you a few things that will help you write killer subject lines that will make them read your emails every damn time.
First, You Want To Inject Personality And Emotions (Through Emojis) Into Your Email Marketing Subject Lines.
Being injecting personality and emotions into your subject lines is the difference between life or death…literally. Just take a look at the statistics…
Emails containing personalization in the subject line are 22% more likely to be opened.
That is a huge number. But that is not all…
Studies have shown that emotional content can increase the effectiveness of marketing by as much as 70%! That is a huge reason to include emojis in your subject lines. It incredibly increases its effectiveness. But you don’t want to use more than one emoji!
Another thing you should know is that between 2015 and 2016 alone, open rates for emails with emojis in the subject line surged as much as 775%! That is crazy…
Companies who use emojis in their email subject lines have a higher open rate of as much as 56% than companies that don’t. Another huge number you can’t neglect.
It seems like a simple solution for email subject lines, right? The problem is that using emojis too often can make your emails look like spam. So use them carefully.
Here is an example of email subject lines with emojis that is effective.
But, personalization is an even more important thing.
On top of that, personalizing email subject lines can lead to higher open rates—as high as 50%!
Studies also show that personalized promotional emails result in 29% higher open rates. And, multichannel retailers see a 37% increase in unique open rates for emails with personalized subject lines when compared to emails with non-personalized ones.
But how do you write a personal subject line? Have you ever seen these “50% Off! Get Your Copy Today…” subject lines?
That is definitely not personal. You see, the recipient’s inbox is a private space. They receive emails from their friends here, emails from their job, etc.
And what happens when you will violate them with a promotional subject line like the one I have shown you above?
At the very best, you will end up in the trash. At the worst, you will be reported as spam. And that can be bad…really bad.
So don’t write subject lines like these. Instead try to write email subject lines like the few examples below…
Do you see how personal these subject lines are?
That is what a personal email marketing subject line should look like. In fact, most of them are based on the stories that will grab you when you will open the email.
And that is how you make the emails work…stories. That’s it.
How do you craft a personalized subject line?
- Include their birthday
- Mention their interests
- Show their transaction history
- Bring up their browsing history
- Use their relationship status
It works incredibly, and you will be surprised by the result.
Second, Write Subject Lines That Stir Curiosity
The next way that can help you increase your marketing email open rates is sparking curiosity in your email subject line.
Let’s pretend that you would receive an email with the subject line “Did you miss this?”.
What would be the first thing that would come to your mind? I know. The thing you would think about is “What did I miss?”.
And after you would think about that, you would open the email. Why? Because you would kill to know what you have missed.
And that is the power of curiosity.
Third, You Want To Make The Email Marketing Subject Line Newsy
People love news. In fact, we love breaking news!
News is effective and will be effective in every marketing process. And email marketing is no exception.
This news can be literally everything. You can talk about new products, new changes in your business, new interviews, new blog posts, etc.
There are no damn limits.
Using announcements like that can spark interest in your recipients and they will open your emails.
But to have the best effect, you need to use certain words to increase the click-through rate.
For example, email subject lines using the word “alert” are opened 61.8% more. And, subject lines with the word “tomorrow” are opened 10% more.
To help you summarize this, I have created an infographic that can help you with writing incredible subject lines. You can download it below…
So, that is the first email marketing tip…pay attention to your subject lines.
But you also need to send the right emails to the right people. That’s why you need to pay very close attention to segmentation as well.
2. Email Marketing Tip: Pay A Very Close Attention To Segmentation
Marketers know that segmenting email marketing lists can improve open and clickthrough rates.
Mailchimp’s latest user data showed that segmented campaigns get 14.37% more opens and 64.78% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
That said, figuring out the best way to segment your email marketing lists can be a huge undertaking. And how do you segment in your email marketing? And that is exactly what I’m going to show you in this tip…
First, Demographics From Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Information such as age, gender, company position, and income level can tell a lot about a person’s needs and interests.
The more information you can get about your audience in the sign-up process, the more options you’ll have for demographic segmentation.
