At AB Tasty, we’re big believers in the benefits of personalization for marketers – more specifically, of website personalization. Borrowing from ConversionXL, website personalization can be defined as “… the real-time individualization of a site to suit each visitor’s unique needs and guide them through a custom conversion funnel”.
For an e-commerce site, this might mean banners promoting bikinis to women in Spain, and men’s outerwear to guys in Canada. Or using retention pop-ins for visitors about to abandon their shopping cart, or displaying product recommendations based on previous browsing history… Well, you get it – the possibilities are endless.
Using the website data layer, our client Sephora displayed a promotion banner only to loyalty card holders. The banner offered a 25% discount for online purchases with a special promotional code. The result? A16% increase in online transactions.
Crucially, website personalization pays off: 98% of marketers surveyed in Econsultancy’s 2017 Conversion Rate Optimization report said that website personalization was either a ‘highly valuable’ or ‘quite valuable’ method for improving conversion rates.
But if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you’re already aware of another effective way of engaging and retaining prospects: emailing. And Mailjet is on the ball with their email personalization feature, which lets you customize your newsletters based on customers’ location, name, favorite product, etc.
And here comes the nagging question: How can marketers connect their website personalization and emailing strategy to reach maximum conversion rates?
Linking website personalization to your email marketing strategy
There are two ways to do this:
Using On-site Marketing Campaigns to Boost Newsletter Subscriptions
Sometimes, that’s just as simple as putting in place a customized retention pop-in. At least, that was the case for one of our clients, NRJ. The French radio station didn’t want to feel like they were overstepping boundaries, so they decided to display a pop-in only to people who had visited an ‘article’ page (i.e. engaged, interested visitors).
The pop-in was beautifully designed, and allowed readers to customize their subscription, choosing what type of content they were interested in – news, games or partnership offers. Their approach worked, boosting their newsletter subscriptions by 500 per month.
French radio station NRJ was able to boost newsletter subscriptions by 500/month, simply by activating a well targeted pop-in for customized newsletter subscriptions.
Another client of ours, Gémo, A French fashion retailer, used a similar tactic. They, too, were hoping to boost their newsletter subscriptions, but didn’t want to be too pushy about it. So, they decided to use an incentive – 7 euros off a purchase for first-time subscribers – to customize their newsletter pop-in on all their website pages. If someone subscribed, the pop-in disappeared. But if they clicked on the little X to close it, it folded up into a sticky bar on the right side of the screen, discretely following visitors, hoping to be unfolded and filled in.
French fashion retailer Gémo personalized their subscription pop-ins with a 7 euro discount as an incentive.
When closed, the pop-in discretely folded up and followed browsers around, waiting to be unfolded and filled in.
Possibilities with these kinds of pop-ins are endless. You can trigger them to appear for people who have added an item to their basket, but are about to leave the page before finalizing their purchase. You can personalize them to remind visitors of the advantages of giving their email address (keeping up to date with products like the ones in their basket, seeing if something they are interested in will soon be out of stock, etc). Their email address can then be used later for remarketing purposes or reactivation campaigns. Or why not trigger a pop-in with an incentive based on the prospect’s geographic location or browsing history?
Ok, so let’s say you’ve already got a sizeable newsletter subscriber base. What can you do next?
Personalizing your Website with Custom Emailing URLs
Ever heard of the concept of ‘information scent’? It’s the idea of leaving a ‘trail’ of information, consistent in design and messaging from one channel to another, that will help an online browser predict what they will find if they pursue a certain path through a website.
Sounds promising for increasing conversion rates, doesn’t it? But how exactly do marketers go about leaving this digital trail of breadcrumbs?
Here’s one way:
Let’s say you’re sending an emailing campaign to your contact list. You’ve got lots of things to promote – blog posts, new products, an event… but you’ve also got a huge sale on women’s handbags, and a special discount with the promo code PURSE. Why not create an image for the header promoting the sale and promo code?
Then, using URL parameters, you could personalize your website so that any visitor who clicks on a link in that particular email reaches a version of your site with that same banner at the top of each webpage. This way, you leave a nice, coherent information scent for segmented subscribers that have already shown some interest in the offer, increasing chances of a conversion.
