As marketers, we hear all the time that building an email list is essential. But, why exactly?
There are only so many hours in the day, and there is a ton of hype around social media as well. These things all take time and money.
The fact of the matter is email newsletters are only growing in efficacy, it’s a direct line of communication between you and your audience, and it’s extremely cost-efficient.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the best practices for email marketing to help you craft better performing email newsletters.
Pay Attention To Your Subject Lines
Your subject lines are one of the top factors in email newsletter open rate performance. There are many tactics that one can take with subject lines, and if you don’t already have internal data on what performs well for your business, you’ll want to test different ones and measure the results.
You’ll want to lean towards shorter subject lines. Keep them under 50 characters, if possible. If you’re struggling with this, instead find a short, punchy message for the subject line and add more color in the preview text.
If you aren’t familiar with preview text, it’s the preview of the main email that’s displayed before you click on it. With services like VipeCloud, you can edit your preview text.
We recommend not overlooking your preview text. At the very least, it’s a good practice to limit it to the first sentence of the email, so you’ll have a clean presentation without distracting incomplete sentences.
Check out this example of a promotional email where they edited the preview text to include a deadline plus added value:
For your subject line content, try to always include incentive plus urgency. You can see an example of this in practice in the photo above. The 20% off deal is the incentive and they added the urgency (24-hour deal) in their preview text.
This doesn’t need to be limited to promotional emails. If it’s a company update or general advice, give your readers a reason to open the email now.
Do you sell to various customer segments?
If so, you will want to consider segmenting your mailing lists. Even if you are sending the same newsletter to both groups, be mindful of different subject lines you could use for your various audiences.
If the above applies to you, and you have the resources or time, you will want to consider sending tailored newsletters to each of your customer segments.
Examples of this could be if you work with consumers and businesses, or small businesses and large enterprises. In these cases, it could be beneficial to send tailored newsletters for those specific segments.
Your Email Newsletter Body
Let’s take a look at some best practices in the email itself.
Firstly, understand that less is more when it comes to the email design. Don’t be afraid to use ample amounts of white space.
Check out this email newsletter example below:
While the “white space” in this template isn’t white, you’ll notice that the background is very minimal. In fact, there is very little happening in this email other than simple photos of coffee, and copy.
Note how quickly and easily one can absorb the message here and instantly identify the CTAs.
That brings us to CTAs (call-to-action).
Don’t be shy about using multiple CTAs. If you only include one and put it at the bottom of your email, you’re assuming that every reader will read the email in its entirety.
Note that in the above example, there are three visible CTAs, and that’s not the complete newsletter.
Mix up your CTAs and alternate their prominence. Buttons are likely the first ones that come to mind, but you can also mix in some text links and videos that when clicked take people to the video embedded on your website.
How To Handle The Unsubscribe Link
Don’t make it difficult for readers to unsubscribe.
Readers who want to stop receiving your newsletter will have *very little* patience when it comes to unsubscribing. If they can’t find the link, they’ll likely just click the “report spam” button instead.
It’s also important that you adhere to CAN-SPAM laws. This requires having your business’ physical address and an unsubscribe link in your email footers.
VipeCloud makes it easy to adhere to these laws. Whether you want our automatically generated CAN-SPAM footer to be used, or a custom-integrated footer, we’ve got you covered.
Contacts who unsubscribe will be suppressed from future mailings, even if you delete the contact and re-import them accidentally.
Email Newsletters Give You Powerful Data
Email newsletters are particularly powerful for small businesses due to the easy access it gives you to actionable data.
Most small business owners’ expertise lies in the product or service they offer and not in diving into the details of Google Analytics, CPC campaigns, SEO, or other forms of digital marketing analysis.
Even if they’re knowledgeable in this realm, they might simply not have time to analyze these things or the cash to pay a skilled marketer to do it for them.
Email newsletters give you easy access to metrics and trends that are easy to understand.
As you send mass emails, you will most obviously gain insights on how to further optimize your mass emails, which can grow your business.
However, you can also gain insights on how to position your messaging elsewhere. You’ll learn which keywords speak to your audience and drive action such as opens, clicks, and web page visits.
This messaging can then be used during sales calls, for paid advertising, or POP materials.
Email makes AB testing simple as well.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, AB testing is a simple marketing experiment where you determine the efficacy of an element of your marketing by comparing the results of two otherwise identical marketing materials against the same audience. A common example would be sending an identical email template to a list split in half without segmentation and simply altering the subject line to see which results in a higher open rate.
By AB testing your messaging, you can truly isolate what words result in the greatest impact and then double down on what you’ve found works.
VipeCloud also makes it easy to track your website traffic. Our website tracker will save a cookie in the browser of anybody who clicks a link to your website from an email.
That way, you will be able to gather data on what pages people visit and it will be displayed on their contact record.
Couple this with using multiple CTAs and seeing which one gets the click and your salespeople will have a ton of information to aid them in crafting a perfectly tailored pitch for an individual they’ve never spoken with previously.
Email Can Re-Engage And Retain Your Audience
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before, but it’s good to keep it front of mind:
It’s five times more costly to earn a new customer than it is to retain one.
Newsletters are a fantastic way to stay in touch with your existing customers. Additionally, as you continue to earn further purchases, you build more data on the customer, which can be applied in your email marketing strategy going forward.
Send your first-time customers a quick survey after they’ve made their purchase and use this knowledge to not only help you gain insight into what exactly closed the deal but also a couple of questions that will help you in accurate future segmentations.
With VipeCloud’s sign-up forms, their form submissions will automatically be applied to their contact record.
You can also send automated email campaigns that follow your product’s lifecycle. For example:
1st email – a welcome message with helpful beginner tips, and a scheduler link for a training session.
2nd email – a message asking how things are going, helpful intermediate tips, and a scheduler link for support, if needed.
3rd email – sent right around the time that most people are re-entering the market to buy again with helpful suggestions as to why they might want to re-purchase.
This can all be automated using VipeCloud’s series automation.
This sort of tactic, if done well, serves the purpose of delivering excellent support by answering questions before they were even asked. You also demonstrate that your emails are about more than simply asking for more business.
That way, when you DO send promotional emails, they bear more significance.
Email newsletters are a fantastic way for small businesses to engage with their audience. Unlike social media, where your message’s delivery is dependent on the whim of a mysterious algorithm, email gives you much more control.
With email, you can send a targeted message with trackable links to direct the reader to your site at the moment of peak interest. Then, even for those who don’t buy right then, you have the data to tweak future email campaigns and can segment your future lists.
If you are considering diving into email newsletters, try VipeCloud! We are an all-in-one marketing CRM with advanced email functionality. Our world-class support team will help you through the technical set up so you can focus on creating the content.