But be damn careful, because asking for too much information can scare people off from signing up at all. (Unless your opt-in offer is so fu*king irresistible they would jump off the plane to get it…)
Decide which metrics are most essential for your business and include those questions in the signup process.
For example, if you’re a marketer, then the industry of the audience would be an important demographic. If you are a clothing retailer, then gender would be an important demographic. Add 1-3 of the most relevant demographic factors for your business (or more, depending on the complexity of your segmentation needs)
The easiest way to segment by demographic information is with your website forms. Your email marketing platform will allow you to customize the email sign-up questions, or you can use a plugin to create opt-in boxes. (Source)
Second, Check Your Surveys Or Quiz Results
Some marketers are minimalists who wouldn’t dare to ask for more than an email address to sign up for their mailing list.
Fine, you can still get access to nuanced data by creating a survey or quiz.
A survey allows you to not only get that valuable demographic information but also insights into individual tastes, preferences, and beliefs.
To make a maximum result from your survey or a quiz, you should give them an incentive why they need to take it.
Give them some kind of reward for taking the survey or a quiz. It can be something as simple as a report about some kind of topic in your industry.
So start creating the survey or quiz right away!
Third, Marketing Email Engagement
Email engagement is another very basic way to segment your lists, but it can have a huge impact on your overall results.
Open rate and clickthrough rate are the main metrics here, which you keep track of in your email marketing service.
You can segment by engagement by designating active vs inactive users, such as someone who hasn’t opened your emails in three months. You can then create a specialized campaign designed at re-engaging your inactive subscribers. (Source)
And much more. Again, to wrap the segmentation up, I have created an infographic that you can download below…
And have you ever thought about including pictures and videos in your emails? If yes, then you must read on…
3. Email Marketing Tip: Include Some Interesting Visuals
Text is a very important, if not the most important, element of your marketing email. It is essential, and you must pay close attention to it.
But there is a good old saying “A picture is worth 1000 words.” And it is true. (Email marketing is no exception.)
Images are incredibly flexible and can be leveraged effectively in any email marketing campaign. They make your marketing email come alive!
And how do you use images? Don’t worry…you are going to find out.
The Benefits of Images for Email Marketing
As I said earlier, images are really flexible and can be leveraged effectively in any email marketing campaign.
Just look at the numbers.
Visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. That is incredible. You can almost double your readership by including relevant images in your marketing email.
You see, nobody wants to read a big chunk of text that looks like a damn skyscraper in New York. We want to read things that are easy to read. And the same thing applies to email marketing.
Break up the email with images and you will make the email really powerful…
People retain 65% of the information three days later when it is paired with an image. That can make you a lot of conversions after the recipients will read the email. You don’t want to neglect this.
It can recover a lot of conversions.
How to Find Images For Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Now you know that using images in emails is extremely important you can start looking for some images to include in your email marketing campaigns.
While some images are restricted to certain kinds of use, there are a variety of ways to find images that are completely free to use for marketing purposes.
Stock images are the simplest ways to add images into your marketing emails. You can go to websites like freepik.com, rawpixel.com, piqsels.com and you can start using free images right away!
People often think of stock photos as generic, but they can also look just as authentic as a picture taken by your team. For example, you could look for a stock image that features a “normal” person rather than a model.
But remember, the images have to be relevant.
Take Your Own Photos
Stock images are perfect in some contexts, but they aren’t as useful for product launches or other things that are directly related to your brand.
In these cases, it may be easier to take photos in-house, especially as high-quality cameras become more prevalent.
Audiences are interested in personal connections, so consider using pictures of people in your organization to introduce readers to your team.
Taking photos yourself opens up a variety of opportunities that aren’t available with other options like stock images or user-generated content.
4. Email Marketing Tip: Original Sign-Offs
Considering what you use as a sign-off in your email marketing campaigns is very important.
Most of us stop reading after the last full sentence in an email. After all, the majority of people sign-off with “Best,” “Thanks,” “Sincerely,” or something similarly boring — and there’s no point reading this a million times:
However, the ubiquity of boring email sign-offs is actually a great opportunity for sales reps.
Closing the email with something memorable can help your brand and it will make the reader excited about your emails.
