Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that involves sending out bulk emails that are both personalized and generic in order to inform and persuade leads to perform a particular action, such as making a purchase. It is a brilliant approach to digital marketing that has shown to be quite successful. A successful email marketing campaign that will turn prospects into customers, and one-time buys into loyal patrons who will spread the word about your business.
Marketing with email has been around for an eternity, and there is a good reason for it. It regularly wins out over every other marketing channel because it is the most direct and effective way to engage with your prospects, nurture them, and turn them into customers.
Let’s go over some common email questions when first starting out.
How long should an email be?
As short as possible while still being useful. Some businesses send very long and complex material in email form, but that’s rare. The typical inbox is exceedingly full already, so you don’t want to contribute to the problem. Get in, get your message across, and get out.
The current email marketing strategy industry standard is 20 lines of text, or 200 words, but don’t consider this a fixed rule, as it totally depends on the purpose of the email.
As always, keep your audience in mind, as their needs or expectations may be different.
Should I put the full articles in the email, or just teasers and links to the site?
Consider your goals for each email. Which action do you want the readers to take? If the goal is to get them onto your website, it might be wise to write a short (2-3 sentence) teaser and encourage readers to click the link. A summary (without spoilers) will help convince them that the link is worth clicking.
If your goal is to get readers to register for an event, for example, you could just use the links along with their images and titles. In this case, you’re using the links to provide credibility for the ultimate action you want readers to take rather than using the articles themselves as the CTA.
This event email contains one main call to action (the RSVP button) along with supporting links to learn more about the speakers. You could follow this strategy when creating an email campaign strategy for health foods, parenting products, electronics, and much more.
How often should I send emails?
There is no single answer. But in general, it’s better to err towards too few emails with your email marketing strategy rather than too many.
However, if you send infrequently, your subscribers may forget that they’ve signed up for your list. 36% of people say they mark emails as spam because they never purposefully subscribed to the email list. It’s interesting to wonder how many of these people genuinely did sign up but the brand hadn’t contacted them in so long that they forgot.
You can also just ask your subscribers—as well as people who’ve just unsubscribed—how often they’d prefer to receive your content. Ask your new subscribers to fill out their preferences upon signup or send out a form to current subscribers.
What is the best time to send an email?
The answer to this question is simple. When do your subscribers typically check their email? That’s your answer.
You want to send the emails out when you can safely assume your subscribers are already on their phone or device. If you send an email in the middle of the night, for example, it will likely be buried under ten other emails by the time a subscriber checks their phone in the morning.
According to our research at Campaign Monitor, email opens begin as people start their workday and continue throughout the day before tapering off into the evening. 53% of email opens occur between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., while 24% occur between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. as folks wind down for the night.
It’s a good idea to break your list up into segments based on geolocation (time zones) and send out emails during the subscriber’s ideal time.
Is it okay to buy an email list?
Although there are services and products that claim to have fully opt-in, up-to-date databases, you have no real way of confirming that. Most email service providers and anti-spam systems take a very dim view of purchased email lists. You could wind up getting your sending IP address flagged as spam and irreparably damage your sending reputation.
World governments are also taking data security much more seriously. In a post-GDPR world, you could find yourself facing costly fines and damaging lawsuits by sending emails to people who did not actively give you permission to contact them.
What is a good open rate?
There’s no official answer here because open rates vary based on several factors. Each industry, for example, has its own average open rate.
Based on our research at Campaign Monitor, the average open rate across all industries is 20% to 40%. That was in 2020. Our 2021 email benchmarks saw 18%, which means that 20% may now suggest you’re performing above average. But every industry is different. And don’t forget that as your list grows, it’s possible your open rate will dip a bit.
A few tips email marketing tips for maximizing open rates:
- Keep your email subject lines short and clever
- Use marketing automation and email segmentation to send more targeted emails at the right time
- Consider pruning inactive subscribers from your subscriber list
- Make sure to use a/b testing as often as you can
How many clicks should I expect?
This follows on from the previous question but is even less likely to have a reliable answer. Email marketing strategy industry reports tend to quote a 2-11% unique click-through rate as typical.
Like open rates, average click-through rates vary depending on the industry. Emails about niche hobbies, for example, tend to have much higher click rates than emails from vitamin and supplement companies.
Other factors also play a role in the click-through rate of your email marketing strategy. Standard email newsletters have lower average click rates at around 3.48% across all industries, though this too has dipped in recent years, almost up to 1%.
These are some of the questions you should be prepared to answer in an email marketing job interview. Keep up to date with the latest email marketing trends and legislation to showcase you’re ready to take advantage of future opportunities, and navigate through potential threats.
All that’s left for me to say is GOOD LUCK!