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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing

1. Set a goal.
When optimizing your email marketing campaigns, you want to think about the goals that you intend to accomplish. Getting your message to the inbox isn’t exactly a goal; having recipients take a certain action, such as registering for a webinar, should be. Think beyond the message and think about the campaign and the purpose of why you’re emailing customers and prospects.
2. Use a consistent sender address.
The name and email address that you use to send emails is very powerful, so take advantage of it. Be clear and consistent about who your emails are coming from to allow people to add you to their safe sender list. Also make sure the email address is active and monitored for when prospects respond.
3. Write a strong subject line.
Short and direct subject lines perform best. Personalization is a helpful tactic when you have a special offer, and even using “FREE” or “50% OFF” in caps can be effective. Some of the conventional thought around using this type of email subject has changed as more B2C companies frequently leverage it within their messages. People are comfortable hearing direct messages from brands they trust in their inbox. Above all, make it relevant and attractive for your audience to receive your emails. Aim for 50 characters or fewer, unless you are sure that a longer subject line is crucial to the message.
4. Support your subject line with a pre-header.
Pre-headers that contain text and a link to the Web version of your email are a great way to increase open rates on your emails. A pre-header is used to summarize the contents of the email and reinforce the subject line. Email clients like Gmail will show the pre-header on the right side of the subject line, and it’s a subtle way to pack more purpose into every email message.
5. Design attractive emails.
If you tend to not use images in your email, you’re missing out. An attractive, professional-looking email template will increase engagement. A good picture in an email can jog a powerful emotional/psychological response that complements the contents of the email. It can also add relevance to your message such as during the holidays or addressing concerns throughout various sales stages.
6. Optimize images for fast loading.
A chunky email is one that has slow-loading, big images inside of it. While pretty much everyone is on broadband these days, you want to consider the mobile devices (iPhones, BlackBerries, Androids, etc.) your recipients use. Mobile devices often support HTML messages and will try to show images whenever possible. Compress and resize images to fit the email for your recipients. An awesome and super-easy tool for this is Smush.it, powered by Yahoo. You’ll notice a massive improvement in the download speed of images.
7. Use Alt text to describe your email with images disabled.
Alt (“alternate”) text is used to describe an image when images don’t load. It dates back to the early days when broken images on the Web were a common issue. In email, Alt text is used strategically to tell readers what’s behind the image or the call to action. Nearly all email marketing apps today let you easily add Alt text to any image.
8. Use short, direct copy.
Nobody wants to read long emails, so get out the editing pen. Short copy forces you to share your ideas clearly and concisely. The best part is, it entices your audience to take action faster.
9. Send relevant, personalized content.
Instead of sending everyone on your list every offer, use their interests and behaviors to tailor the content you send to them. Sending personalized messages to different groups is a powerful way to develop relationships and increase engagement. For example, you can send a separate monthly newsletter to your customers and prospects with different types of information in each.
10. Manage frequency carefully.
Less is more, especially when it comes to email. By limiting the number of emails you send, you can spend more time creating meaningful content. Plus, the fewer the number of emails you send your recipients, the more often they’ll open them. Respect your recipients’ time and they’ll honor yours.
By implementing the advice above, you’ll see better results. Better results don’t only mean sales; better results can also mean better-qualified leads (less junk in the pipeline) and a strengthened, longer-term email relationship.