Also, attention spans are shrinking every day, and you want to make every line of your email worth it. And that is why original sign-offs can be a real breakthrough…
Here are some original sign offs you can use:
- “May the sales be with you”
- “Your friendly [job title]”
- “To infinity and beyond”
- “May the odds be ever in your favor”
- “Hakuna Matata”
- “Live long and prosper”
- “I think we’re going to need a bigger [boat, budget, other related noun]”
- “Keep on, keepin’ on”
- “Go Pats!!”
- “May your Monday be full of coffee”
- “Roll the credits”
You can use these sign-offs all the time. They are powerful and can replace the percentage of email marketers using the classic “boring sign-offs.
The most used sign-offs are:
– Thanks (62%),
– name or initials (46%)
– Sincerely (44%)
– Love (28%)
– Regards (22%)
With the sign-offs I have given you, you can easily stand out and burn your emails into the reader’s mind.
5. Email Marketing Tip: Write Killer Call To Actions
Every marketing email depends fully on its call to action. A marketing email without the call to action won’t drive any results.
But how you craft your call to action is also important. It matters more than anything else. It has a direct impact on your results, and you don’t want to throw this opportunity away.
But if you are just beginning you don’t even know what a call to action is…
So, let’s break it down.
What Is A Call To Action?
The call to action (often abbreviated to CTA) is a simple, clear declaration of what you want your reader, viewer, or listener to do.
- Click here to learn more
- Add to cart
- Call now to speak with a customer representative
It’s the holy grail of every good marketing email. You can see them everywhere. On the websites, search engines, social media, magazines, ads, etc.
And now, let’s dive into how to craft a killer call to action.
Define The Goal Of Your Email Marketing Call To Action
To be able to write a mega-powerful call to action, you must first know what you want your audience to do…
Do you want your audience to:
Click on a link?
Book a call?
Set up an appointment?
This is very important because everything takes some level of commitment. For example, buying decision takes a much higher commitment than just visiting some kind of website.
Your whole call to action will be based on this step, so don’t neglect it.
Keep The Call To Action Clear And Concise
The call to action needs to be clear and concise to make most people act. Don’t try to be complex and write a huge chunk of text explaining what will happen after they will click on the button, etc.
Just tell them what to do and remind them concisely why they should do it.
For example, “Click on the button below and learn how to save $20,000 when paying taxes every year!”
No literary work, just a clear and concise call to action that will make them act.
But that is not everything by a long shot!
Trash Generic Wording In Your Email Call To Action
Take the word “Submit,” as an example. Think about it: can you define “submit”?
Neither can I, and your audience can’t either. The thing is that nobody cares about submitting…
They care about what they’re getting in return.
It’s the same with words like “download”, “buy now”, “purchase” or whatever other generic phrase you can think of that you see over and over in online call to action buttons.
So, trash generic wording and start using phrases that make them see what they will get…
For example, use a phrase like “Save $20,000 in taxes right now!” instead of “Learn more”.
This is more important for the amazing call to action than you ever thought possible…
Here is an infographic that can help you summarize this. Again, you can download it below…
If you want to discover other killer tips on how to write an astonishing call to action you can find out more here.
6. Email Marketing Tip: Make Your Emails Spam-Proof
Getting your emails opened is the #1 priority for most email marketers. But there is an even more important thing. And that is getting your emails delivered.
An email has an inbox placement rate of about 85%. That’s pretty darn good! But, that still means that roughly one out of every five emails you send either gets filtered as spam or blocked entirely.
And now I will show you how to prevent that.
Why Marketing Emails Go to Spam Instead of Inbox
One of the big reasons that your emails go to spam is that spam filtering has become more rigorous. Webmail providers are simply cracking down on spam. However, the filters aren’t 100% accurate, so sometimes legit emails go to spam too.
But here’s the tricky part:
Subscriber engagement plays a huge role in email deliverability. That’s because webmail providers look at your engagement levels and recipient behavior when deciding which emails make it to the inbox.
But not your emails. Not anymore. We’ll explain all of these factors in detail so you can avoid getting flagged and stop your emails from going to spam.
