Email campaigns are an essential part of any good marketing strategy, but they are only effective when they are well-thought-out. Effective businesses consistently optimize email campaigns; emails sent just for the sake of having an email marketing campaign can end up with poor user engagement or worse — your emails could be sent straight to spam folders. Optimizing your emails is a crucial step to better understanding and generating more leads. Once you have a good understanding of your users’ buying process, you can implement an effective email marketing strategy to turn leads into conversions. But how do you gain this valuable insight?
The first step is to create an email campaign using industry best practices and combine those with the information you already have about your current user base and prospective leads. As you send more and more emails, you will continuously collect more relevant information about who your leads are and how to best reach them through your email campaigns.
If you’re currently working on an email campaign and have already covered best practices, this post will highlight tips to properly optimize your email campaign for greater engagement and higher sales.
Write Your Emails Right
The subject line is the first information a user takes in from an email. With the overwhelming number of emails received every day, your subject line is an important opportunity to create a sense of intrigue that entices your leads to actually open your email.
Your subject line should be catchy and on brand. Without even looking at the sender, the lead should be able to identify that the email was sent from your organization. Try using phrases that encourage the lead to open the email, like “Join Us” or “Get a Free…” You can also try to incorporate personalization in the subject, referring to the recipient by name or including their company name.
Once the lead has opened your email, the hardest part is over, but that does not mean the work is done. Your emails should offer relevant and timely information, like product updates, new blog posts or sales. Provide content that encourages leads to engage with your brand by clicking through to your website or following your organization on social media.
Go Beyond Written Content with Email Design
In today’s world, people are opening emails on screens of all sizes. If a user opens your email, but the contents of the email are too large or too small, the user may have to zoom in or out to read your email. The extra effort involved on the user’s part results in an accessibility issue that is more likely to send your email to the trash folder than to convert a lead.
Implementing a responsive design to your emails changes the format of the email so that it is easier to read on smaller or larger screens. That means users do not need to zoom in or out to be able to read the contents of your emails. The email content will automatically rearrange to fit desktop, laptop, tablet and phone screens.
Going hand-in-hand with responsive email design are email templates. Similar to how a lead should be able to recognize your brand from the subject line, a lead should be able to recognize your brand by the email template you use.
Email templates are basically a style guide for your emails. They often include a branded color scheme, font style and structured layout. Most of these styles should be carried over from your website or other branded content.
Automated content marketing platforms make designing engaging email templates easy. Whether you are starting with a pre-built layout or coding your own emails in HTML, having a consistent brand image in your email marketing design is essential to optimizing email campaigns.
Put Your Emails to the Test
Sometimes an email will look alright in the editor, but it won’t display properly on certain devices, platforms or apps. This can happen when an email platform, like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, does not read the email code in the same way as the editor displays it. Before sending an email out to the masses, make sure it looks up to your standards.
Send yourself and your coworkers a test email using your automated content marketing platform. Do a quality assurance check to make sure your email doesn’t contain broken links or other errors that could affect user engagement.
Go beyond checking the email’s content and ensure that all of your content shows up no matter what email provider your leads use. Email marketing platforms let you test and preview your emails on different apps, email providers and devices to ensure your message is getting to your leads with the design and content you want them to see. SharpSpring has a native integration with Litmus, allowing you to preview your emails on multiple email readers, devices, and apps.
Personalize Emails Through Automation
The term “automation” often makes people think of robots, but in marketing, automation has a variety of different uses. Beyond performing repetitive tasks, like scheduling and sending emails, marketing automation can include personalization. Note that personalization is more than just the hottest trend to accessing younger markets. With the world at their fingertips, it’s becoming more and more important to know your leads on an intimate level.
Personalizing emails can be as simple as adding each unique lead’s name in the subject line or as complicated as changing the majority of an email’s content based on your leads’ engagement history. Using an automated content marketing platform, you can swap out whole phrases, images and offers to match each user’s interests based on their previous interactions with your brand’s content. Adding this level of personalization to your email campaigns strengthens your connections with your leads and boosts sales in the process. It is a surefire method to optimize email campaigns.
Lead Your Customer Through a Workflow
After you have identified common customer pathways, you can set up workflows to engage leads at critical points in their unique buying processes. Workflows are an integral part of automated content marketing because they drastically reduce the number of emails marketers have to send manually. Once your workflow is in place, you can simply watch as leads work their way through their unique buying processes.
While workflows keep leads engaged with your brand, creating behavior-based workflows can further personalize the emails sent to a lead for a more successful conversion rate. Using behavior-based triggers for events — like downloading a whitepaper or requesting a demo — can funnel a lead into a more specialized workflow.
Imagine a user clicks through a “Welcome” email to your site. From there, the user adds a product to their cart but leaves that product in the cart without checking out. That user can be funneled into a cart abandonment workflow, which sends them automated emails about the product they left behind.
Tailoring your workflows to serve email content specific to your unique customers’ behavior encourages engagement. Incorporate user behavior information into your behavior-based workflows to truly speak to your customers’ needs and increase your open rate.
Organize Past Emails to Save Time in the Future
Creating new content for each and every email can be a time-consuming process. After all, there is no guarantee that that new copy will engage with leads better than existing content that has already been sent. By organizing your emails into folders in your automated content marketing platform, you can easily access emails that have performed well in the past to reuse in the future.
Even if you’re looking to use sparkling new copy, you can still use information from old emails. Save emails into folders so that you can look back on previously used templates, subject lines, images and other content. Plus, using the analytics from your saved emails, you can track how well your emails perform over time, apply what you learn to create more engaging emails in the future, and optimize email campaigns over time.
Analyze Your Leads’ Behavior
Marketing has become less about pushing content and more about serving specialized content to help your leads convert. By analyzing user behavior, you can unearth insights about your leads’ interests, your leads’ purchasing habits and why your lead came to your business in the first place. All of this information can be worked back into your marketing strategy.
Automated content marketing tools can crunch the information they receive from your leads to deliver these insights. Using email analytics, you can identify stats on clicks, opens, bounces and deliveries to better inform your email content. Discover which subject lines lead to more opens and which links lead to more click throughs.
Once all of this information has been collected on an email campaign, take the information from past campaigns to compare insights over time. Analyze the leads’ behavior to determine how long it typically takes for leads to convert and which emails led to leads converting sooner or dropping off entirely. Such stats can help to shape your customer journey, inform future marketing goals and show the utility of your email marketing campaigns over time.
Putting It All Together
While it may seem like a lot of work to optimize email campaigns, constant improvement in your email performance is the key to an excellent marketing strategy. Continuously ensure that each email you send out is serving the best content to each unique lead to nurture conversions, and in no time, you’ll see the positive results in your sales numbers.
Talk to us if you would like to optimize your email campaigns or get a demo.