- • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
- • 91% of consumers use email at least once a day.
- • When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.
- • 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization.
However—as email inboxes get more crowded and both the sophistication and expectations of consumers and business buyers increase, marketers need to refine their tactics in order to build their opt-in email lists, retain subscribers, and drive leads and sales through email marketing.
So what are the most effective tactics for building an opt-in email list today? What are the best practices to maximize open and click-through rates? What worst practices or pitfalls should email marketers avoid? What’s the best day of the week to send emails?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here almost two dozen expert guides to email marketing.
Email List Building Guides
Daniel Burstein reports that most marketers struggle with growing their opt-in lists–but also offers tips from the happy minority enjoying rapid list building success. Among them: “63% of marketers found registration during purchase to be very effective…If you could start, or improve, only one element of your opt-in program this year, you should strongly consider taking a look at how you offer customers the chance to register for your list when they’re making a purchase. Only 41% of marketers are using this tactic to drive their organization’s email list growth.” Online events are also effective, while social media sharing buttons are at the other end of the scale, cited as “very effective” by only 9% of marketers.
10 Top Tips to Grow Your Email List by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas suggests 10 ways to grow your opt-in email list, from the common (offer a free ebook, or use a pop-up box–which he concedes is annoying, but they work anyway) to the less obvious (do some guest blogging, use annotations in YouTube videos, or use SlideShare Pro (“the premium version of Slideshare…offers a pop up box to capture emails and leads”).
4 tips for growing your email list by iMedia Connection
Reporting, regarding the continuing importance of email as a marketing tactic, that “Fifty-four percent of organizations generate 20 percent or more of overall revenue through email marketing. For 21 percent of respondents, email marketing accounts for 60 percent or more of all digital business revenue,” Monique Torres presents four helpful tips for building opt-in email lists, including offering incentives for signing up, which may include content, exclusive access, tesimonials, or discounts.
Email List Growth: Marketers Rank Their Most Popular – and Effective – Tactics by Marketing Charts
It’s not surprising that, according to research from ExactTarget, a majority of marketers use tactics like placing a general email signup form on their websites, or signup forms specific to different sections of their sites. But among some findings that are less obvious, this post notes “While only 23% capture email during inbound sales calls, 71% rate this tactic as being effective.”
16 Ways to Capture Email Addresses for Your Email Marketing List by Blue Kite Marketing
Frequent best-of honoree Laura Click serves up more than a dozen helpful tactics for growing an opt-in email marketing list, from offering an incentive to sign up (“such as eBooks, webinars and video series”) and social media channels to digital ads, contests, and collecting email addresses at trade shows and other industry events.
Guest author Marya Jan steps through seven common roadblocks to growing a subscriber list, and explains what to do instead in order to quickly build a large opt-in email list. For example, not providing an incentive to sign up: “the best opt-in offers are those that offer some sort of short cut of doing a task. A cheat sheet of sorts…a report, mini ebook, white paper or a short webinar works well.”
General Email Marketing Guides
10 email best practices to remember (Infographic) by iMedia Connection
Erik Matlick showcases an infographic detailing 10 best practices for effective marketing emails, from subject lines (punctuation is unnecessary; capitalizing all words results in higher engagement) to content and CTAs (questions spike interest and encourage click-through; orange and red are the best colors for CTA buttons).
11 Email Marketing WORST Practices by Bourn Creative
Shifting the focus from email marketing best practices to worst practices, Jennifer Bourn here helpfully warns marketers to avoid these potentially costly email mistakes, such as buying email lists (“This tactic is guaranteed to result in a lot of spam complaints, angry consumers, and damage to your brand”), using a bait-and-switch opt-in (“Don’t sneak your ezine in after the fact and trick new subscribers”) and buring out your list with over-mailing.
Personalized e-mails drive shoppers to buy—and buy more—in stores and online by Internet Retailer
Want your marketing emails to be more effective? Make them personal. According to Amy Dusto, “77% of online shoppers say they’re more likely to buy from a retailer when its e-mails are personal…and 82% of web shoppers say they’d likely buy more items from a retailer if its e-mails were more personally relevant.”
Email Deliverability: 8 tactics help you overcome rising B2B challenges by MarketingSherpa
“There are plenty of layers to permeate when it comes to deliverability. In the B2B market, those layers thicken. You bear a bulk of ongoing challenges including a longer sales cycle, complex reputation score hurdles and high employee turnover, resulting in multiple inactive email addresses.” To overcome these challenges, Allison Banko walks through eight tactics for improving deliverability specifically for b2b email marketers, from careful segmentation to optimizing emails for mobile devices.
Noting that typical email conversion rates are significantly higher than for search or social media, Ian Cleary passes along conversion tactics from nine top marketing professionals, among them John Jantsch (use a bright color for your call-to-action button and “never use your call to action button color anywhere else on your site”) and Melanie Duncan: “Melanie has a great picture of her with a visual cue (i.e. she’s pointing to where you have to subscribe).”
