- Executive Toolbox
- Career Center
- About Us
If conducted properly, an email campaign can be an effective way to get your association’s message out. But there is more to it than just hitting “send” to a targeted group. What do you put in the subject line that will catch the reader’s eye? How do you construct effective content? Determining the best “send to” list also involves thoughtful practice. There are many other considerations, as well.
Informz, an email marketing solutions provider, offers the following tips to an effective email campaign.
Building a subscriber list can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with your “fans.” Who are your current members, supporters and donors? Who are your prospective members, supporters and donors? Who attended an event you hosted, purchased something from you or visited your website? Opt-in email leads are the best because you are sending email to someone who actually wants to read your emails.
Build a strong subscription form, which will help to segment your list and personalize your messaging. Collect standard information, such as name and email address, but also preference information: how often do they want to receive email? What topics most interest them? Do they want information on events only, or events and membership? Remember, only ask what you will actually use.
Also, the average email list churns 20 to 30 percent per year, so remind subscribers to update their profile information.
If your brand does not stand out or if the content does not render correctly on the reader’s end, then your message won’t resonate, or worse, won’t get read.
There are two key areas that will identify who you are and set the tone for the email – the email “from” information and the layout.
The email “from” will alert the reader who the sender is. Using your organization’s name or a recognizable leader in the “from” field on a consistent basis will create brand awareness in the inbox and help to develop a trusted relationship. Changing the “from” address often can affect deliverability and brand recognition.
Once the email is open, the layout needs to guide the reader to the call to action (see Content below). Include the following items in every email:
• Your logo, for branding needs.
• Contact information, including a physical mailing address, which is required by CAN-SPAM law.
• Opt-out and unsubscribe links, also required by CAN-SPAM. Allowing readers to properly re- move themselves from your lists may avoid them from marking your email as spam.
• A link to a mobile or web version of the mailing, as well as viral marketing links, such as Facebook. Also include “forward to a friend” links.
With overcrowded inboxes and increasing demands on readers’ time, your subject lines need to be on point. Studies show that you have about three seconds for an email recipient to understand who sent the email, what action you want them to take, and what value is in it for them. When developing an email, at least 50% of the time should be on the subject line, it’s that important.
Once the reader has opened the email, use a strong headline clearly stating the call to action. Also, keep the email short. Try to keep your email to one scroll, or three to four if viewing on a mobile device. Use links to full articles and bullets to identify short items.
The key to high-performing content that keep readers opening your emails loyally is relevance. Use their preferences from the subscription process and target your emails.
The insight gained from your email reports show what works best with your audience and therefore should guide your email strategy.
Monitor your delivery rates because any drastic changes can indicate major issues. Your delivery rate will also give you a clear picture of the quality of your list.
Next, analyze your open and click-thru rates. Was the subject line effective enough to encourage recipients to open your email? Which links had the highest click-thru rates? This can help to determine the email’s layout, and shows the information subscribers want.
It’s also important to take notice of how people are reading your emails, for instance, if they are using a mobile device. This will help decide the length of subject lines, content, layout and call to action.
Did you know...
• The day of the week on which an email is sent has little effect on the open and click results – this shows that content is more important than timing.
• Mobile usage continues to increase and desktop decrease – it is important to develop a mobile strategy.
• Mobile-only users resulted in a low click rate – have a mobile strategy to keep members engaged.
• Email engagement decreases as the list size increases – this demonstrates the importance of segmenting and relevance.
This article is based on “Email Marketing 101 Whitepaper” by Informz. For the complete paper, go to www.Informz.com.