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5 Email Marketing Experts Share Their Best Tips

Want to get more clicks and more business out of your email blasts? One startup has rounded up some great suggestions.
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When it comes to email marketing the little things often matter a lot.

There's the exact wording of a subject line, precise time to hit send, or that little quirk of design. All can have a big impact on whether your customers click Archive or Open. Which means that every little tip and trick is potentially super useful.

Fifteen of them from some of the Web's best email marketers is, therefore, a gold mine. Recently, email marketing startup Vero did the heavy lifting for business owners everywhere, reaching out to tons of experienced email marketers to prospect for their best nuggets of wisdom when it come to crafting emails that make even more of an impact. They returned with more than a dozen suggestions worth reading. Here's a taste:

1. Email individuals.

The whole point of email is you can send out a mass blast to get the most marketing bang for your effort, right? Not always. Not at Buffer anyway.

"We're experimenting with delight campaigns: acknowledging our awesome subscribers for being their unique selves. In our case, we've emailed our MVPs (those who open and engage with our email most often) to see if we could send them some Buffer goodies--stickers, thank-you notes, etc. Delight campaigns could also take the form of birthday greetings or, my personal favorite, anniversary wishes on the date someone first subscribed," reports Kevan Lee, a content crafter at Buffer.

2. Use Pippity.

Sometimes the responders were less keen to share a trick or technique and more interested in sharing the best tools they'd come across. Take the example of Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute: "We use a popover called Pippity, which integrates with our WordPress site. Pippity delivers about 60% of our daily email subscribers. You can set it to only occur once, or to not reoccur for 30, 60, or 90-plus days. It has changed our business because email subscribers are so important."

3. Subject lines: Give yourself some choices.

According to Erica McGillivray of Moz, subject lines are like ice cream flavors--the more you have to choose from the better. "Write several subject lines. I always write at least three different options. Sometimes, I crowdsource more from my team. You want to make sure your subject line is short with so many people reading email on phones, and you want to make sure it has a clear call to action that draws attention. After all, you have to get an Open before you're going to get a click," she told Vero.

4. Assume subscribers are forgetful.

Your product or company may always be top of mind for you, but for your email subscribers, it may just be something they randomly tried out weeks ago. Remember that, suggests Danny Schreiber of Zapier.

"Your users are signing up for products and services that in months, weeks, and even days from now they'll entirely forget. If you're marketing a new product or service to an email list, it's helpful to include a line of copy at the top of the email to remind the recipient of your app's utility," he says. "We learned this tip at Zapier from early adopter Ramit Sethi, author of the New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You to Be Rich, who shot us a note that bluntly told us as much. 'I have no idea what Zapier does. I don't know when I signed up for it,' he wrote. 'When you're sending out an email, please refresh everyone as to what you actually do.'"

5. Include a postscript.

In addition to crafting great subject lines, put lots of thought into crafting a P.S., advises Joel Klettke of Business Casual Copywriting.

"As readers... we can't resist reading the PS of a letter, because our experience has shown us that it's where something important or personal is waiting for us. I fill the PS with the most crucial information I absolutely need readers to see," he says. "Maybe that's a special offer, a surprise benefit, a statement of scarcity ('Remember--offer ends Sunday!') or even a personal invitation to reply. If nothing else, I use it to hammer home my key benefit--but every single marketing email should end with a PS, because it's an irresistible attention magnet."

Last updated: Aug 26, 2014

JESSICA STILLMAN

Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.




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