Marketing Research Chart: Which day is best to send emails? by MarketingSherpa
Daniel Burstein (again) shares research on which day of the week marketers believe is most effective for sending marketing emails. (It’s Tuesday, followed closely by Wednesday.) However, he also points out the value of testing (as your mileage may vary), the importance of accurate measurement, and international considerations.
Justin Bridegan shares four key lessons from his email marketing experience, including the importance of providing value over just selling: “Your emails should be an ongoing conversation and always offer real value. Ask yourself, ‘Does this pass the ‘so what’ test?’ If not, then scrap what you have and start over.”
The 4 Pillars of Email Marketing by MarketingSherpa
Astutely noting that “If you focus on everything, you focus on nothing,” Daniel Burstein (once more) presents the four focus areas for presentations at MarketingSherpa’s email summit, along with supporting content. These focus areas included list building, design, automation, and integration (“The optimization of email integration tactics with social media, websites, mobile, offline and testing”).
5 Reasons Why Most Email Marketing Messages Get Ignored by Blue Kite Marketing
Laura Click (again) muses upon several reasons marketing emails have low open rates, including an excessive focus on selling (“Yes, it’s important to use email to sell. But, that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. It needs to be balanced with other compelling content”), boring content, and terrible subject lines.
24 Tips for Responsive Email Design by Get Elastic
Noting that “43% of email is currently opened on mobile devices, headed towards 50% by the end of the year,” Linda Bustos explains how responsive email design works, and supplies a set of practical tips for design, content, and calls to action (“Make links look like links. Sound like Web usability kindergarten? It’s still important, especially since modern designs style links as colored text without underlining”).
Email Marketing: 7 Things You Should Do Before Hitting “Send” by The 60 Second Marketer
May Advincula walks through seven items to check before hitting the “send” button on a marketing email message, among them, covering the basics (“Do you have an easily accessible unsubscribe link?”) and keeping it simple (“Once your subscribers get past the subject line and open your e-mail, make sure the reason why subscribers have signed up for your e-mail is prominent”).
Simple ideas for integrating social and email by iMedia Connection
Drew Hubbard contends that contrary to the notion that social media has “killed” email, in fact, “the explosive popularity of social networking is an opportunity to boost the effectiveness of email marketing.” He then details a handful of ways social media can be used to leverage email marketing efforts, such as encouraging sharing: “Remember back in the day when email marketers did backflips when subscribers chose to ‘forward to a friend?’ Well, with social networking, email subscribers today can choose to ‘forward to ALL friends.'”
Email Subject Lines and Copywriting Guides
Infographic: 10 Commandments of Email Copywriting by The Point
Howard J. Sewell shares clever and practical commandments for effetive email copywriting, from “Thou shalt not direct people to ‘learn more'” (“‘Learn more” is the worst possible call to action. It means absolutely nothing. What is it that you’re offering, exactly?”) and “Thou shalt use ‘you,” not ‘we'” to “Thou shalt not serve up multiple calls to action.”
Email Subject Lines: Words and Tactics That Boost Open Rates by MarketingProfs
Among other research findings detailed here, Ayaz Nanji reports that “Email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency, such as those that contain the words ‘urgent’ and/or ‘important,’ have open rates that are much higher than normal…(also) email recipients are much more intrigued by subject lines that contain positive solicitations rather than negative admonitions: Words such as ‘announcement’ and ‘invitation’ have significantly higher open rates than those containing ‘reminder’ and ‘cancelled.'”
Which Email Keywords Get the Highest Open and Click-Through Rates? by The Daily Egg
**** 5 STARS
Sherice Jacob notes that, as email inboxes become ever more crowded, “The competition is only going to get fiercer…now more than ever—word choice matters.” She then delves into research on how small changes in subject line word choice can make a big difference in results. For example, “save” vs. “sale”: “‘sale’ enjoyed an over 23% increase in open rates and over 60% in click-through rates, whereas ‘save’ flat-lined at 3.4% and -25.2% respectively.”
Email Design Awards and Inspiration
The 10 most innovative marketing emails of 2013 by iMediaConnection
Chris Marriott takes a close look at some of last year’s more effective email marketing campaigns, from best abandoned cart email (“Too many abandoned cart emails read along the lines of, ‘Hey dummy, you didn’t finish checking out.’ Not here. Bare Necessities strikes just the right tone with subject line, ‘Thanks for checking us out.’ That thought is repeated in the email itself, along with dynamically placed pictures of what was left in the cart”) and best coupon email (CVS) to best newsletter (P&G Home Made Simple) and best re-activation email (Clinique UK).
MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2014, presented by ExactTarget by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 STARS
Get design and campaign inspiration from the MarketingSherpa Email Awards winners in these 17 illustrated examples, including Dell’s Ultrabook program for e-commerce creation and design: “Dell wanted to support the launch and ongoing promotion of an innovative product. The main feature was a flip-hinge design allowing a user to transform the device from an Ultrabook to a tablet. Dell marketers saw an opportunity to demonstrate the key feature of their product using a unique approach – a short animated GIF. Touting high compatibility with email clients and browsers, this solution saw an increase in revenue of 109% against the quarterly benchmark for similar campaigns.”