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5 Ways to Up Your Email Marketing

Email is still one of the most effective tools available for your digital marketing toolkit. Here are five ideas to improve your email marketing effort.

Make Every Message Count

Provide value or don’t send an email! In boxes are crowded. To earn an open, you need to provide something that’s valuable, tangible, and resonates with your subscribers.

People will open emails if there is value in it for them. Make sure to clearly communicate that message in the subject line, teaser text, and body of the email.

  • Answer a question that is on their minds
  • Address a common pain point
  • Provide updates on valued products and services
  • Provide valuable offers that aren’t otherwise available
  • Share exclusive content

Focus on the Needs of Newbies

Your newest email subscribers are the most likely to open your emails and take action. Capitalize on this enthusiasm by welcoming new people with a series of welcome emails. Keep it simple.

Focus on the action you most want people to take. Refine the welcome series over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Personalize and Segment

Personalized emails deliver higher transaction rates. Personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened.

Email personalization can be as simple as adding the first name to the subject line and body copy. More complex approaches can change the content based on subscriber preferences.

Personalization is most effective when combined with list segmentation. Most, if not all, of your messages are not relevant to every subscriber. Take time to target the set of subscribers that receive each message.

Update Your List

Don’t forget to add new contacts to your list! When you connect with someone who you would like to add, ask for permission and then add them. I work with so many clients who are working with the same subscribers as the day they started the list.

Don’t count on your email tool to remove bad addresses. Keep your list accurate. Do you know that someone is no longer interested? Remove them. Do you have a new email for a contact? Update your list.

Did your last send get auto-replies that tell you a person has left a job, provided a new contact or listed a new email? Make the necessary updates.

Touch base with your subscribers periodically to allow them to update preferences and give you feedback about what they care about.

Set Expectations and Stick to Them

When your audience opts-in to your email list, be clear about what they will get and how often. Let subscribers know how often you will communicate with them, what you will communicate to them, and how they will benefit.

If you add people to your list after they register for an event or download a white paper and don’t tell them how often you will email them, you are not starting on the right footing. Be clear and stick to your promises.

I recently signed up for a business email list. I was amazed to receive emails daily. When I clicked the unsubscribe link, there was an option to receive fewer emails. I tried that. After two weeks of more daily messages, I completely unsubscribed. I am still interested in the business, but the lack of clarity and control means I am no longer connected at all.

Don’t put your email marketing on autopilot. Pay attention to signals from your subscribers as well as emerging email best practices offered at this blog and other places. Refine and adjust to make sure you continue to get the best use of this tool in your toolbox.

Trust Critical to Social Success

The unquestioning use of social media is a thing of the past. Facebook and other platforms have had issues with privacy, fake accounts and other trust-breaking events. We are all more skeptical.

To succeed on social, brands must make connections that build trust. Relationship building needs to be the centerpiece of engagement. Social media has never been mass media. Brands that embrace the difference will see the most success.

Brands need to focus on generating transparent, quality interactions with individuals. Targeted messaging is more important than audience size.

Essential to this approach is making the brand human. Marketers must move away from corporate messaging to amplifying the voices of the people who are behind the brand. The best “celebrity” or influencer is someone who is part of the day to day of the business.

This could be the CEO, it could be the marketing team, or it could be someone on the front lines of customer service. People trust people. To be successful on social media, brands need to help make those connections.

In messaging, the overriding goal needs to be transparency, accuracy and authenticity. Focus on values and purpose over specific products and services.

In approach, tactics that create conversation have the greatest impact. Try Twitter chats, Facebook live, and groups on LinkedIn, for example.

Social Media Marketing in 2019

I’m doing a lot of reading and thinking about where social media marketing is headed in 2019. I offer these thoughts for your consideration.

Trust matters.

This year we’ve had headlines and even congressional testimony about security and privacy issues, and even fake news on social media. People no longer blindly trust that everyone they engage with online is legit and worthy of their trust.

To be successful in 2019, brands must earn trust. You need to be transparent in everything you do. You need to protect the privacy of the people who engage with you.

Be a strong and consistent brand.

Related to the trust issue, people will pay more attention to the sources of information. Brands they know (and trust) will win out over brands with no recognition.

Make 2019 the year that you have a consistent brand and messaging online. Give yourself a strong identity that people will know and understand.

Tell your story.

Social media platforms are moving away from the concept of sharing news toward telling stories. That’s because stories are what people read and understand. In 2019, stories around the campfire are replaced with stories told to your social media tribe online.

Connect with people personally.

Everyone wants individualized attention. Marketers that take a personalized approach will be the most successful. Use tools that allow you to target your messages to very specific needs and interests.

Your audience is not a group of the same people. It is a group of individuals. Success will depend on your ability to tap into differences and not just similarities.