You can apply this to pretty much any sort of information scent: duplicate the campaign for a different promotion on men’s clothing, or for loyalty card holders, or prospects in different parts of the country, etc. Or what about an email inviting loyal customers to a VIP event? Customize your site so that when an invitee clicks on a link in the email, they land on a version of your homepage with a countdown clock, reminding them of the event (and that they should RSVP!). Same goes for holidays and birthday offers, VIP giveaways…
Marketers know that personalization works – it’s all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Now, the challenge for many is creating a coherent personalized experience across different channels, and continually broadening their audience. By linking an email strategy to website personalization you can achieve both goals, while maintaining a high quality standard for your prospects, and increasing your conversion rates.
“How do I create a newsletter that works?” this is one of the most common questions that we are asked as an email marketing software.
At first impact, the topic of newsletter creation may seem to be one of the easiest elements of marketing: you open an email programme, write up your text, choose your contact list and send. Unfortunately though, this is not so easy – at least not if you want it to be successful. If you want your newsletter to have the desired outcome, you need to nail its creation.
To help you with this, we have put together a blog series of 5 posts: “Newsletter Creation: A Step-By-Step Guide”.
Part 1: Introduction: an overview of the most important information.
Part 2: Planning a successful newsletter
Part 3: Finding the ideal newsletter design
Part 4: Creating relevant newsletter content
Part 5: Getting newsletter analysis and optimization right
In this first episode of our blog series you will learn all the basics on how to create and send newsletters. You will learn how to develop a well thought out newsletter strategy, which criteria an email software must meet and how to choose the best design. We will also show you how to target audience groups with different content and how to find the best time to send your newsletters out.
The benefits and drawbacks of newsletters
The immense popularity of newsletters isn’t a coincidence. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. The average ROI is 38 euro for each euro invested and 72% of customers prefer to be approached via email. Well-designed marketing emails sent regularly, like newsletters, guarantee constant website traffic, webinars and other event registrations and product sales. As newsletters statistically form the largest part of all marketing emails sent, they hold a great deal of marketing potential.
Creating a newsletter has a number of advantages.
Constant source of traffic
One of the main reasons for creating a newsletter is the regular website traffic that it generates. Organic engagement on social media platforms like Facebook is declining dramatically. Banner advertising is rarely noticed in the era of ad blockers. Written press releases sent by email will often be ignored by journalists and online editors.
Luckily, this is not true for newsletters. Emails that reach someone’s inbox are usually seen, and the likelihood that they will be opened is high, provided that the subject line is appealing and the sender is recognized (as you will learn more about below). Well designed newsletters containing relevant content will enhance your chances of the reader clicking on the call-to-actions for more information.
Another factor that is not to be underestimated is how much money you save compared to other using other marketing tools. Paid advertisements like banner advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and influencer marketing are considerably more expensive than newsletter marketing. The cost of a newsletter software is usually low. Labor costs are also lower as the newsletter is created and optimized faster than other media. Depending on the chosen provider, newsletter creation may even be free. This way, costs are minimized.
Easy performance measurement
The success of a marketing tool is based on whether it reaches the required relevance or not. In order to find out, performance must be measurable. Measuring the performance of a newsletter is simple. The statistics section of your email software provides you with all the information about open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, bounces, which user terminals were used to open the newsletter and when, which links are clicked on, etc. These KPIs will help you accurately calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) and produce target-audience relevant newsletter content.
Independence from third parties
When you create a newsletter, you are independent from other service providers and softwares. Publishers and influencers, as well as social media platforms and Google, are much more likely to increase ads cost than an email service provider is to increase the cost of its product. And even if they do, prices usually only increase by a small amount. With other marketing tools, increases are usually in the three, if not four, digit range.
Easily linked to other online marketing channels
Newsletters and other marketing tools such as social media can be combined very well. And last, but not least, newsletters can reach recipients anywhere. Whether they are in the office on their work computer, on the sofa at home on a tablet, or on the go on their smartphone, emails can be opened and read anywhere.
Targeted customer care
All the above reasons prove that emails are a great medium for targeting audiences and customer care.
Where there is light, there is also darkness. Even if newsletters provide many benefits, they also have a few shortcomings.
Absence of physical haptics
Unlike with analog advertising media like brochures, flyers, magazines, etc. there is no haptic experience with email newsletters. For instance, a desk calendar is visibly looked at all year round. Emails, on the other hand, do not have such a physical presence.
Ease of deletion
The fact that emails tend to be deleted more quickly and less intensively read than other media cannot be denied. There are many reasons for this: a full inbox, unappealing subject lines, content that is not relevant, etc. Although these inhibiting elements can be minimized, except for the first one, a 100% interaction rate can never be guaranteed. This is true not only for newsletters. but for all marketing tools.
