Client attraction. Business growth. Pretty profits.
Everyone claims the money is in the list but unless you know the email marketing tips and tricks to get your emails opened, read and acted upon…
…you’re never going to have that $$$$$ in your bank account.
And when you read that the Direct Marketing Association’s research found:
“for every $1 spent on email marketing the return is $43”
you’re probably going to be incredibly motivated to learn successful email marketing strategies pretty damn quickly.
1. What makes an effective email?
2. How can you ensure your subscribers, your leads, your prospective clients will actually consume your emails and take the action you direct them to?
To help you increase your email marketing performance and start you generating impressive return on investment I decided to ask 46 of my fellow email marketing experts the following:
What is your favourite email marketing tip and how have you implemented it within your business?
The responses I received were nothing short of flipping brilliant. They are listed below (in no particular order).
P.S. Be sure to sign up for the freebie too because it shares how to action a series of these tips in 10mins or less! Just click on the’Feeling Overwhelmed’ image
I think the thing that has worked best for me when it comes to gaining new subscribers has been offering a small discount on their next sale when they join the mailing list. I can see how many people use this code, and so that helps me keep track of who is subscribing due to that offer – who might not have subscribed otherwise.
Another thing I do is that when I have a sale (I have very few – maybe one or two a year) I only make the sale code available to my subscribers (and I make that fact public). Same goes for launches – sometimes I’ll launch to my list at an ‘early bird’ price that is very time-sensitive (24-48 hours) and this always encourages lots of sales.
I like doing this to reward my loyal customers and subscribers – especially as for a business like mine (where everything is made-to-order, so I never have stock to clear, and I get regular business daily). I actually don’t want too many sales when I’m having a sale! Sales are actually more about rewarding my fans than making money.
I often give readers more than one chance to click in an email, often by using bullet points that outline what the latest essay is about. One hook only gives you one chance, while a list of multiple things increases the likelihood that you’ll peak someone’s interest. Just make sure that each bullet point is actually addressed in your new post!
Here’s an example:
There’s a main call-to-action for people who just want to read, and a list of what’s covered. Some of the points are linked, but every link in that email goes to the same blog post.
Pretty much everyone these days has an overloaded inbox. We delete, ignore and unsubscribe at a fast pace when overwhelm hits. The first to go are the ones we have NO connection with – the boring ones.
In my work as a marketing strategist and an email service provider I’ve come to learn that most people have a handful of email newsletters that we feel truly connected to at any one time. Yet we may subscribe to way more than this. It’s your job to be one of the chosen few for your ideal recipients.
Being ignored, deleted or unsubscribed from is what will happen if you don’t connect. If you don’t become a welcome guest in your recipient’s inbox.
I believe the time has come for less overt marketing and more heart to heart connection.
How I’ve done this and you could too is simple – simply speak or write from the heart. When we feel like someone loves what they do and what they are sharing and it aligns with our self interests then we want more.
So quit what you think you should ‘say’ in your emails and step into your heart. What’s the message you want to express to your ideal prospective customer who have welcomed you into their inbox by subscribing? Let it flow!
Tip No. 4 – Measure Email Conversion Rates Through To Purchase
Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences says:
My favourite email marketing tip is to measure the conversion rate of your emails through to purchase or subscription, depending on your business.
We’ve done email tests in which open and click through rates were the same for two identical emails with different subject lines. However the conversion rate on the landing page was vastly different.
Email service providers such as MailChimp allow you to code your links so that you can see the conversion rate for visits from specific emails in Google Analytics.
I recently added a feature to my blog that I should have implemented long ago. Over the past year I’ve offered a few freebies, one of which has been downloaded almost 9k times. That’s NINE THOUSAND. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to be smart and add an email opt-in to all of my free downloads.
This means every time someone wants to download a worksheet, ebook, or template they first have to submit their email address and join my mailing list. With two opt-ins, I got 25 new subscribers in the first 4 days, so I highly recommend not making my mistake and add those opt-ins today! FYI I use MailChimp + Ninja Forms to do this on WordPress.
