There are numerous ways to funnel customers to your website. A fine-tuned SEO approach is important for organic customer acquisition, and a strong social media plan provides a perfect avenue to deliver fresh content to your customers. However, your most valuable customers (those who have passed through the acquisition part of the marketing funnel) already know about your website. So how do you keep them coming back? Believe it or not, it’s all about email.
Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing channels around, yet it continues to be an extremely effective method to reach your customers… when done right. To ensure your emails are the most effective, make sure to follow these tips:
- Personalize it. Add a personal touch to your email by adding your customers name in the subject line, pre-text or body. This will help increase open rates and help your customers feel like you’ve tailored this email just for them.
- Clear call-to-action. What do you want your customer to do? Click a link to your weekly ad? RSVP to an upcoming event? Make it easy for them to take action with a clear call-to-action (such as a clickable button).
- Write a descriptive subject line. This tip might seem like a no-brainer but it is actually the biggest sticking point in email marketing. Your subject line is the key to engagement, so it needs to be descriptive of what the customer can expect when opening the email. Research has found that the best performing subject lines are usually straightforward instead of overly-promotional, so keep it simple when crafting your text. Additionally, don’t reuse the exact same subject line week after week (after all, you’re not sending the exact same email, are you?)
- Use a pre-text header. Most email programs now display a text snippet preview of the email in your inbox. You can control this snippet by using a pre-text header. This copy should compliment your subject line and be equally as compelling to help drive open rates.
- Balance your text-to-image ratio. Emails that contain one big image often come off as spammy, and could get your email sent straight to the junk folder. Additionally, if your subscribers have images turned off in their email program (some programs do this automatically for unknown senders), your email will be blank. Avoid this by ensuring you have a balanced text-to-image ratio, meaning you have plenty of body text to go along with your graphics. To help, keep your graphics simple (yet eye-catching) and keep the text in the body of your email message.
A quick case study
To reinforce these best practices, let’s take a quick look at a recent retailer email program that’s experienced a huge surge in web traffic after implementing a custom email program.
Last month, we converted a retailer who already had a generic email program in place for quite some time, into a custom email program. The graph below shows the difference a well-executed email strategy can make in web traffic.
So what did we change from their older email program? Well, first we gave it a fresh coat of paint with a branded email template. Then, we added everything mentioned above (personalization, a clear call-to-action to view the weekly ad, a straightforward subject line and complimentary pre-text header). The results speak for themselves, the web traffic more than doubled after the custom email launch.
The takeaway here is that email should not be forgotten in your marketing mix. In fact, it can be the most important tactic in your digital marketing toolkit when executed the right way. If you’re ready to get started with a new email program, or simply take your current emails to the next level, we can help connect the dots.