If one weighs up the benefits and drawbacks of newsletters, then it quickly becomes clear that the benefits by far outweigh the drawbacks.
Summary of the strengths and weaknesses of newsletters
Implementing a newsletter strategy – Know what you’re doing
If you are planning to carry out newsletter marketing, we recommend developing a robust strategy. This consists of the following components:
Determine basic objectives
It’s important to clarify why you want to create a newsletter in the first place. The better you know why you are carrying out newsletter marketing, the more successful you will be. What specific objectives do you want to achieve? Do you want to make potential and existing customers aware of blog articles, special events and products? Does this involve winning new customers and intensifying relationships with existing customers? The specific objectives depend on your individual company’s goals, your vision, and values.
Once you have defined your objectives, you need to determine the corresponding KPIs. Typical metrics measured for newsletters are: newsletter subscriptions, open rates, click rates, spam and block rates, as well as newsletter unsubscribe rates.
Define the timing of the newsletter dispatch
The time at which your newsletter is sent is a crucial factor for success. Think about the best potential time for your email to be sent out. A well-designed newsletter with interesting content will have little chance of success if sent at the wrong time. It’s important that it reaches the recipient when they are most likely to be sitting in front of their computer.
If you are new to newsletter marketing and lack the experience of having your own audience, try different times. In most cases, there are some basic rules that you can follow for best results. if you work in the B2B sector, you should send your newsletter during regular working hours. Peak times are usually between 10 and 11 in the morning and between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. If your business model is B2C, then you should send during the week between 6 and 9 pm and on weekends.
Of course, there are many different tools that can be helpful. Use a web analysis software like Google Analytics and analyze the exact time when customers visit your website. Send your newsletter at the same time or shortly before, as potential recipients are engaged with your topic and/or they are on their computer at that time.
Define rough content
Planning the topic of your newsletter is closely connected to the objectives you have defined.
To find inspiration for content, analyze your competitors’ newsletters (of course, you should never merely copy it) and newsletters of companies that you think are successful at email marketing. This is likely to give you inspiration about new potential topics, products, events etc.
Another recommended method is a survey carried out in advance. Ask your target audience and customers what content they want to see and what are their expectations for a potential newsletter. With a target audience survey, you also get inspiration and new ideas. To incentivize customers to complete it, you can, for example, give away freebies.
Choosing a newsletter software
Before you start creating newsletters, you need to have the means to do it. This means that you need a newsletter solution that allows you to create, send and analyze email campaigns.
Of course, there are a number of other ways to create and send newsletters for free (among others, WordPress’ PHP), which allow you to send emails directly from the backend. Some of these solutions also provide SMTP relay. however, their use is not recommended.
One of the most important criteria for successful newsletter campaigns is deliverability – and this is where CMS systems and other solutions have disadvantages.
For security reasons, numerous solutions only allow for limited sending. Normally, under 100 recipients. A larger number of emails creates waiting lines, which lead to delays or errors. In the worst cases, emails don’t get sent. These softwares also lack functionalities that are strictly necessary. For these reasons, sending newsletters for free is not the right solution, if you want them to be successful in meeting your goals.
However, it doesn’t get any easier at this point. The problem is, that there are many professional newsletter solutions on the market. This is both a curse and a blessing for senders. On one hand, you have a wide variety of suitable email providers to choose from. On the other hand, vetting them may feel a bit overwhelming.
But as usual, at Mailjet, we get you. And we have some useful tips to help you. A professional newsletter solution needs to include the following functions, among others:
Drag-and-drop email editor to create newsletters easily in a few minutes.
A variety of predefined and responsive customizable newsletter templates.
Email personalization, for creating content specific to the individual.
Email segmentation, to divide contact lists arbitrarily.
Integrated image processing to easily adapt images.
Responsive subscribe widgets to set up subscribers obtaining full consent.
Structured and clear contact administration that allows you to manage with your contact lists easily.
Optimal deliverability to ensure your newsletters reach the inbox.
A/B testing to test your campaigns.
Detailed statistics that allow you to optimally analyze the success of the newsletters you sent out.
A free trial period to test whether the email solution fulfills all the necessary requirements.
Possibilities for integrations with other systems and services like WordPress, Shopsystem etc.
GDPR compliant and other certifications.
