Ever since Mail Chimp and Constant Contact have updated their media capabilities, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for email newsletters and the content, media, and templates that come with them. This increase in our email marketing services has brought our attention to some less than effective practices, so we thought it might be time for some advice in this area. Take a look at our three keys for an effective email marketing strategy and put them to use for yourself.

Leave the Email Subject Sales Lines Behind

The very first thing your marketing email needs to do is inspire people to open it. That means your subject line is of huge importance. The most common strategy is to use a sales line, but please resist this urge. Consider all those spam emails you get. What do their subject lines say? Most often, they read something like, “Make more money!” or “Don’t miss this opportunity.” Or “Work from home and make millions.” You know the type. How many of those have you actually opened, and how many more have you directed to your spam filter, blocked, and/or unsubscribed? These emails should be your lesson on what not to do.

Instead, consider which marketing emails you do open even when you do not know the sender. People are more likely to open emails they believe come from individuals, not from companies. This means, the more simple and casual the subject line, the better. For example, you might say something like, “I saw this and thought of you.” or, “Isn’t this what you were looking for?” or even, leave it blank. That’s right; a blank subject line will work better in terms of number of opens than any sales line! Try using some of these successful subject line strategies:

  • Send it from your business email address, not your company’s sales/info email address.
  • Use a casual query instead of a claim in the subject line.
  • Use first-person perspective (I, me, you).
  • Don’t mention your product or service (save that for your call to action).
  • Use the voice of a helpful friend instead of a company looking for clients.

Use Multimedia to Your Advantage

In the past, you had to know a bit about HTML coding to add something extra to your marketing emails, but now, thanks to sites like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, add-ons are as easy as drag-and-drop. You can now use stylized titles, perfectly positioned photos, and even playable videos. Not only will media make your emails look great, but they are more effective at spurring interaction. Obviously, getting your audience to click something in your email is your goal, so give them something tempting like an entertaining video or a photo that takes them to a related blog on your website. Consider adding a variety of engaging elements like:

  • Demo or advice videos
  • Photos of you, your company, and/or happy clients
  • Photos of products or services in action
  • Infographics that focus on persuasive statistics
  • Audio clips from experts
  • Calendars with links to your events webpage
  • Anchor text links that point to your product/service webpages

Change Your Email Template and Content Regularly

Don’t keep sending out the same kind of email content again and again. You need to balance the purpose of your email marketing campaign with its relevance to your audience. They will not benefit from email after email pushing the benefits of your products and services. You’ll need to come up with helpful, interesting content every time, and then embed your marketing message within that. That way, your content stays fresh and your email list stays long.

Likewise, don’t send out the same format or email template again and again. Anything repetitive ends up seeming unimportant and is easily dismissed by your audience. If you’re using the same images and template for every email, they’ll take one look and think it’s the one they already read even if it has different text content. If they feel they keep getting repeated emails from your business, it won’t take them long to unsubscribe or block you from their inbox.

In short, simply consider what emails you open and which you ignore. Apply the same strategy to your email marketing campaign, and you’ll see a lot more opens, clicks, and, hopefully, customers.