Email marketing is widespread. It’s in vogue with every kind of organization, from businesses to non-profits. That’s because emails have an ability to instantly communicate with a targeted audience. For brands and companies, this can create awareness and sales, but only if you follow a strategy. Without a plan to build an advantage, your emails will lose out to more resourceful and knowledgeable marketers.
So how can you come up with more potent campaigns and beat your email competition in 2022 – and beyond? You’ll be ahead of the pack if you follow these actionable methods.
To beat the email competition, you need a legitimate email list
This one may seem obvious, but like a house built without a solid foundation, a newsletter that doesn’t begin with a quality list will not stand. There are no shortcuts, which means you shouldn’t buy a list. If you have a list, buying email addresses to add to it is also sure to backfire.
If you don’t have a list, don’t focus too much on the size of your database. Instead, be more aware of your quality of contacts. This means using double opt-in. When someone signs up for the newsletter, an automated email is sent with a unique click. If the would-be subscriber is genuinely interested in getting emails from you, they will click the link.
This may seem like it will result in fewer sign-ups. Perhaps it will, but your biggest concern is the quality of those email addresses and not how many of them there are. As Siva Devaki of MassMailer explained: “A list that has higher quality contacts is way ahead of a huge list with people on it that are indifferent to your newsletters.”
Master your subject lines
The first thing people see when you send out an email is the subject line. Provided that the email arrives in the inbox to begin with. More on that in a moment.
Have you ever seen emails in your inbox that were boring? There’s no doubt, you have. You probably weren’t in a rush to open them. Conversely, you’ve probably also seen an email in your inbox that you couldn’t wait to open.
So, what can you learn from these two conflicting types of emails? You want to be intriguing. Remember, your competitors are sending emails, plus emails are coming in from the recipient’s boss, friends, family members, etc. Not to mention the occasional spam that slips through!
So, “try to put some real thought into your subject lines. Test them out and get feedback from your colleagues,” ZeroBounce’s COO Brian Minick suggests. “Some marketers find that personalization works very well. A subject line that mentions your subscriber’s name could be a very nice touch that makes you seem more human,” he adds.
Responding is a rule if you want to win at email
Some email newsletters cannot be replied to. They don’t invite you to write back and may even include a disclaimer that it is a “do not reply” email address. There’s nothing that will turn off a customer like indifference. On the other hand, an email newsletter that invites replies has a definite advantage.
Not only does it show your customers and prospects that you value their feedback, but also, replies boost your engagement. A reply lets inbox providers know your content is compelling enough to get people to interact with you. Thus, your emails have a better chance of making it to the inbox.
“Set up your email address to receive replies and invite your readers to write to you. And when they write to you, make sure to respond,” explained Ronen Hamatian, CEO of Madrivo.
Clean your list, many of your competitors won’t
A company that cares about its office, store, or equipment usually invests some effort and a little expense into maintenance. Like everything else, your email list needs to be cleaned from time to time. It’s a very valuable resource, but it will decline in condition if you don’t clean it.
Why? Because sometimes people stop using an email address. They abandon one or start using their workplace or school email. If you continue to send newsletters to an address that is no longer functioning, you’ll get a bounce. This hurts your sender reputation.
When your sender reputation declines, even new people who are signing up may never see your emails because the inbox providers have started categorizing you as a sender of junk emails. So they no longer direct you to the inbox but instead, start sending you to spam. What do you think the chances of being read in the spam folder are? That’s right, virtually none.
You can be ahead of your competitors by cleaning your list regularly. You can stay even further ahead of the competition by keeping bad and invalid emails off your list in the first place. That’s easy to achieve if you use a quality email validation service. Connect an API to all of your sign-up forms – it will detect typos in real time and also, if someone tries to subscribe using a disposable, role-based, or catch-all. All of these types of emails are examples of what should not be on the list.
Keep an eye on your click-through rates
The most successful email marketers pay close attention to click-through rates (CTR). CTRs are a valuable metric because they show the percentage of people who clicked on a link or an image in your email. Marika Zinca, marketing specialist at InboxAds, says: “The click-through rate average varies on the industry. Around 3% is a great baseline. Wherever your starting place is, you can grow from there.”
A lot of things can help improve your CTR. One big one is to include just one call-to-action, instead of having tons of possible links to click on. You can also make good use of preview texts. If the subject line catches your subscribers’ attention, a good preview text can seal the deal.
To beat the competition, find ways to be better
What goes into an email newsletter? Ask anyone who sends one. There are so many components, and you can improve upon all of them. Successful email marketers frequently break things down to the smallest level.
So, start asking questions, such as:
- How can I improve the way my emails look?
- How do I get more people to open my emails?
- Can I write copy that converts better?
In a nutshell: How can I be better? The best thing any marketer can do is to educate themselves. Learn all you can about email, copywriting, and marketing. Your most successful competitors are doing anything they can to get a leg up. If you want to win, what if you could outshine them in just a few areas? If you’re improving all the time, you’ll beat the competition or you’re on your way.