If you’ve been running email marketing strategies for a long time, it’s easy to become complacent and operate on auto-pilot. But testing new iterations and optimizing your campaigns is where the real rewards are often found. You should approach every single email campaign with a clear and focused message for the end user as well as realistic KPI’s for your brand. Despite social media sometimes interfering with email marketing efforts, every person has at least one email address and some have multiple. Your audience is out there, just an email away —but it’s your job to reach them.
Throughout my professional and personal life, I have struggled with optimizing my approach to email marketing. Testing new strategies and experimenting with aspects of emails such as subject lines and the preview pane is a subtle dark art. Kind of like when Harry Potter learned about the dark arts and Voldemort...shout out to all my Potter heads 🤓.
The issue is, with so much competition for attention in people’s inboxes, you may be overlooking these simple tactics that can boost your email marketing strategy. Whether you’re an email expert or looking for ways to leverage email marketing to grow your tech/SaaS brand, these simple strategies can be extremely effective. With that said, let’s get down to business so you can reach 110 percent of your email subscribers (okay, maybe we're dreaming big 😅)
Engage Your New Subscribers in the First Two Weeks
Adding a new contact to your email list is like deciding on whether to join a new gym. As you give the tour to a potential new member, it’s your job as the employee to entice them to sign up for a membership before they walk out the door. Even if they do walk out the door without signing up, you need to make sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure they remember your gym.
Think of the emails you send in the first two weeks to new subscribers as the tour of your business. Show them your values. Introduce yourself. Most importantly, make an impression. If your first emails don’t give people an idea of who you are, then you are missing out on converting people into loyal subscribers.
An article from Instapage provides a great framework for crafting your introduction email for an email campaign. One of the points overlooked by most marketers is to set expectations in your emails to subscribers. You should inform those you’re emailing how often they will be emailed and the type of content they will receive. Being as clear as possible will build trust with your subscribers and prevent you from being marked as spam — the kiss of death for any email marketing campaign.
Brands like Harry’s do an amazing job informing subscribers of the potential future emails to come. Back in 2017, Harry’s gathered 100,000 subscribers in just one week with a referral program they set up. That is an unbelievable return on investment for an email marketing campaign and referral program. If your email marketing team isn’t providing useful information within the first two weeks to your subscribers, don’t be surprised if your emails are no longer opened or even marked as spam. Set expectations early and deliver on the promises made to subscribers.
Make Your Email Stand Out
Whether you’re an email expert or not, you can improve your email marketing by standing out from the rest. Design is everything in email marketing. People will not open your email most of the time if your email doesn’t display well when they see the preview in their inbox.
From my own personal experience, every morning when I check my email, I review the subject line and preview pane before I open any email. If the preview doesn’t catch my eye, the email is never opened and deposited in the trash where it belongs. You are competing with hundreds of companies trying to reach the same person. If you don’t stand out, you will be forgotten and relegated to your new subscriber’s trash bin.
Subject Lines Matter
The subject line is one of the most important parts of your email marketing strategy. Buffer describes the importance of long versus short subject lines in emails to subscribers. Former President Barack Obama saw the greatest engagement for fundraising efforts with emails using the subject line “Hey” or “Wow.”
Unbelievable, right? Now, this may not work in all instances, but it’s important to recognize that being bold in how you design and structure your emails is important to the success of your email marketing strategy. Take a chance, and you could be rewarded handsomely.
Don’t Forget to Make Your Preview Pane Look Pretty
The preview pane is one of the most critical pieces in optimizing your email marketing strategy for best results. If your email preview pane isn’t set up well, whether your audience is B2B or B2C, people will tune your messaging out.
AWeber, an email marketing software company, says that 53 percent of B2C subscribers will first see your email in the preview pane before opening, and for B2B subscribers, the number is around 80 percent(!). The preview pane is the Macy’s storefront window of email inboxes — you may as well use the real estate wisely and showcase your enticing email content for subscribers to see.
The copywriting behind the preview pane is also where you and your email marketing team can shine. Consider A/B testing different emails and view how they look in a preview pane before sending them to your subscribers. A/B testing, along with utilizing your copywriting skills as an email marketer, will come in handy when designing your emails. Here is an example of what an email with a well-customized preview pane looks like.
This email preview pane is from my personal email account. Robinhood Snacks is a daily stock market news podcast I listen to and it sends me an email every morning. Most mornings I open the email if I don’t have time to listen to the podcast. What usually helps me decide whether to open the email is the preview. The headline, “Why are tech stocks falling,” reeled me in immediately. I personally invest in a few tech stocks, so I was curious to see what they had to say about why those stocks have gone down in price recently.
Try crafting your subject lines and email preview panes to look similar to this. Treat optimizing the preview pane like a science experiment by A/B testing a few versions and seeing what gets you the best results. If you don’t fail a few times by trying different previews, you may never reap the rewards of efficient copywriting in your email marketing strategy.
Enhance Your Email Marketing Strategy
Developing or enhancing your email marketing strategy is a complex and tedious process. You may have some ideas of how to improve your strategy, but the team here at First Page can help with any holes you may need to fill in your email marketing strategy.