You Have Low Engagement Rates
Top webmail providers have stated that they look at how many emails are opened and how many are deleted without being opened as a factor in their spam filtering decisions.
So if you have low open rates or read rates, your emails are at higher risk of being flagged as spam. And, let’s just say that everyone’s read rates can stand to be a little higher. The average read rate across industries was 24% in 2018.
To increase your open rates, send your emails at the right time, perfect your subject lines, segment your list, and keep your list fresh.
For more detailed tips and 6 more ways to increase your open rates, read our post on 10 easy ways to improve your email open rate.
Making your read rates better means writing better email copy.
Your “From” Information is Inaccurate
It’s also against the CAN-SPAM ACT to mislead anyone with your “from,” “to,” “reply-to,” and routing information.
For example, if you made your email look like it was from the President, that would be illegal. Yes, an extreme example, but you get the point.
As a best practice, make sure you include a name in the “from” field that your subscribers are likely to remember, and don’t change it too often. It could be the name of an individual, your company name, or a combination of the two.
Your Email Marketing Subject Line is Misleading
As the CAN-SPAM act states, it is actually against the law to intentionally mislead someone with your subject line to induce them to view the message.
In a survey conducted by Litmus and Fluent, over 50% of participants stated that they have felt cheated, tricked, or deceived into opening a promotional email by that email’s subject line.
Here are some examples of misleading subject lines:
- Did I leave my jacket at your place? This type of subject line can be used as a trick to make it look like they know you.
- RE: CURRENTLY IN OFFICE is doubly sneaky because it can be mistaken for a reply to your email or a work-related email.
- Urgent – Update your information. If something says “urgent,” it had better be urgent.
- Thanks for your order! It’s super poor form to use a transactional subject line if the email isn’t actually transactional.
We know what you’re thinking. “Why would anybody ever do anything like this? These are some super shady tricks.”
You’re so right. But there are also some gray areas you should avoid, too.
For instance, imagine you’ve just written 8 tips for increasing your Instagram engagement and you want to share them with your email newsletter subscribers. To get them to open the email, you consider being sly with a subject line like, “8 Reasons You Should Never Post to Social Media.” But when they open your email thinking that something just drastically changed in the social media marketing world you’re like, “Totes kidding, folks. But here are the 8 tips I ACTUALLY wanted to share with you.”
Some of your subscribers may be amused but others not so much. Is it worth the risk?
(This tip is from the opt-in monster blog.)
7. Email Marketing Tip: Make Your Email Marketing Copy Readable
But your marketing emails also need to be extremely readable…
How do you make them extremely readable? Well here are five tips that will skyrocket your email readability:
Use One Sentence Paragraphs
One-sentence paragraphs are much more readable than normal 3-5 sentence paragraphs.
The normal text would look like this:
“When you will use this tax-saving tactic, you will save 25,000 dollars every year! It is awesome, isn’t it? And it works like magic! So, don’t forget to use this tactic.”
It is one big chunk of text. This one is not so hard to read, but it could be a hundred times more readable by using one-sentence paragraphs:
“When you will use this tax-saving tactic, you will save 25,000 dollars every year!
It’s awesome, isn’t it?
And it works like magic! So don’t forget to use this tactic.”
Do you see how readable it is now?
Use Commonly Used Colloquialisms
When you use colloquialisms, you draw your reader closer because you appear more familiar, more friendly, more up close and personal instead of distant and at arm’s length.
Use colloquialisms that are understandable to most people who have a reasonable familiarity with the English language.
Because the Internet is international, some colloquialisms such as “table a proposal” (postpone the discussion) or “the presentation bombed” (the presentation was a complete failure), which are generally known to most Americans, may mean something completely different to non-Americans.
And that can result in a huge misunderstanding…
Remember: A Confused Prospect Always Says “No!”
Use Contractions In Your Marketing Emails
When people talk they frequently use contractions. It’s intimate, and it increases readership.
Use “I’ve” instead of “I have”, and so on.
Writing the way you talk is one of the most important things in email marketing. If your emails won’t be structured like this, the readers will be absolutely unfamiliar with your emails.