Whatever the topic of your newsletter, always keep your reader in mind and make sure it’s interesting and relevant for them. Even if you’re sharing your own exciting news, think ‘how will this interest or benefit the people reading this email?’ and write it from that perspective.
And if you want your readers to do anything, tell them clearly! Don’t assume they can read your mind or will somehow guess from your writing. Give them a clear call to action, with details on how and where they act (plus the benefit to them of doing so).
Anyone who is getting into email marketing should understand the importance of split testing and how making a simple change to some text, colours or layout can have a dramatic impact the results your campaigns get.
Tip No. 7 – Always Be Split-Testing Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant says: The difference in sign ups, email opens and eventual sales can be quite staggering – and unless you split test you’ll have no idea what’s working.
For example, over on Blog Tyrant I am testing out a few different landing pages and the difference in sign ups is huge as you can see in the screenshot below.
What works for one blog might not work for another. I really encourage all bloggers, website owners and email marketers to start testing as smartly as possible to see what actually increases conversions for your campaigns.
Peter Sandeen of PeterSandeen.com says:
Assuming you’re using emails to grow your business—and not just share your thoughts—you shouldn’t forget to sell with them. But that doesn’t have to mean what most people think at first. You don’t need to be pushy, sales-y, spammy, or anything. You can (and you should be) extremely helpful.
People read emails only if they expect to get value from them. So, put at least one valuable thought into each email you send. For example, share a tip or insight, explain how to do something, or just help your readers see what they should do differently. But don’t forget to sell.
If you mention a product/service after giving people something of value, they don’t mind—actually they’re likely to like it. And if you make the transition from the “content” to the “pitch” feel natural, you’ll make more sales thanks to it.
Kristi Hines of KristiHines.com says:
Since the subject line is crucial in email marketing, I’m a fan of services like GetResponse that offer A/B testing. You can test up to five subject lines at a time. As you continue to fine tune the subject lines that get the most opens, you will know what works best with your audience when it’s time to launch a product.
Or you can simply use A/B testing to find out what headlines are best for your content. Ultimately, this tactic will help you get the most opens from your email list.
Tash Corbin of TashCorbin.com says:
For me, online business is all about connecting. It can be easy to see email marketing as ‘just another thing to do’, and another one-way form of communication. But really, this is your opportunity to engage in a conversation!
When people are added to my mailing list, they get a series of emails from me introducing different elements of myself and my business. And every email invites them to reply and connect with me. Lots of people do, and it’s so fabulous to be able to really truly connect with my tribe.
So many people also ask me: How do you have the time to connect so much with everyone? My answer is always the same: Connection is my number one priority, my number one value. It always comes first.
Nathalie Lussier of AmbitionAlly says:
Great email marketing starts with building a strong and engaged list… and the best way to do that is to make it as easy as possible for your viewers to subscribe to your newsletter list.
We really started seeing our list growth sky rocket when we developed PopupAlly, the polite popup plugin to start capturing leads and subscribers on our site. We had tried other popup plugins, but we felt they might annoy our visitors because they interrupted people’s visits… or the designs all looked the same, and made us feel smarmy.
Now we get more subscribers in a day, politely, than we did in a week before implementing and switching out our popup offers regularly.
Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life says:
Turn off your unsubscribe notices. It will make you CRAZY to see these come into your inbox, and your time is better spent creating awesome stuff for the people who DO want to hear from you, rather than stressing over the ones who don’t.
Alexandra Franzen of AlexandraFranzen.com says:
Be generous. Give value. Help people. Help help help. Ask questions. Listen to what people need. Help more. Establish a reputation for yourself as someone with tremendous value to offer.
Someone who is gracious and caring and generous. Once you’ve cemented that kind of reputation for yourself, THEN… people will joyfully purchase whatever you want to sell.
Courtney Johnson of The Rule Breakers Club says:
My favourite email marketing tip is to think in terms of sequences. This is vital if you’re launching anything. It’s easiest to do with a platform like Infusionsoft, but even if you have something like Mailchimp, you can create a sequence!
