There was a time when you could send a single message to a large list of email addresses and get decent results. Those days are over. Today, email service providers (ESPs) are the guardians of email inboxes, and they’ve invested a lot of resources to ensure that the only messages people see in inboxes are the ones the recipients really want.
This means that to get great email marketing results today, you need to understand and follow the dos and don’ts of email marketing. Keep in mind that the full list of email marketing do’s and don’ts is very long and includes techniques, content, design, listing, engagement and more. other best practices. these email marketing best practices apply to businesses in all industries, including the cannabis industry.
If you’re not an email marketing expert who spends all or most of your time on email marketing, you might feel overwhelmed with all the do’s and don’ts. My advice is to start with the do’s and don’ts that are most often overlooked – the most important ones that can make a huge difference to your results.
Once you’re confident you can follow these do’s and don’ts, do your homework, learn more about email marketing best practices today, and implement other improvements. Truth be told, it’s a never-ending process of educating and updating your techniques to get the best results.
That said, here are five email marketing do’s and don’ts that you should start following now for the best results.
1. Segment your lists
Who’s on your mailing list? You must create buyer personas for each of your target audiences and send the most relevant emails to each niche audience (see #2 below for more on relevance).
When you segment your list and write a personalized email message for each segment, ask yourself the same question before hitting the send button for each message and list, “Does everyone on my list really want this message?” If the answer is no, you need to further segment your list and create more relevant content for each list.
Takeaway meals: Small targeted lists are good. Large bulk lists are generally bad.
2. Don’t send generic messages to mass audiences
Today, the success of email marketing depends on personalization – not only by adding the recipient’s name to the message, but by writing personalized content for each niche audience.
Therefore, remove the phrase “email blast” from your vocabulary. Gone are the days of sending one-size-fits-all messages to large lists. In fact, sending a generic message to a large number of people could do more harm to your bottom line than good. Why? Because ESPs expect email marketers to only send the messages people want.
How do ESPs know if you’re sending messages people don’t want? The answer is commitment.
The more people interact positively with your posts (e.g. opens, clicks, forwards, replies, etc.), the more ESPs are likely to think you’re sending content that people want. Therefore, more of your messages will go to inboxes. On the other hand, the more people interact negatively with your messages (for example, leaving it in the inbox without touching it, deleting it without opening it, taking a long time to open it, marking it as spam, you block as sender, etc.), the more likely ESPs think you’re sending content that people don’t want, the more your messages will go to spam or junk mail.
How do you get more positive engagement (and better results)? You do this by segmenting your lists (see #1) and customizing the content of the messages you send to each audience so that each message is as relevant and valuable as possible. See #4 for more on adding value.
Takeaway meals: Personalized messages that address the list of targeted recipients are good. Generic and watered down messages are bad.
3. Follow subject line best practices
Research shows that there are several best practices related to email subject lines that can help you get better open rates and avoid spam or junk folders. For example, studies have shown that subject lines written in title case (like the title of a book or article) or in initial capitals (where the first letter of each word is capitalized) work better. than those written in sentence case (where only the first letter of the first word is capitalized).
To avoid landing in spam folders, make sure your subject lines don’t include irregular capitalization, excessive punctuation or symbols, or grammar and spelling errors. All of these are spam indicators that could cause ESPs to send your messages to spam or junk mail rather than inboxes.
Finally, your subject lines should be personalized to the specific audiences who will see them (see #1 and #2), and they should add value to recipients (see #4). In other words, your subject lines must intrigue recipients so they want to know more (they must be relevant to be intriguing), and they must motivate recipients to click and open the message (they must add value to be motivating).
Take away key: Match your subject lines to each audience and make sure they say something useful and relevant, otherwise no one will open your messages.
4. Don’t send messages that fail to add value or respond WIIFM?
People receive a lot of email messages every day. If your messages are not very relevant to each recipient, no one will open them. Encrypted messages that don’t add value will be ignored (or worse – marked as spam).
People just don’t have enough time to get rid of the clutter. Instead, you need to make it as obvious as possible to each recipient that the message you’re sending is specifically for them and offers something they want or need.
The way to do this is to segment your lists and personalize the content so that the most valuable aspects of your posts are highlighted for each niche audience. In addition, you must answer the question “What does it bring me?” (WIIFM?) over and over again. Here’s an example of how this would work from the recipient’s perspective:
- What’s in it for me if I open this message?
- What is in it for me if I read the first sentence?
- What’s in it for me if I read the first paragraph?
- What is in it for me if I read the second paragraph?
- What happens to me if I click the call-to-action link button?
It’s your job to make it clear to recipients what it means to them if they spend time engaging with your email marketing messages. You can do this by talking more about them and less about yourself, your business, and your products or services. In other words, use more “you” copy and a lot less “we” copy.
Takeaway meals: If your email marketing message isn’t adding value to every recipient, you need to segment your list and/or personalize your message even more.
5. Include a Call-to-Action Link button
What do you want people to do after reading your email marketing message? This should be your call to action link. Research shows that buttons work better for call-to-action links than hypertext, so use a button to make it clear what the recipient’s next step is after reading your message.
Ideally, the call-to-action link should lead to a page on your website. A single landing page created specifically for the email campaign with a contact form is usually best, but you can direct recipients to your site’s general contact form page or to a highly relevant page on your website as long as a contact form is accessible. on this page.
Make it as easy as possible for recipients to take the next step and deliver what they expect to find based on the content of your message.
Your goal is to bring people to your website where they can look around, get to know you better, and build trust in your brand. Not everyone is ready to buy by the time you email them, unless they’re already a qualified prospect at the bottom of the funnel (or at the end of the buyer’s journey) . For all others, you must feed before trying to sell. Therefore, your call to action shouldn’t always be to buy now.
It’s also important to remember that links to email addresses or phone numbers are not tracked by email marketing software providers or ESPs. You want to get accurate credit for those clicks! Therefore, avoid using a link leading to an email address or phone number as a call-to-action link, or you won’t be able to track the success of your campaign (and ESPs won’t be able to). follow this positive commitment).
Takeaway meals: Include a call-to-action button in every message that leads to a page on your website where recipients can learn more and contact you (or where they can make a purchase if your message is commercial or promotional).
Key takeaways on email marketing do’s and don’ts
Did you notice a recurring theme in this article? Segmentation and personalization aren’t just the first and second items on the email marketing do’s and don’ts list. They are also part of every other item on this list. In other words, they are the foundation of email marketing success today and permeate every aspect of email marketing strategy, implementation, and results.
The reality today is that email marketing has become much more complex over the past decade, but with the right knowledge, you can get great results from your efforts. Start with a solid segmentation and personalization plan and follow the do’s and don’ts outlined in this article to get you on the right track!
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