The primary cost of poorly crafted or mis-targeted emails is lost business opportunities, though in extreme cases it can damage a firm’s reputation as well. But the potential payoff for effective email marketing is substantial; email messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by decision makers than online content, social media, or advertising.
An email blast is a single email message that is sent to a large group of recipients. Email blasts are no longer an email marketing best practice. Email marketers should segment their lists and send targeted messages to their subscribers. All email blasts need to follow the CAN-SPAM Act, include an unsubscribe link, and accurately identify the person or business that is deploying the email.
However, as email marketing developed as an effective means of direct communication, in the 1990s, users increasingly began referring to it as "spam", and began blocking out content from emails with filters and blocking programs. In order to effectively communicate a message through email, marketers had to develop a way of pushing content through to the end user, without being cut out by automatic filters and spam removing software.
If you want your direct marketing strategy to drive more business, then quality data is your answer. From retailers to realtors, Experian’s data helps businesses of all sizes deliver data-driven marketing. As an original data compiler, Experian works with hundreds of public and proprietary data sources to reach over 98% of the U.S. with accuracy and precision. With Experian’s List Builder, you can:
Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
But while automations are designed to take some of the work and effort out of engaging with your customers, your emails should show that you care. You should take time to research what your customers like to help make your emails sound human and personal. Above all, marketing automation is an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers.
Looking to have more control over your email design? You have the option to code your own HTML template and import it to Mailchimp. We even have our own template language so you can create templates that are editable in the template editor or campaign builder, and we recommend making your layouts 600 pixels or 640 pixels wide to ensure they’re displayed properly across email clients.
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce ($75.00 Per User Per Month and Up at Salesforce.com) and other CRM data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
Mailing lists preceded web forums and can provide similar functionalities. When used in that fashion, mailing lists are sometimes known as discussion lists or discussion forums. Discussion lists provide some advantages over typical web forums, so they are still used in various projects, notably Git and Debian. The advantages over web forums include the ability to work offline, the ability to sign/encrypt posts via GPG, and the ability to use an e-mail client's features, such as filters.
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
Take advantage of the email template designer or upload your own. There are also tools to segments lists and personalize emails with all your contact data. The A/X testing feature allows you to test up to ten different versions of your email before you decide which one stands out as the best. A campaign comparison tool pits your previous campaigns against the current one to give a complete picture.
This strategy manages to prove itself both effective, but also cringe-worthy at the same time for a few reasons. The term “blast” can imply unexpected aggression and a general lack of tact. And while we’re not advising our senders to stop sending email blasts (we provide software that allows for this exact type of sending), we think it’s time to reframe how we think about an email blast for good.
Write a compelling subject line. The subject of your email will be the first thing that people will see when viewing it. Because of the immense amount of spam that exists, it's important that you draw the recipient in enough so that they open the message. The subject line should invite the reader to some benefit or include a sense of urgency which requires action. Avoid cliche marketing terminology like "act now" or "free limited offer" as these subject lines can make recipients feel suspicious and turned off. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less.