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In a crowded in-box, knowing the ‘tricks of the trade’ can make a real difference when it comes to getting your emails opened, read, and acted upon.  Subjects, headlines, story-telling, design elements, graphics and more… they all entice recipients to engage and respond.

Here are just 9 techniques to weave into your email marketing.  They’re the basic best practice foundations for building and maintaining a successful presence.

1. Keep your data clean, because what’s the point of sending your emails to the wrong people, or out-of-date and inactive email addresses? It looks unprofessional.  And what’s more, poor data can also leave you open to issues with GDPR.

2. Segment your audience If you have customers who buy different products or services, or who need different information, then divide them into separate lists and create emails specifically for each type. It makes your emails seem more personal and – more importantly – directly relevant emails are more likely to prompt purchases.  At the very least, it’s good to separate prospects from customers.

3.Write enticing subject lines. Your email subject lines are your ‘trailer’… and just like a movie or a TV programme, if your audience isn’t hooked by your trailer, then they’re unlikely to open your email and read it.

4.Use responsive email design. Which means your emails look right on mobile  Because over 80% of email users access their inbox via their phones, and emails which don’t work on mobile devices are often deleted within three seconds[i].

5.Tell a story. However short (or long, but not too long!) your emails are, give them a title, a beginning, a middle and an end.  Walk your reader through to the action you want them to take and make it the obvious and easy next step.

6.Personalise as much as you can – the current trend for hyper-personalisation – not just merging the recipient’s name into the subject line, but also merging specific details and messages into the generic body text of an email – is all very well for larger organisations with the technology and time to achieve it. But if that’s not you, then there are still things you can do to be more personal.  The simplest is to use “you, your and you’re”, because ‘talking’ directly to your readers, as if you’re face-to-face, is personal!  And there are simple programmes which will merge names into your email subjects and greetings for you, too.

7.Limit your calls-to-action (CTAs). Giving your readers too many options is more likely to result in them doing nothing (yes, really!)  CTA overwhelm is a thing (bit like me when faced with an entire aisle of baked beans in the supermarket!), so stick to one main CTA, and signpost it clearly.  Make it bright, bold, obvious – whatever suits your brand and design – so it’s easy for readers to choose.

8.Reach out to prospects as well as customers. Emailing current customers can deliver results, especially if they’re not aware of everything you do, or you contact them at just the right time, or perhaps even ask them to share your messages.  But what about finding new customers, too?  Email is very cost-effective, and the right emails, to the right recipients (legitimate interest in GDPR terms), can deliver new customers.  The key is to get your messaging right.

9.Keep it up! Because persistence pays off – as we can prove from experience.  We once gained a new client after they’d been on our weekly eShot list for over 3 years.  They chose us because we’d kept in touch.  Your prospects may not be ready to buy from you now, but who knows when they will be, and what that could lead to?

And remember… fresh, regular, engaging marketing is the key to building your business

We can deliver an email marketing a programme to suit your needs (and budget!)

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