The idea is that you’re sending a series of automated emails with an ultimate end goal. Each email should have a goal and each sequence should have an end goal (whether it’s to purchase an ebook, sign up for your program, or join a free training, etc). I plan out all of my marketing emails well in advance using my own email sequence worksheet.
David Aston of Income Diary says:
My favourite email marketing tip is to use PopUp Domination! This is the only list building software I’ve ever used and the only one proven to increase email subscribers by more than 500% overnight! PopUp Domination is usually the first plugin I install on my WordPress websites.
Farideh Ceasar of Farideh says:
Experiment with different writing styles to find what works for you. I’ve been surprised by how much “me” I can be.
(Farideh is also known for including much loved ukulele ditties within her emails.)
Jeff Bullas of JeffBullas.com says: Use Facebook to grow your email list by running competitions and sweepstakes.
Kat Loterzo of KatLoterzo.com says:
My favourite tip is to say in public what you normally would only speak or say in private … i.e. speak your truth and share with the world what you truly believe and stand for.
Megan Dougherty of Firepole Marketing says:
One of the best ways we’ve found to really engage people through our email is to take content cues directly from our audience, and respond to them personally. People send us in questions every day – excellent ones about real issues they are struggling with.
We know that when someone takes the time to write in and express curiosity or confusion – there are very likely dozens if not more other people wondering exactly the same thing – but for whatever reason didn’t have the time or the courage to ask about it.
So we respond to these questions, and try to provide information based directly on what people tell us they need to improve the overall understanding and knowledge of our community.
Jo Gifford of Dexterous Diva says:
My tip is that I use challenges and free courses such as my 10 day blog challenge and my 5 days to raving fans challenge to engage and inspire my email list. In this way, peeps on my list get a taster of working with me with no price barriers or commitments.
It shows generosity, helps to establish expertise, and offers such as these work really well with Facebook ads to increase engaged sign ups very quickly.
Meg Appleby of Bloom Online says:
My favourite email marketing tip is to focus on building a community, not just a list. The money might be in the list, but the heart and soul of your business is in the community that you create and encourage around what you do.
To do this you need to be emailing individuals. The emails in your list are people and if you can recognise them as such, and acknowledge them in ways that add real value (and maybe a bit of sparkle) to their inbox, you are going to create a community of people who really appreciate what you do – who open your emails, tell their friends and colleagues about you, share your stuff, and spend their money with you.
I have found that the more I focus on my community, the better my email engagement becomes and the more clients I get. So I work hard to provide content that is useful. I invite my subscribers to get in touch with their questions and feedback – and reply to everyone that does. I try to provide extra bonus goodies to my subscribers on a semi-regular basis. Email segmentation and personalisation is becoming an increasing focus in how I manage my email database as well.
Suzanne Evans of SuzanneEvans.org says:
I approach my marketing via email and in social media by asking myself these two questions: What pisses me off or what breaks my heart? Then I use that to inform my marketing. By using this approach it allowed me to not hide behind cookie cutter marketing mantras, and get over my fear of pissing people off. This is how you create raving fans.
Shae Baxter of ShaeBaxter.com says:
I save my best content for my email subscribers. I blog less and jam pack my newsletter with actionable advice anyone can implement immediately. It’s so important to nurture and look after your email list.
Bushra Azhar of Persuasion Revolution says:
Most people think that once you have someone on your list, the job is done. Ahhh, how I wish that was true! Getting them on your list does not mean they will automatically devour your optin offer, trip over their feet trying to open your emails or clamour to your door begging you to take their money.
So here’s my favorite tip; assume that they won’t even use your opt in bribe unless you make the effort to sell it to them AGAIN in the welcome email! Yes, the same offer that they so eagerly signed up for. Seems counterintuitive but happens all the time. People get on lists eager to grab a freebie but once they have it, they lose interest and put it off for when they have time. This means: They will never be able to see how good your content is. They will never be able to get the results you promise from your opt in. They will never graduate to your paid offer because they haven’t experienced your free awesomeness.
