I’ve sent out thousands of email campaigns…here are three things that I’ve learned along the way.
Here’s a little secret: One of the highest traffic days of the week for my websites are the days I send out the monthly newsletter. That’s the newsletter that I design and send out to our prospects and clients across the country. It’s generally fairly generic, with a headline worthy update about the business, a couple local events and perhaps an offer. It also happens to have one of the highest open rates of any email I send out. How did it get to be so popular? To put it bluntly — years of testing, experimenting and engaging with our audience has taught me a thing or two. It’s not easy to get it right but a strong email newsletter to engage and re-engage your audience, will create trust, establish expertise and create a healthy stream of traffic back to your website. (Worth it!)
1: Design Your Emails With Your Goal In Mind
In order to create an effective email, you have to start with the goal in mind. What is it that you want your readers to do? Do you want them to click on a link and sign up for an offer? Do you want them to share something on social? Knowing this, make sure you’re designing your email around that goal.
How To Make This Lesson Work For You: Once you’ve decided what the goal of your email is going to be, design a content strategy that will play into that goal. For example, if you want them to share something on social, then your content needs to be written in a way that would make a person want to share it with a friend and the call to action button (yes you need one of those!) should be a share to Facebook.
2: Preview and Check All Links On a Phone Before You Send
It’s a painful process to have to go through and test out each and every link on a phone before you send out your email. But to be blunt: you need to do it. Today, 81% of people preview their emails on mobile devices. So if you’re previewing emails on a desktop computer only, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
How To Make This Lesson Work For You: Take email production seriously. It’s not worth your time to create an email if it’s not easy to read and navigate through on a phone, so make sure the email templates you’re using are mobile-friendly (or better yet, designed with mobile first in mind!). And, ask a partner or person on your team to preview and check all the links in your email from a phone before you send out the door.
3: Experiment With Time of Week and Day Sends
Similar to subject lines, we have tested and refined time of week and send times for our emails over the years. And here’s an interesting tidbit to note: the optimal time to send email campaigns has changed over the years. Think about it. When do you check your email with genuine interest? When do you just scroll through and filter out unwanted messages? It used to be that morning or early afternoon was a great time. Today, I find that our newsletters often perform well in the late afternoons and evenings. Also, mid-week emails tend to work better than weekend sends. Think about when your audience is most likely to engage with you message!
How To Make This Lesson Work for You: Do a test. Send emails to half your audience on a Tuesday and the other half on a Thursday. See what works until you’ve come up with a great time of day and week to send messages to your audience.