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It’s no coincidence that the more knowledgeable you are about email marketing strategies, the better your results are. Below I’ll share some easy ways you can make your emails better. Sometimes, the smallest tweaks can get you spectacular results.
If you’re like most people, your inbox is filled with newsletters and marketing emails. Some of us get more than 100 emails daily, so it’s only natural that some of the emails will get your attention and some barely get a glance.
Keep in mind that you’re always competing with all the other emails a person gets, personal or not. There are a lot of ideas you may assume will work that are actually detrimental to your success.
Make your emails better — and get better results
Here are some email myths that email marketers sometimes cling to. If you tweak those ideas a bit, your emails will thrive. Instead of wasting time, try implementing the following concepts.
#1. Wrong idea: To sell more, email more
It’s easy to see how someone gets this idea. You send out some emails that get clicks and you make some sales. You could assume this is a clear cause and effect. So, if your email got a good ROI, then sending more emails would sell even more, right?
The problem with this mindset is that you will undoubtedly annoy some of your subscribers. To them, it’s similar to a waiter pushing you too hard to order a dessert.
Don’t be the broken record of email marketing.
Instead: Figure out how many emails your customers want
Instead of sending a storm of emails to make sales, first determine how many emails make sense.
How many would your readers find reasonable? Natalie Slyman, Content Marketing Manager at Benchmark Email, says:
“The frequency depends on what kind of industry you’re in. For many businesses, once a week or every other week is ideal. Some wholesalers can and should send more than one a week.”
I subscribed to one store’s emails and they sent an email every single morning. It started to be annoying, and then they began emailing me twice daily. So, what did I do? Unsubscribed.
Determine the right volume, and don’t overdo it.
#2. Wrong idea: to make sales with email, only push what you’re selling
Let’s say you’ve got an athletic shoe store and send out a monthly newsletter. It makes sense that you want to show your new inventory, and of course, you want to do that to make sales. However, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your customers.
How many pairs of shoes will they buy in a year? Some more than others, but if they’ve already bought two pairs of shoes from you, is it likely they will stay subscribed if you only send them pictures of the newest inventory?
If your emails only entail a never-ending sales pitch, you’re going to get people who unsubscribe. They’re good on shoes, and you’re not offering them anything else. So why should they continue to be on your list?
Instead: Serve your customers by helping them
For that shoe store, what if you also included an occasional tip on how to keep sneakers looking brand new? Also, you could have a suggestion on storing their shoes to make the most of their space while preserving the shoe’s shape. Furthermore, you could include information on how the experts clean and repair shoes.
“If it’s only sell, sell, sell, you won’t be considered an ally. You’re just someone who wants their money. It can’t only be about your products and services. So, find other ways to be useful and you’ll see your open rates go up,” says ZeroBounce Chief Marketing Officer Anne Ghaltchi.
#3. Wrong idea: You’re a business, so write your emails in a very professional, business tone
Look at the emails you most want to engage with. Chances are, they aren’t written in the most technical language. It’s tempting to think that you want to show people that your business is a serious one. You want to be an authority in the field of your business, so it seems like a good policy to write mechanically.
The problem with writing in that style?
The best-case scenario: it will make you look like you’re trying too hard or seem insecure.
The worst-case scenario: the reader won’t understand or connect with what you wrote. Either way, it doesn’t have a lot of benefits.
Instead: write in a clear and relatable way
It’s a great idea to imagine your readers, no matter what you’re writing. Think of them as a friend, not as some abstraction.
Marifique founder and conversion copywriter Chanteuse Marie offers this advice:
“If you write in a friendly and easy-to-grasp style, you’ll have a better chance that people will enjoy your emails. And this ultimately leads to better conversions. If the way you’ve been writing feels a bit wooden, try to shake off the stiffness and let your words flow.”
What tone of communication do you relate to the most? Think about the emails that you find relatable. It’s what you should be going for.
Never forget to be human. There are enough bots in this world.