Setting up an email contact list – From A to Z
In order to be able to create and send a newsletter, you obviously need recipients. Setting up an email contact list with high interaction rates is relatively simple if you take certain factors into consideration.
In order to gain new newsletter subscribers, you need a responsive subscription widget with a double opt-in process. Add the subscription widget to all the relevant pages of your website. Usually, good places are the homepage, the blog, the footer and pages with gated content such as guides, white papers, and co.
Double opt-in ensures that no fake email address creeps into your database and damages your reputation and deliverability. You risk being classified as a spammer both by recipients and the ISPs themselves. The result will be that not only your newsletter but all the campaigns you have sent will be blocked.
Giving in to the temptation to buy email addresses will result in the same scenario. Buying email contacts from third parties is one of the most widely used methods to generate a contact list. Many companies still believe that an email contact list must be as large as possible in order to have relevant success. This is by no means true. Buying contact lists is essentially a waste of money.
People included in such lists usually don’t want to hear from you at all and don’t know that you have obtained their email address until they receive the first newsletter. The result is annoyed recipients and blocked emails.
What is recommended instead, is segmenting your email contact list. This process is particularly useful if you have different newsletters (for example, broken down according to topics, recipients, customer lifecycle, etc.), and plan to segment your list because not every topic is equally as interesting to every newsletter subscriber.
Besides implementing a responsive subscription widget, special newsletter landing pages are a great way to grow contact lists. Such pages enable all optimization opportunities that apply to landing pages to be used. The potential newsletter subscriber is not distracted from other elements on the website (Shiny Object Syndrome) and they concentrate on all the reasons for subscribing.
Consider what benefits prospective recipients may have if they subscribe to your newsletter. Ideally, you have already clarified these reasons in your strategy. Bear in mind that arguments like ‘100% free’, ‘no spam messaging’ or’ subscription can be canceled at any time with a single click’ are not actual benefits. Real added value, for example, is provided by things like special offers, advanced information and booking facilities, invitations to exclusive events, regular industry information, access to exclusive content like e-books, email mini-courses, etc.
Creating a newsletter
A newsletter is formed by the following three components: design, content and legal information. We will discuss all three in detail below.
Newsletter Design – The First Impact
The first step to creating a newsletter is setting up a corresponding email template. You can use a template provided by your email service provider and amend it as necessary. Alternatively, you can upload a newsletter template you have already created or that you have bought from a third party. In this case, make sure that the selected layout is responsive so that your email campaigns will be perfectly displayed on every end device.
Our advice: don’t use several columns in your newsletter. As many recipients will initially see incoming emails in preview mode, the ideal width of a newsletter is between 500 and 680 px.
Follow the best practices of email design. A clear structure ensures that subscribers grasp the content and core message(s) immediately. The following layout is proven to work for classic newsletters, like the ones promoting new content. Insert your company logo in the upper section so that the readers immediately associate the newsletter to you. Add images in order to attract the readers’ attention, followed by a brief text and a clear CTA (Call to Action).
If you work with different types of newsletters, you will need to use different newsletter designs. Ensure you act sensibly here. The colors used should correspond to your CI. Combine these colors with large white areas. This ensures clarity and professionalism.
Clearly separate the upper section, main body and the footer of your newsletter from each other. Where appropriate, use images or color contrasts to carry out visual separation. Ensure that the embedded links have sufficient space between them in order to avoid erroneous clicks.
Newsletter content – the centerpiece
The sender’s name, subject line, and header are part of the content and are the first step in the creation of the newsletter content.
Choosing a sender’s name
The average email user receives almost 125 emails every day. In order for your newsletter to be noticed by your subscribers, devote most attention to your sender’s name.
We recommend using your brand name. Either choose a non-personal name like ‘Mailjet Marketing Team’ or if you are a sole proprietor, the combination of your own and your company’s name. In case you are a personal brand, only using your own name is conceivable.
Formulating a subject line
After the sender’s name has been chosen (and it should stay the same for all future newsletters), the subject line should be defined. Along with the sender’s name, the subject line determines whether or not your newsletter will be opened.
The tone and language should match the style of your brand. Be bold and try out something new. Amusing text, questions, citing the recipient’s name, or even emojis, all jazz up the subject line and draw attention to your newsletter. As you’re are probably very reluctant to be labeled as a spammer, avoid the use of “spam words” like free, only available today or only available now at all costs.
Writing the heading
The heading is the third text element that you customize. Together with the subject line, it summarizes the email content and motivates the recipient to pay attention to your newsletter.
