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25 tips that will make you better at email marketing today

How successful are your email marketing campaigns? Are they raking in thousands of conversions and leads, or is there room for improvement? Email can be a tricky marketing medium – we’re all trained to delete or ignore promotional emails this days – so I bet your answer is the latter.

Well, it’s your lucky day! Today, I’m going to be sharing with you 25 quick and easy ways to up your email marketing game now, and start seeing results. I’ll be focusing not only on how to make your emails better, but also tackling the root of the problem – how to make yourself a better email marketer.

Check out the competition

One of the quickest and easiest ways to start increasing your skills and getting better at email marketing is to see what others in the industry are doing. Subscribe to newsletters and start evaluating what you like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. This will also help you with the next point.

Create a “swipe file”

Every time you see a great article online or receive an email you like – store it. You’ll soon build up a handy “swipe file” full of inspiration and ideas for your next brainstorming session.

Keep your inbox uncluttered

I know what you’re thinking. “I’d love to subscribe to loads of emails, but I don’t want that crap clogging up my inbox”. Well, I’ve got just the solution.

Did you know you can extend your email address to allow for easy filtering? When subscribing, don’t use mynameis@gmail.com, use “mynameis + newsletters@gmail.com. The “+” prefix will mean these subscriptions are handily filed away in a separate inbox to be filed. And voila, clean inbox.

Practice snappy copy

When was the last time you opened and read a 1,000 word email in its entirety? Oh, that’s right – never. That’s because descriptive, long copy never does well in emails, no matter how well written it is, for the simple reason that no one has time to read it. Emulate Ernest Hemingway when you write email copy – make it concise, snappy and to the point.

First impressions count

If your first welcome email is terrible, you can’t blame people for assuming the rest of your emails will be, too. Make the right impression by ensuring your welcome email is researched, targeted and just generally kickass.

Make the most of buttons

When we see a button – we want to click it. It’s just human nature! Put your calls to action in brightly coloured, noticeable buttons and watch your click-through rates increase.

Learn the inverted pyramid method

Sometimes everyone in your business wants to offer their two cents when it comes to what should feature in your emails. To keep them focused and not distracting for a reader, learn and use the inverted pyramid method. It follows this simple structure and will keep your emails from becoming too confused: grab attention > build anticipation > call to action.

Be up front

Not many marketers appreciate the importance of setting expectations (and sticking to them). If you’re upfront with your customers that you’ll be sending three emails a week, that’s fine. If you tell them you’ll only send one and then still send three, you’ll probably see a soar in your number of unsubscribes.

Don’t be afraid to “hand-hold”

When you’ve got a new email subscriber, don’t just leave them alone and hope for the best. Consider a series of carefully tailored onboarding emails to make sure they stay subscribed and potentially convert.

Treat your customers like humans…

It sounds simple – but this is so often overlooked. Master a “human to human”, or H2H, writing tone and it will feel like you’re having a personal conversation with your customers – rather than just selling to them.

… and ask them questions

Any one-sided conversation gets boring pretty quickly. Keep your customers engaged, and learn from them, by asking them to reply to your email with any queries or questions they have.

Use surveys

Another way to get consumer feedback is to conduct surveys. It will let you in on what your customers are thinking and help to improve your emails.

Build life cycle emails

One of my main bugbears with email marketing is that you put so much effort into newsletters and promotions, and then can only use them once. It feels like a bit of a waste. Enter lifecycle emails. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s a great explanation (http://www.helpscout.net/blog/lifecycle-emails/).

Strip out what isn’t necessary

As a follow-on from our discussion of the inverted pyramid technique, simplify your emails even further by considering their design and overall look. Strip out the bells and whistles and focus on the content.

Only email the people who actually care

Unsubscribing people might sound counterintuitive, but if someone hasn’t opened an email from you in a year, they’re not doing you any good.

Sign up for lots of industry products…

Just as it’s a good idea to sign up for newsletters to check out what the competition are doing, signing up for their product or service will give you insight into their full offering and how they go about onboarding new customers. Consider creating a folder in Feedly to keep track of numerous competitors.

… and “non-industry” products

If you only look to those in your immediate circle, you’ll develop a very insular outlook and are bound to miss all of those great ideas whizzing around in the wider field. Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places.

A/B test… but not straight away

A/B testing is one of the most important ways to constantly develop and improve your emails; but it shouldn’t get in the way of getting the basics right. Make sure you’ve got a solid strategy and editorial calendar before you even think about tweaking things.

Take inspiration from personal emails

What do you like about the emails you personally receive? Like I’ve said before, humans appreciate being talked to like humans, and inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places – so don’t discount your personal emails as a source.

Read your emails out loud

The only way to truly tell whether what you’re saying sounds natural and sincere, or false and overly promotional, is to read it aloud to yourself. If you’re dubious – see it as a way to create more content for minimal effort. Why not turn your spoken emails into webinars or podcasts?

Maximise the 1-2-3 method

The 123 method leaves no room in the consumer’s mind for doubt over what to do next. Including a 123 list makes next steps clear and simple, which will help boost your conversion rates.

Consider behavioural emails

Behavioural emails respond to a customer action – or behaviour. For example, if someone abandons their basket at the checkout, an email targeted to that behaviour can be triggered. Start small and gradually make your behavioural emails more granular.

Own your emails

When your email is “from” the CEO or an important member of your organisation, it instantly becomes more personal. Writing an email from such a point of view will mean you curate it much more carefully to represent your brand in the right way.

Go to the experts

There’s no shame in asking for a little help to really make sure you’re maximising your email marketing. Here at Blue Spark Digital, I regularly help people take their emails to the next level. Check out my <services> for more details.

Keep going!

Like any form of marketing, emails are a constant process of trial and error. Keep going and your effort is guaranteed to pay off.

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