So here is what you need to do; follow the template for your welcome email to get (read: force) them to use your opt in offer because only then will they be able to take the next step in the journey:
We sent you the opt in offer and I really hope that you have had a chance to go through it and put it to use.
Here’s why you should drop everything and do it right now:
<Insert specific benefits of the opt in offer in bullets using the copy you used in the landing page>
<Insert some of the results people have had from using that opt in offer or testimonials>
<Insert some sort of carrot or incentive (eg. Please do send me your results from using the opt in offer and you could be the next star on my website )>
Also I want to take this opportunity to tell you bit more about myself.
<insert brief bio to establish authority>
I would love to hear about you and your business. If you have any questions about the opt-in offer or about anything to do with <insert your niche> or you simply want to say hi or send me love notes, hit reply and let’s talk!
Kendrick Shope of KendrickShope.com says:
My favourite email marketing tip is to do the common things uncommonly well, like list building. I think the most overlooked skill set in creating a six figure and beyond business is growing your list. It’s a huge mistake and is a skill that applies to every single business owner.
Maggie Patterson of MaggiePatterson.com says:
Treat your list as you wish to be treated. It’s no secret that a list is a powerful asset, but you want to keep in mind that behind every single email is a person.
As marketers, we can lose sight of that fact and start looking at our list as a commodity – which means we act like our list is an ATM.
Love your list, deliver value and nurture them over time. When you treat them right they trust you so much more when you do launch or have something to offer. Being thoughtful and considerate of their needs is always the best way to make your email marketing successful.
Tim Watson of Zettaphere says:
There are only three levers to worry about in email marketing; i) reaching more people, ii) more often, iii) more effectively.
The skill is developing a strategy that balances all three levers, finding the right approach for the brand’s unique position. Too many people focus on iii) without putting sufficient effort into developing i) and ii).
So rather than just iii), consider what additional emails can be layered into the current activity by intelligent use of modern behavioural marketing and automation tools.
Jordie Van Rijn of Email Monday says:
Make sure all of your mails have great clarity and purpose. Most important is that they are easy to flow through and the structure is right.
Starting at from name, through subject line, content, CTA and landing page and conversion, those are the micro yesses that need to align on the email marketing stairway.
Making each step being as smooth as possible, will be great for your conversions.
Tip No. 29 – Tell Subscribers The Next Best Action
Daniel Brzezinski of Get Response says:
One direct tip you can implement today is using Next Best Actions, it is pretty easy / smart and will give you direct results.
It boils down to: add a step after a first conversion. So if someone signs up for your newsletter ask for a bit of extra profile information. After someone buys a product, suggest a next step on the thank you page. After downloading a guide, make sure to send a follow up email.
Those can be automatically done through autoresponders, so the individual actions won’t take extra of your time.
Ask your readers to spread the word to a friend. The key is to deliver value first and then be specific in how you ask. It works especially well when you get the reader to think of one specific person who would benefit from that email. And be sure to have a way for their friends to subscribe if they read to the bottom of the email.
Here is an example:
My favourite email marketing tip is writing like I speak – warm, open and connected. Above all else I want my community to know I care and that I am a real person, a real business owner, and a real mama, not some shiny person up a pedestal.
My intention is to show that real people, with the normal challenges and stretch points can carve out a place in this noisy digital world and receive sweet coinage in exchange for their superpowers. And that if I can do it, so can they.
I think one of my superpowers is keeping it real and being able to share my journey warts and all and this is magnetic to those who I most wish to assist.
My favourite email marketing tip is:
‘If it’s in your database you can use it to target, segment and trigger emails for increased personalisation and results.’ Email marketing is no longer about having a one size fits all approach.
If you want to see increased engagement with your campaigns, you need to start thinking about how you can truly create a 1-to-1 communication on a 1-to-many basis. Using the technology available in the form of segmentation, automated campaigns and dynamic content, to help you to achieve this and therefore increase the engagement and revenue you see.
