5 Email Marketing Tips To Stand Out In The Inbox

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Email marketing is an important part of any cross-channel strategy.

Marketers are lucky enough to have access to a wealth of data that allows brands to understand their consumers better than ever before. Segmentation can help marketers refine their messaging to speak to very specific target audiences. And how marketers choose to segment their audiences is dependent on their brand's overall mission or specific campaign goals.

Regardless of how you choose to define your audience, it's important to craft your message in a way that's accessible, engaging, and – perhaps most importantly – valuable.

Data gives marketers the power of insight to build the framework for your email marketing campaigns, and identify the right personas for your messaging. The next step is taking those insights and using them to connect in a way that's empathetic and truly meaningful. It's injecting the ‘human' into your data – and bringing your brand to life.

Here are some tips to bring some ‘oomph' to your audience's inbox:

Set the tone

The tone of your emails should be written in a way that speaks to your target audience, while also being reflective of your overall brand voice and mission. While your brand “voice” should remain consistent across all channels, the way you speak to your audience through email may be slightly different than how you connect through mediums like your blog, or on social media.

For Carney, a full-service marketing agency, tone was top-of-mind when they decided to launch their newsletter the “Daily Carnage,” a core component of their “Carnage” brand identity. Carney embraced a more casual tone and offbeat subject lines to connect with their predominately Millennial audience.

“It was important to us to have a casual tone that really speaks to Millennials,” CMO Nick Comanici said.

Stand-out subject lines

Think about how many emails come into your inbox every day. Which ones made you the most excited to open first?

Your email subject line is your brand's first impression to consumers – and an important way to stand out from the crowd. According to Campaign Monitor, average subject line lengths range anywhere from 50 to 100 characters, with anywhere from 50-70 characters considered the “sweet spot” for readability.

When crafting subject lines, consider your tone, your offering, and your audience. Simply put: How can you quickly convey the value of your email in a way that resonates with your readers?

There is no right answer. In fact, it may take some trial and error to find a way that works. A/B testing allows marketers to try out different subject lines and track success through metrics like open rate or click-through-rate – helping marketers understand which content resonates better with different campaigns.

“Testing of messaging is so important because – you can do research, but at the end of the day, you don't know what works until you try something and you measure it,” Matt Harris, CEO and co-founder of Sendwithus, said.

Dominate design

It's not just about what you say – it's how you say it. And when it comes to email, the format and design can really impact how a user engages with your content.

Research shows that more than two-thirds of consumers access email through their smartphones. When formatting your email template, consider a responsive design that will translate across all devices, whether it be a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. This ensures all content in your email will render in a way that's most accessible to readers, wherever they are.

Reward your customer

According to Harris, transactional emails are one of the best opportunities for fostering brand loyalty – but it's also the one that's most often overlooked.

“During a transactional email…that's the time when a customer is most engaged with a brand, because they just bought something,” Harris said. “Coming from a brick-and-mortar world, a lot of the time it's {email} treated like something that just came out of a register.”

Harris notes that while there may be some legal guidelines on what needs to be in a receipt email, “from a customer experience standpoint, you're not limited to plain text.”

“I think that's the biggest disconnect, and the biggest missed opportunity,” Harris said.

Whether it's a newsletter, an offer email or a receipt, there are several ways you can leverage additional content to create lasting community and cross-channel engagement:

  • Offer discounts or coupons towards their next purchase
  • Invite them to participate in a referral or loyalty program
  • Provide interesting content or items that match their preferences
  • Ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter or join your social community 
  • Provide social sharing buttons and website links

Keep your lists clean

What's the point of an amazing email if no one reads it? Make sure your brand stays out of the dreaded “spam” folder by regularly cleaning your lists to ensure duplicates, outdated email addresses and other inconsistencies that could hurt your deliverability rate aren't slowing you down.

Because after all, with all the effort your team is putting in to create great campaigns, the last thing is should be considered is “junk.”

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