Best Practices for Optimizing Email Marketing

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Email marketing is growing. As consumers grow more and more wary of public platforms such as Facebook, many brands are moving their communications to email, which is generally more trusted.

From an engagement standpoint, many brands are shifting to email marketing, as it offers a more intimate way to engage with consumers. Of course, email marketing can still be tricky. Not every consumer wants to only receive sales emails every day.

So, what is the best way to balance the idea of email marketing with the need to grow revenue and sales?

Avoid Only Sending Sales Emails

Sales are a vital part of email marketing. After all, the marketing is designed to prompt the reader to take some sort of action: click on a link, use a promo code to purchase a product, or sign up for a service. However, there is a line to walk. Consumers don’t just want to be sold to, to be constantly asked to open their wallets.

So spend time strategizing about what value the brand should add to the consumer’s inbox. What sort of content do your subscribers want to see? Doing a reader survey can often help fill in the gaps and paint a picture of what the subscriber list wants to see in their inbox each day, week, or month.

While there should be a clear call to action in every email, this does not mean the email can only be dedicated to sales. Mix in some valuable content, solicit feedback from readers, even throw in a giveaway or a special discount to a partner brand if needed. Find a way to really prompt the reader to open and engage with your email.

Make It Feel Exclusive

Many brands treat their email marketing lists like exclusive clubs. Let’s use the example of Morning Brew, a daily email newsletter sent to business-minded readers each weekday. The Morning Brew does a great job of delivering business headlines in a fresh, consumable way, but they make things fun, too.

Each email is filled with puns, discount codes, trivia, and short-format news. In addition, the newsletter offers a “Light Roast” Sunday newsletter to those who refer at least three new readers to subscribe. This incentive and the exclusive “you earned the right to be here” feeling is enticing and prompts readers to share their unique referral links in hopes of gaining entrance to the coveted Light Roast.

What lessons can be learned here? First, the power of exclusivity. Sure, the email list may be free to sign up for and accessible to anyone. This doesn’t mean that the emails can’t contain exclusive content. Think of how to make subscribers feel special and in the loop.

Instead of simply plugging in recycled content from a blog or a social media site, consider adding content unique to the email. The prospect of finding something they won’t find anywhere else gives readers an extra incentive to open the email.

Email marketing, just like any other form of marketing, is a skill. Email marketing can be simple to manage, but it’s also easy to be on autopilot when composing emails. The more care a marketing manager can put into an email product, the more consumers will respond. Genuine connections are often overlooked in the digital space, and email is an often-overlooked way to forge those connections.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations

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