1. Be relevant and personal. Make sure you add value to your subscribers. For us that means providing design tips and inspiration. Give people a clear reason to follow your content.
2. Keep it simple. The more concise your email, the more likely your subscribers are to take action and do what you’re asking. Stick to one message, or two at the most. Use a casual tone and simple language to make emails easy to digest.
3. Know the ask. What are you wanting someone to do after reading this email? Follow you on Instagram, buy something, tell their friends? Know what you’re asking and make sure that’s the predominant call-to-action.
Segment your subscribers and send hyper-relevant content based on your segments’ interests. You’ll see higher engagement levels from your subscribers.
For example, when we introduced offline mode for our Atom mobile app, we segmented our list of customers into three segments: existing Atom users, customers who regularly add subscribers, and the rest of our customers. Not surprisingly, we saw the highest subscriber engagement from our existing Atom users, but we also saw very healthy engagement numbers from our customers who regularly add subscribers because we tailored our message specific to that group of subscribers and their behaviours.
Someone who has just signed up is rarely going to be more engaged with your brand than at that point. They’ve found you, for whatever reason, they liked you, maybe not enough to become a customer instantly but they trust you enough to give you their email address:
- they want to see more from you
- they don’t want to forget your brand
- they sign up
There’s momentum that you can maintain and nudge some more towards earlier conversion. Sending that welcome email will get them back involved with you after they leave your site, be it straight away, as you’ve told them you’ve sent it, or next time they have time to read their emails; the inbox is patient and many people see their unread emails as a to do list. Maintain that momentum! Thank them, welcome them, tell them what’s in store, give them something or ask them to do something:
- see exclusive content
- update a profile
- answer a question or two
- reply to the email (gets you in the address book)
- try a feature
My favorite marketing tip is to be yourself. Don’t be a copy cat, don’t say things just because you think you should, but because you are passionate and have something to share. Your tribe will be attracted to you for being truly genuine and authentic.
I am also a fan of the love it or hate it emails. This is a great way to weed out people who will never buy from you and are just a number on your list. Will you get unsubscribes? Yes. But you should be happy with that, because your list is getting better. Quality over quantity.
By using this method, I have increased my open rates because my list is now full of people who really want to read what I have to say.
Here are a few of my favourite marketing tips!
1) When you sit down and write, imagine you are writing to one of your actual clients. Speak to her directly from your heart to hers. This makes it very easy and fast to write!
2) Use your own voice. Write the way you speak; don’t try to be someone else. You’re people want to know and hear from you!
3) Use a lot of bolding in the beginning of each paragraph to make it easy to read.
4) Get visible! Ditch stock photos and use real life on brand images of you living your life and serving your clients.
5) Don’t drag it out! Make it short, powerful and to the point!
With plain text emails making a come back, it’s important for us not to forget the power of creativity in email (not that you can’t be creative with plain text). Email designers can be restricted regarding code – but it also provides a challenge and thinking outside the box usually leads to great ideas.
Our #emailweekly newsletter is known (and expected) to adapt to the articles it includes. Each week we try and have something in there that gets a response whether it’s a ridiculous subject line, fun design or some type of inside joke.
For example, when the details of Apple Watch were revealed, we sent this:
And when the Star Wars trailer was released we sent this:
The email marketing community love to tweet, share and start a conversation so this is our preferred measure of success each week.
Remember, injecting creativity into your campaigns doesn’t mean you have to do a complete template overhaul but don’t feel restricted by your boss, coding or vertical. We are lucky that our audience expect us to be experimental. Live imagery, personalisation and clever copy work great for our clients.
If newsletters actually contained useful content and not just sales rubbish, I probably wouldn’t unsubscribe.
The number one reason you should send an email is to get the person out of their inbox.
Within the inbox environment readers have the attention span of just seconds compared with 30 seconds to a minute to get their attention on a webpage and keep them there for a much longer period of time. The aim on the website, of course, being to have them consume your information and go down the path of buying your product or service.
Write emails that are postcard sized that sell the sizzle not the steak. Rather than giving all the content, engage curiosity and intrigue to whet the appetite to find out more. The reader will click a link within the email to leave the inbox and go to the webpage where you can make your point.