Creating newsletter content
It is now time for the core text: the heart of the newsletter content. Possible content may include:
Promoting the latest blog articles
New freebies like guides, white papers, studies, etc
Invitations to seminars, webinars, and other events
Special marketing campaigns like advent calendars, yearly calendars etc
The following rule applies: an email usually has a key message. The newsletter is one of the few exceptions. You can draw attention to multiple contents here. However, make sure not to advertise too much content at the same time. Research has shown that the majority of recipients click the first call-to-action.
Therefore, you must always have your primary objective in mind when creating it. Place the most important information at the beginning or near the beginning. The more subscribers have to scroll down, the higher the likelihood that content further down will not receive any attention.
Images etc. optically enhance the newsletter. But beware! Too many graphical elements impact negatively on the deliverability rate as this is a favored tactic of spammers. ISPs know this well and often block emails containing large image components. So you should aim to have a balance between text and graphics. We recommend a ratio of text to image of 60:40 or 70:30 in favor of the text.
When you create your newsletter, don’t forget to add Alt tags to the images and scale them down to the size you want. Bear in mind, that some email clients block images so that subscribers just see a large white area.
Likewise, some newsletter software packages distort large images. In this case, it means that the images in question have to be modified afterwards with an image editing program. This costs valuable time. For newsletter solutions with integrated image editing programs, obviously, no external processing is necessary.
Those who conduct email marketing must adhere to certain legal guidelines. The newsletter must contain T&Cs and an unsubscribe link.
It’s also a legal requirement that the recipient has given consent to receiving the newsletter. So stay away from sending unsolicited marketing emails as these are legally regarded as advertising. The practice of double opt-in, mentioned above, avoids legal disputes, warnings, and expensive financial penalties.
Once you have created your newsletter, test whether it’s displayed correctly on different screens. Use the preview version to check how the email is displayed on desktop, tablet, and smartphone. In addition, send a test email to yourself and view it on different end devices to be on the safe side. If everything is OK, then send or schedule your marketing email to be sent out later.
Analyzing and optimizing newsletters
Simply creating and sending a newsletter is not enough. In order to be successful (in the long term), you need to analyze the performance of your newsletter thoroughly. This helps identify your strengths and potential weaknesses and optimize your emails.
Track the following metrics for newsletter analysis:
Open rate: The percentage of subscribers who have opened the newsletter.
Click rate: The percentage of recipients who have clicked on at least one link (Call-To-Action).
Conversions and/or revenue per click: The percentage of readers who have executed the desired action after left clicking on the target page (purchase, download, read complete blog article etc).
Use this data to determine the exact performance of your newsletter and make any adjustments to individual elements. We recommend always implementing these adjustments using A/B testing.
Now that you know everything you need about how to create a successful a newsletter, you are on the right path to marketing success. What is your experience in the area of newsletter creation? What has turned out well and what do you still have difficulty with? How does your newsletter look in practice? Share your experience by email or on social media. If you have enjoyed this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect in May this year and many North American companies are still asking themselves how this will relate to them, how they can best prepare for these changes, and how to avoid potentially massive fines. Mailjet, a GDPR-compliant email service provider, is hosting a 3-part webinar series entitled GDPR in the US & Canada. The first in the series features Mailjet’s Head of Legal and Data Privacy Officer, Darine Fayed, who covers:
What exactly GDPR is, how this new legislation applies to companies in North America, and what will happen if you don’t comply
How does GDPR affect North American businesses and marketers, and how does it differ from existing data protection laws (e.g. Safe Harbour, CASL)
The 8 key changes that GDPR brings to the data protection playing field
What steps you should be taking today to ensure you are ready before May. You are encouraged to also fill out our GDPR Quiz beforehand to know where your company stands in terms of GDPR knowledge.
If you’re always changing things up and switching between different sections and email templates, then you’re going to love this. Mailjet already lets you both save and block sections.
But now you can also link saved sections to email templates, and apply any changes you make in those sections to all linked templates with a single click!
It’s for real! You can decide to have your changes applied everywhere automatically.
Say you use the same header on multiple templates and you want to update – for example – your logo, this new feature will undoubtedly save you a significant amount of time. Pay attention to what comes next ;)
Let’s start at the beginning: creating and saving a section
A section is a part of your email (e.g. the header or footer). You can create, change and save them to reuse them whenever you want in other emails.
