Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer — with or without a website, although a website is a calling card these days — or have a focus on e-commerce, it’s important to stay connected to your customers. There is, of course, social media for connecting, but not everyone will see everything you post, and there’s a lot of room for customers to miss important details about your store, your new product arrivals and/or sales.
A far more reliable way to reach your customers is via email marketing, sending newsletters on a regular basis that offer important news about your store and what’s happening in your business by sharing home improvement tips, blog posts and other content that will resonate with your customers enough to get them into the showroom.
Here are seven tasks to focus on to deliver newsletters that get opened and connect with your customers.
1. Establish email frequency, timing
According to data from moosend.com, optimum frequency (to get emails opened) is two to five campaigns per month. This minimizes the chance of campaigns ending up in subscribers’ trash and promotes deliverability. An opt-in subscriber has trusted you with their email address. Don’t abuse their inbox.
For the best open rates, internet search results indicate Tuesday at 10 a.m. However, this has been circulating for years, so inboxes get bombarded on Tuesdays at 10. Moosend suggests that Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. is actually the best timing. However, you need to test and understand how your target audience behaves. Collect data through email tracking and experiment until you find the sweet spot. Consistency is key.
2. Build trust
Build your own list rather than purchasing one. This could take longer, but you’re assured an audience that wants to engage with your content. Add contacts organically to maintain healthy open rates. Use lead magnets, such as freebies or discounts to encourage subscribers to opt in. Opt for the double opt-in, which requires subscribers to verify their email address. It will positively affect email deliverability. Last but not least, make it easy for your subscribers to opt out. Unsubscribes are part of keeping a “clean” email list. Unsubscribes should be clear, effortless and immediate.
3. Give your audience compelling reasons to open your email
Give your subscribers incentives or calls to action (CTA) so they open and click through your email. Work on subject lines that catch people’s attention and stand out in their inboxes. People are bombarded with promotional emails, so you have to make yours “the one.”
4. Deliver engaging content & visuals
Establish your brand voice so interaction with subscribers is consistent across all touchpoints. Then ensure your email copy is valuable and precise while having actionable wording based on your CTAs. Don’t wear your subscribers out with walls of text. Make your emails time-sensitive where you can.
Emphasize the value of clicking through to the CTA. Learn what resonates best with your audience by testing different content. And last but not least, use relevant, beautiful high-quality imagery aligned with your brand. Images should illustrate and reinforce your content and create an emotional connection. Include alt text with your images for visually impaired subscribers or in case your HTML doesn’t render. Subscribers will see a description of what the image would have been.
5. Create clear calls to action
Successful email marketing campaigns persuade subscribers to take action. It’s important that your subscribers know what you want them to do. Seamlessly blend a well-designed CTA. CTA design and placement are important. Your CTAs should be visible and accessible, especially for subscribers on mobile devices. Have your main CTA above the fold.
6. Have a mobile-friendly design
According to a Campaign Monitor survey, 53 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices on workdays; 75 percent on holidays and weekends. Use a mobile-friendly template and preview on a mobile device.
7. Use A/B split testing
Test your subject lines, preheader text and the content of your email — images and copy, CTA boxes, your email campaign tone and length — to see what resonates with your readers. For this to be effective, be sure to only test one item at a time so you know exactly what might need some tweaks. FLD
By Diane Falvey