Caylie Price of this very website says:
When you are first wading into email marketing ocean it can be hard to know what to write, how to write and when to send it.
To help you get started, create an Evernote folder where you store examples of subject lines that got you to open; powerful calls to action you had to click; design strategies you loved; and stories that had a profound impact on you.
Now don’t for a minute think I’m telling you to copy other people’s work – far from it, but do analyse why you think it worked and how you could apply the thinking behind the email in your own email marketing strategy.
By testing and tweaking these ideas for your community, you’ll soon have a highly successful campaign in place that’s generating dollars for your business.
Linda Reed-Enever of Media Connections says:
When it comes to email marketing don’t miss out on the free branding opportunities. Make sure your “from address” includes your domain name; your “from name” includes your name and your business name; and that you include your signature block in every email.
Jordana Jaffe of JordanaJaffe.com says:
Share things that other people won’t. Be real. Be honest.
If you’re going to share your revenue, share your profit and expenses too. If you’re going to showcase your expertise, be sure to reveal your humanness too. No one relates to perfectionism.
Credibility is important, yes. But being relatable is crucial.
Tad Hargrave of Marketing For Hippies says:
Email subject lines aren’t just about getting your emails opened.
They actually have three roles to play.
1.To grab the attention of your subscribers.
2. To filter and establish for subscribers, as quickly as possible, if there is a fit at all between what you’re offering and what they’re wanting and needing i.e what to expect in the email and the benefits.
3. To lower the risk of taking the first step of opening the email. What’s the point of getting them to open the email, if it, even in a small way, breaks trust by not delivering what was promised?
Kate McKibbin of Secret Bloggers Business says:
My first is to make creating value-packed list building opportunities a part of your editorial / blog calendar. This makes it just something you are doing anyway, and not something extra, and means it’s far less likely to be put on the “to-be-done-later” pile.
My recommendation is to have one post a fortnight or month (depending on how often you post to begin with), that will feature some sort of awesome and valuable-to-your-readers freebie or added value. And to make this a “subscriber only” offer, so people have to either be a subscriber, or they have to join your list to get it.
It can also help if you sit down and plan out a bunch of freebie ideas all at once (normally when you get the idea for one, you’ll also spark off some others), and again this just means that it makes list building as easy as possible to do (and it also means your existing readers come to think of you as the place to go to get awesome stuff!).
My second tip is that with any emails you send, try and make them feel like they are a personal email you are sending to just one person, not just some mass email that you are only doing because all the marketing experts tell you that you have too.
Obviously the extent of this will depend on the types of business you have, but usually if you can use your emails to make your customers feel like they have a genuine connection with you, then that usually equals higher open rates and better conversions down the track too.
And it can be as simple as including a picture of the person who put together the email, and using more informal language too.
Shane and Jocelyn Sams of Flipped Lifestyle say:
Our best email marketing tip is segment, segment, segment. Don’t blast every offer you have at every subscriber. Everyone on your list is at a different place and has different needs.
Your emails should guide subscribers along a story. Your links should probe to find out their specific needs. Market specific products/features to those segments.
For example, our primary product is our Flip Your Life membership. It covers a LOT of stuff. When we email, we may include a feature in the PS. It may say “PS: we have a new training in our member area to show you how to install forums on your website!” Anyone who clicks on that link gets a 3-4 email sequence explaining the benefits of that feature, and case studies showing how other FYL members have used forums to successfully make more money. Then we pitch the membership around that specific feature…to one segment.
Segmenting in this way, and only pitching with what people raise their hand and tell you they want (by clicking the link) prevents list fatigue, increases conversions, and serves your audience better.
Holy moly. How good were those tips!?!?!
A massive thank you to everyone who contributed to this post.
Did you find it helpful?
If so, please share so we can help more intrepid entrepreneurs and business owners.
Now, tell me:
Did we miss a critical email marketing tip? Do you have a favourite?
Please share it in the comments.