According to a new survey from the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers are still using email marketing via eNewsletters to reach their target audience. Tried and true methods never fail, right? Maybe not. Of that 83%, only 58% are finding these methods to be effective. And while that's still a decent percentage, there's a lot of room for improvement.

Every digital marketer needs the right skills and tools to be successful. So, what can make email marketing more effective? Email marketing only works if you know how to work it. Here are 10 ways to make it work for you, taken from a recently released Digital Marketing Toolkit.

  1. Make it personal. Don't be afraid to get personal with your customers. Personalization increases response rates and boosts engagement. Use names in email messages to grab attention, but don't use full names--that can come off as creepy and even make customers feel uncomfortable. Make sure the customer information you have on file is accurate. Misspelling names or using incorrect titles can damage your reputation instead of helping it
  2. Use subject lines, headlines and subheads to your advantage. It can be tempting to quickly write subject lines, headlines and subheads, but it's worth your time to put some thought into crafting these smaller, but valuable, facets of customer communication. Be simple and straightforward, but clever in your subject line and headline. The recipient should be able to understand the purpose of your message with just a 3- to 5-second scan. Make sure your subheads support your headline and offer further information and instruction without distracting from the body of your copy.
  3. Write targeted, brief and enticing body copy. People never want to read rambling copy--and people especially don't want to read rambling copy in an email. Open with text that will hook your audience, like a rhetorical question or compelling offer. Avoid yes or no questions, as these can deter customers based on their answers. Introduce the most compelling benefits of your offer, summarize important details and focus your energy on one clear call to action. Make your copy easy to scan by using short sentences, simple language and bulleted lists.
  4. Use the side column wisely. In an email with limited space,the right column is your friend. Use this valuable space to reiterate the value of your offer or insert direct links that lead to the same destination as the main offer. Don't use the right column to promote other offers--this can be confusing for your readers and can even decrease the performance and value of all the offers in the email.
  5. Don't overlook the little things. In email, a bit of extra effort on your end goes a long way for the readers, especially for mobile. You can boost user experience by pre-filling forms, limiting the number of fields on a form, pulling in user data through progressive profiling and sizing the fields to match the length of the information to be entered. All of these steps lead to better response and engagement rates.
  6. Know when to send and when not to send. The ideal send frequency can vary depending on audience expectations, product, service or campaign type. Generally speaking, you should send emails at least once a month. But don't send an email just for the sake of sending an email--communicate with your audience when you really have something good to offer. Make sure the content is useful and the topic is relevant. Don't send too often and don't be too aggressive. That's a major turnoff.
  7. Call users to action. The call to action is everything. Use persuasive words and incorporate the "What? Why? How?" method. Tell users what they need to do, why they should do it and how to do it. Tailor the CTA to your audience and provide multiple links throughout the email to make it easy for users to take action. Use CTA buttons, but avoid including CTA links within any images.
  8. Be smart about your design. User-friendly design is a fundamental aspect of email marketing. Responsive design, appropriate color and text size, adequate use of white space and incorporation of company branding and logo can make your email look and feel more inviting for customers.
  9. Make sure your landing page is on point. If your email is effective, but your landing page is off target, you could still lose out on conversions. Your landing page should be an extension of your email campaign and contain the same messaging, the same design and the same offers as advertised in your email. Use your landing page to go into more detail and elaborate on your CTA. Feature well-crafted copy and the same user-friendly design as your emails.
  10. Avoid common email marketing blunders. Avoiding common mistakes can give your email and your entire campaign the finishing touches needed to be a success. Don't use all caps, don't mention opt-in preferences in your email body copy, and don't choose font colors and sizes that are too hard to read or too large to display on mobile. Use clean and light HTML coding, include basic company information like name and address, include an unsubscribe link in the footer and use common fonts to ensure it will be readable on whatever device your customers are using.

Being a successful digital marketer isn't easy. Here's a Digital Marketing Toolkit that offers top-rated insights about email marketing, guides to the latest marketing technology and rules for crafting effective messaging. The direction it provides can help you succeed in a competitive digital landscape and set you up for long-term success.

Published on: Apr 15, 2015