Genuinely effective campaigns segment the market as carefully as possible, and target accordingly. Relevancy is key for getting people to open emails and respond to your CTA – but what's ‘relevant' differs from person to person. If you're going to make your emails as relevant as possible to everyone who reads them, you need to Segment, Target, and Position.
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It’s true that your customers do want to hear from you. The fact you have a regular email marketing campaign is one of the magic elements boosting your ROI. But there’s such a thing as overkill. Once you come off a great campaign it’s tempting to run the same campaign again in an attempt to get the same results. The chances are you’re going to get diminishing returns.
Awareness (formerly the top of the funnel): In email marketing for full-funnel campaigns, the purpose of this phase is to educate and build trust with the customer, delivering engaging content rather than pushing sales. This is the stage where customers first learn about your products, so make sure to keep it informative and relevant, rather than driving to free trials, discounts, or other special offers designed to drive conversions.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
Everyone's busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a longwinded email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones because concise emails have an obvious focus. Plus, when your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they're more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.
Note: if your email is not run by a Microsoft exchange server, the you must leave your computer turned on and Outlook running for the automated replies to be sent. If you’re not sure if your email is setup in this way, ask your IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, then your email isn’t likely setup on an MS Exchange server and you should leave your computer on.
Remember when I said a lot of your email recipients will scan your email without reading all the copy? That's why you want to have a clear call-to-action (CTA) button that's easy to spot for even the quickest of email scanners. Without a CTA button, you won't be calling on your recipients to take any action that actually benefits them -- and the growth of your business.

You might consider making the language in your alt text actionable, such as "Click here to download the ultimate content creation kit." Actionable alt text will essentially turn every linked image into another CTA. So, even if someone doesn't see the snazzy GIF of my latest offer (or if they hover their mouse over an image that does show up), the alt text will beckon them to click.

* Average click rate is calculated by the total number of clicks in a 5 day period divided by the number of solos sent in that period. There is no guarantee that your solo mailing will receive the current average click rate. Your solo mailing could receive more clicks or less clicks than the current average click rate. The average click rate is provided for informational and comparison purposes only.
High reach: When people join your email list (subscribe or “opt in”), you can reach them. If they just like your Facebook page, for example, it’s unlikely that they’d see many of your updates. Sure, not everyone opens your emails, but the numbers are heavily in favor of email marketing compared to other similar marketing tactics. I’d rather get 1,000 new email subscribers than 10,000 Twitter followers.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
Think as well about the kinds of metrics you're evaluating. You probably know that interaction with email campaigns is measured through open and click-through rates. While it's meaningful to review email response in this way, if this is all you measure, you're missing the bigger picture of the value of email to your company and its customers. These rich metrics in the email are great. However, there is a distinction must be made between:
Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
For example, you may analyse the journeys on your website and identify that people who visit a page is more likely to purchase than those who do not visit that page. With behavioural data pointing towards the potential for this page, it would be worth testing whether offering a bespoke content message or discount offer to users when they arrive at that page drives conversions. It could be that your customers have left items in their baskets and not completed their purchase, like this example here from Nordstrom:
This kind of initial research and analysis is incredibly important. If you include anything which you haven’t subjected to research, analysis, insights, experience, and expert opinion, it simply won’t fly. This is important. Everything these days has to be tailored very specifically to your brand and your personal customer experience. Your competitor might have an amazingly successful marketing strategy (and it's good to learn things from what they're doing!), but that doesn’t mean that the same kind of thing would be as successful for your brand.
Take personalization emails a step farther, and you can customize your call to action (CTA). Focus on understanding buyers and how their roles fit within their organizations. For example, a marketing director and a technical director may have entirely different goals and perspectives when they open up your email. If you offer a unique CTA for the two groups, they are more likely to engage with your email and more likely to convert.
Very useful tips. I’ve been looking for ways to successfully grow my email list. What I find very important is segmentation, mobile-ready communication, and analytics in email marketing. I guess that another important thing is the choice of the email marketing service provider. A good fit for me was GetResponse, but it’s good to test the choices that are available on the market to pick the right tool for certain business.
With this in mind, keep returning to these analytical markers throughout your eventual campaign. Continual research and analysis give strategies, the ability to roll with the punches and evolve following current events. The best strategies are not set in stone. With the ever-changing digital landscape, it is vital to leave a bit of flex within your overall strategy.
Beyond that, avoid using all caps, too many exclamation marks, and hyperbolic phrases ("ACT NOW BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!!!!"). Poorly formatted HTML in your emails can also hurt how they’re handled. Every spam filter is different, so an email might pass through one filter but get flagged by another. For more comprehensive info on how spam filters work and how to avoid them, check out this guide by MailChimp.
Genuinely effective campaigns segment the market as carefully as possible, and target accordingly. Relevancy is key for getting people to open emails and respond to your CTA – but what's ‘relevant' differs from person to person. If you're going to make your emails as relevant as possible to everyone who reads them, you need to Segment, Target, and Position.
Part of the problem is that people are confused about the difference between ‘strategy' and ‘tactics'. It's essential not to get these two confused. They are related – tactics are a vital part of what makes a strategy work – but they’re not the "be all and end all." Too many people neglect a full and comprehensive strategy in favour of a bunch of loosely-connected tactics. So, to recap:
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