There are two ways to create and save a new section:
Within an email template or as part of a campaign (either new or existing): you can save a section that you want to reuse by clicking on the “Create a saved section” icon. That section will then be added to your library (“Saved sections” in the left-hand menu), where you will be able to find it later on.
Directly in the “Saved sections” menu, by going to “My Templates” and clicking “Saved sections”.
Link and watch it spread!
Now Mailjet has something new for you. Your saved sections can be linked to email templates so that any changes are displayed automatically. Forget the days when you needed to go back over your templates to update them all manually every time you wanted to change something.
Now you get a smoother, quicker, more efficient experience. Sounds great, but how does it work?
How do I link a section to one or more email templates?
Bear in mind that this feature can only be used when you start with a template. So first you need to go to “My templates” to either open an existing template or “Create new”.
You will then have two options:
Did you create the section as part of an email template? Save the section. This will automatically link it to that template.
Did you create the section in “Saved sections” or as part of a different template? Open the template that you want to use and add the section to it. This will then automatically link it to that template.
Making and applying changes
Do you use the same header for four of your templates? Have you recently changed your logo and want these changes displayed on all four templates?
All you have to do is edit the relevant section in “Saved sections” and click “Save and Propagate” to apply the changes to the templates in which the section is linked.
If this section is linked to all four templates, they will all be updated automatically. Warning: please check carefully that you want changes to show on all linked templates before applying them everywhere.
A few extra details to help you find your way around
In an email template
You can only link or unlink sections in an email template. Sections created in a template are automatically linked to that template. Sections created in a campaign are not linked to the campaign template. Warning: if you modify a section in a template, it will be saved, and changes will be applied to all the other email templates linked to that section. If you only want to modify the section for the template in use, you must unlink it from the others.
In “Saved sections”
You can only create and update sections here. If a section is linked, changes will also be applied to any linked templates.
In a campaign
Saved sections can only be linked to templates. They will be converted to regular sections for campaigns.
To link a section that was created as part of a campaign: save it, then look it up in the “Saved sections” library, drag it to a template and link it to that template. Repeat for as many templates as you want.
Unlink linked sections in a flash!
If you want to unlink a section from one or more templates, all you have to do is go into each of your templates and delete the link. If you don’t want subsequent changes to the section to display on that template, then click “unlink”.
Once it has been unlinked, the section becomes just a regular section. If you want to relink it, you either need to save it as a new section (if you have made additional changes) or delete and re-add it from “Saved sections”.
Whether you’re just starting with email marketing, or you are rethinking your strategy, it may seem like the list of things you need to think about is never ending. Where do you start? We feel you. At Mailjet, we know very well how difficult it is to define an email strategy, and the amount of hard work that it requires to stick to it.
No need to panic, we are here for you! And we’ll guide you through the steps you need to undertake to ensure your email marketing strategy will be successful. Ready to kick-start your email strategy? Let’s go!
Steps You Need To Undertake To Define Your Email Strategy
1. Build and grow your contact list
The first step you need to take to start defining your email strategy, is building and growing a contact list. Needless to say, you need people to send emails to, otherwise your strategy will be completely pointless. There are many ways to do this, and you may want to try different approaches. The important thing is that you grow your customer base organically.
Your website should be the first place to start when building a contact list. Customers visiting your website and blog already have an interest in what you offer, so enticing them to sign up might be easier here than anywhere else. You can then integrate your social platforms and face-to-face contacts to tell followers and customers about the benefits of joining your mailing list . Ultimately, you can also decide to use incentives in order to drive sign-ups, although you need to be careful doing this as some subscribers may sign up only for the offer. Make sure you’re consistently adding value to your contacts.
One of customers, Product Hunt, started their whole company with an email newsletter. Their widget on the home page shows the image and subject of the latest newsletter and succinctly summarizes the value you’ll receive by signing up.
2.Define Your Goals
Like any other marketing tool, email is nothing without a clear strategy. Before you start designing and sending an email campaign, define why you’re sending it. Always ask yourself “What do I want to achieve with this email?”, and then find the most appropriate way to assess if you’ve achieved your goals.
Remember, that email is the marketing channel that drives the highest ROI. A/B testing and comparing campaign performance are powerful instruments in defining the success of your strategy. These results will give you a clear indication of your ROI and whether you’re doing all that you can to boost it. While planning your campaigns, always remember that success will have a different meaning in each of your emails.
