If I come up with the perfect subject line, my email campaign will be a success … right? Wrong. That’s sort of like saying that if you buy the right running shoes, you’ll be able to complete a marathon. It might not hurt your chances, but if it’s all you focus on, you’re likely to end up disappointed at best, hospitalized at worst.
While a strong subject line certainly does help set your email campaign on the path to success, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. In reality, the results of your campaign depend on everything from the sender’s name and the content of the e-blast to the timing and how it integrates with the rest of your marketing efforts.
Consider the Sender
Are you more likely to open an email from a friend, or from a name you don’t recognize? Most of us are more likely to open the email from a friend (you know, because stranger danger … and also because most of us have learned to associate unfamiliar senders with spam).
You have a better chance of convincing your audience to open an email that comes from someone they know and trust. In some cases, this means the sender name may simply be the name of your company. Or, if you have a trusted, well-known company leader or sales rep, you can add a more personal touch by using their name as the sender name. With any name you choose, the goal is easy recognition.
Know Your Audience
Content counts, and the best content depends on who you’re trying to reach. Take the time to understand what your audiences want from your organization, and craft your email campaign around those preferences. Maybe it’s discounts. Maybe it’s tips and ideas. Maybe it’s news and updates. Whatever it is, the more you cater to your audiences’ preferences, the more success you’ll have.
Not sure what your audiences like? Experiment with different topics and angles to see which emails inspire the best response. You may also discover that different segments of your audience have different preferences and needs. If this is the case, you’ll get better results if you develop multiple lists and create targeted campaigns tailored to each unique group, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach.
Time It Right
Even if your email has the perfect subject line, the right sender name and content your audience will love, it might still get left unread if it hits someone’s inbox at the wrong time. As with your content, the right time will depend entirely on your audience. The goal is to figure out when the people you want to reach will have the time to read your email, and won’t have too many other emails competing for their attention.
Figuring out the best timing will likely take some trial and error. But you can set yourself up for success by doing your research up front. Are there certain days, weeks or months that you know your audience will be much busier than normal? Try to avoid those times. Are they going to be at a trade show, convention or retreat that will keep them away from their computers? Probably not the best time for an email either. If possible, you may even want to interview a representative group of people from your audience to learn more about when and how they check their email.
Create a Clear Call to Action
So you got people to open your email. And they loved the content. Now what? If you don’t provide a clear call to action, your audience won’t know what to do next — and you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
Do you want your email recipients to learn more about your product? Make a purchase? Schedule a meeting? Follow you on social media? Decide what immediate next step you hope your audience will take as a result of your email campaign, and make it clear to them with a direct call to action.
Think Big Picture
While it is possible to get results from an email campaign alone, chances are you’ll have more success if your email fits into a larger marketing strategy. Say you’re trying to get people to buy your new product. Maybe a single e-blast is enough to sell them on it. But if you reinforce your message through social media content, ads, press releases or even simply a series of emails, you stand a better chance of motivating your audiences to act.
This ties into your call to action as well. It could be that your call to action in your e-blast tells readers to “explore new products,” and when they click the link, it takes them to a landing page with additional videos, testimonials and content to help close the sale. Think of your email as just one of many steps in your audiences’ journey to taking the actions you ultimately want them to take.
By combining an excellent subject line with the right sender, compelling content, ideal timing, a clear call to action and big-picture thinking, you’ll be able to position your email campaign for the greatest possible success. Sound like a lot of effort? It is — but the Mustang team is here to help.