#4. Wrong idea: You’ll do anything to avoid removing an email address from the list
It’s easy to understand why email marketers don’t like to cull emails from their lists. Some of us even look at the number of subscribers as a badge of honor.
Some emails get sent out where the unsubscribe button is buried – if it’s even there at all. After all, who wants to make it easy for someone to stop getting your wonderful emails? So you decide to make it hard for people to unsubscribe.
Instead: Regularly remove inactive email addresses from your list
The level of activity at which people open, read or click through your emails is called the engagement rate. If you have a low engagement rate, it sends a message to Internet service providers (ISPs) that you could be a spammer.
Very few people engage with spam. So, for all the ISPs know, your emails are no different than spam. To the junk folder they go!
The solution is to regularly remove the subscribers that don’t engage. This keeps your engagement up and strengthens the message to ISPs that you are not a spammer. It communicates that you’re a sender of legitimate emails.
But what about not giving the option for people to opt-out of your list?
Vlad Orlov, a Brand Partnerships specialist at Respona, sheds light on this idea.
“It’s important to let people unsubscribe from your email list for a few reasons,” he says. “First, respect people’s wishes if they no longer want to receive emails from you. Second, it can help to keep your list clean and up-to-date, which supports your deliverability. And third, it reduces complaints and spam reports, which damage your reputation and gets your email blocked.”
Be certain that the unsubscribe button is easy to see. If someone must search for it, you’re only hurting yourself. Vlad Orlov explains further.
“If it’s hard to unsubscribe from an email newsletter or list, people become frustrated and mark your emails as spam, which damages your reputation and gets your emails blocked,” he says. “Additionally, people who can’t unsubscribe may continue to receive emails they don’t want, which can make them annoyed or overwhelmed.”
#5. Wrong idea: To reach more people, you can buy a list
It’s understandable to believe that the more people on your email list, the better it will do. To get more “subscribers” it may seem like a good idea to buy an email list. It’s a tempting thought. Why slog away creating and sending emails when your new sign-ups trickle in just a little at a time? So, you decide to buy a list. Uh-oh.
Instead: Realize that the best email lists grow naturally
You know the adage: “Slow and steady wins the race?” It’s certainly true with email marketing. Although it’s great when you get a surge of new subscribers, you should always be sure to certify their intentions.
Use double opt-in to make sure everyone on your list wants to be there. With double opt-in, a unique email is generated for each sign-up. In order to confirm the interest of every person, your new subscriber needs to click a confirmation link. Going this extra step is a great way to keep your email list healthy.
So, what about buying a list and then asking those people if they want to stay on? Buying a list is a big no-no. It’s almost certain to get you a lot of spam complaints. It’s also a fool’s errand because there’s little to no chance of getting a decent return or any kind of engagement. No matter how tempting it is, resist this impulse.
#6. Wrong Idea: The list is getting clicks, no need to validate my data
You may think that everything is going swimmingly because you’re getting engagement on your emails. Email validation, the process of identifying inactive or harmful email addresses, may seem like an unnecessary extra step.
Your time is limited, so why bother? You’re getting some bounces, but most of your emails are arriving. So, you decide to skip doing periodic email verification.
Instead: Validate your email list before there’s a deliverability problem
Not using email validation is like deciding that you’ll only brush your teeth if you get cavities. Email validation, when used routinely, will identify decaying data so your list health remains intact.
You should be using an email validation service no less than quarterly. Be proactive and, also, use a real-time email validation API at every sign-up form. The API is easy to connect to your sign-up forms and it prevents bad emails from making their way onto your list.
It also notifies someone who has mistyped their address that they have made an error. If nothing stops a mistyped email address from joining your list, it will result in a bounce. Furthermore, the subscriber won’t hear anything. They may just assume you’re flaky or your company is less than reputable.
Email validation and verification should thus be an integral part of your email marketing. It boosts your email deliverability and allows you to connect with real people and make more sales.