3. Plan Your Campaigns
Now that you have defined your goals and have a list of high quality engaged contacts to send your emails to, your next step is to plan your campaigns. But what do you need to include in the emails you send out? Although some of the content is highly customizable and depends on your goals, there are a number of elements that always need to be present in the emails you send out.
The elements that you MUST include in every email are:
You wouldn’t want your contacts to think that they just got a random email, that will end up in the trash folder quicker than you can count to three, would you? So always make sure you let your contacts know who’s emailing them. To ensure your from name is recognisable, use your brand name or, if you want to be creative, find something that can still be linked back to you and keep it consistent.
The power of the preheader is often underestimated. It is extremely effective way to summarize the content of an email, especially on mobile devices. It should complement your subject line and draw attention to your campaign.
CALL TO ACTION
CTAs are strongly interconnected with the objectives of your campaign. When creating them, consider what you want your subscribers to do after reading your email. Create responsive CTAs that are easy to navigate on desktop and mobile. Also, keep it simple. Emails with a single CTA can increase clicks 371% and sales 1617%.
This is a great example of creative and catchy CTA.
Keep in mind, that these elements can make the difference between someone opening your message or moving it to trash. The great thing about email, is that you can gain real-time, in-depth insights into your audience and use this to adapt your marketing strategy. Starting from your first campaign, pay close attention to your metrics to understand if they successfully meet your goals or not. This will be an excellent learning experience, and it will allow you to change and adapt your strategy.
4. Designing Engaging, Responsive Emails
In today’s highly technological world, there is a number of things you need to consider when designing your campaigns. There is high demand for diverse, engaging and mobile-responsive visual material. A bit overwhelming, eh? It’s a lot to think about, true. But here at Mailjet we try to make your life easier when it comes to emailing. So here are a few ways to create amazing emails:
55% of email is now opened on a mobile device, so you need to ensure that your design is mobile-responsive. If a message is visually unappealing or is difficult to read, subscribers will become frustrated and won’t even bother reading through. This will also be reflected in your ROI. At Mailjet, we make designing responsive emails an easy task. With our drag and drop email editor Passport and our open source markup language MJML, you can create emails that will look great on all devices.
Example of responsive email created with Passport
DESIGN FOR DELIVERABILITY
The size of your email can have a huge impact on deliverability. Emails that are too large take a long time to load and will be chopped by some email clients. Knowing the appropriate size for images and finding the right balance between images and text is key to ensure your contacts see the message just as you intended them to. This will also ensure that your email will not end up in SPAM.
USE USER PSYCHOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Arrange items in your email according to the order you want them to be read. This will guide the reader to the actionable content and it will make their experience smoother. Keep in mind that for those whose native language is read from left to right, the top left corner of the email tends to be the initial focus. Use this in your favour, by using this area to make your identity and purpose immediately clear.
Always place your actionable content above the fold (ATF). As most email clients allow around 300-500 pixels of space for email previews, you need to make the most of it. Lastly, the colors you choose will influence your customer’s feelings about your email and brand in general. So, make sure your color scheme doesn’t impact the visibility of the text and that it complements your brand. You can also take it to the next level by making sure the colors you are using are suited to your specific context and segmented demographic.
DON’T FORGET TRANSACTIONAL EMAILS
For a unified user experience, and to make your brand identity identifiable, present a unified, seamless experience across both marketing and transactional emails. This way, your contacts will easily recognise you, and build brand awareness and loyalty. Remember, transaction emails are opened up to 8x more often than marketing emails. This is an important place to reinforce your value and your brand.
TEST, TEST, TEST
The last step when designing your email is to test it before sending. This is extremely useful to ensure your images are all optimized, your links are working, there are no typos, and your CTAs are clear and responsive.
5. Making Email Relevant
Nowadays, we all receive tons of emails. But how many of those are actually relevant? To ensure your email strategy is a success, you need to create unique messages that really address your customers’ needs, and send them the email at the right time. Segmentation, personalization and automation are all amazing tools we have to make emails relevant.
6. Get Some Feedback
The last step in setting your email strategy is finding out how successful your campaigns have been, and learning from past experiences. To do this, you can simply collect customer feedback to find out exactly what they like about your brand and where there is room for improvement. Or you can use some tools that allow you to analyze ‘hard’ data, like A/B testing and campaign performance comparison.
And now you are ready to start sending your email campaigns and work towards a successful marketing strategy. You’ve come so, far and grown so much.