Email gets a bad rap. Nowadays we have texts, Slack messages, and DMs we can communicate by and chances are, you have an inbox full of unread emails you’ll get to … eventually. Email may feel outdated at first glance, but trust us when we say that email messaging has way more power than you might think. How powerful? Consider the potential of more than 4 billion active email accounts. Those are some serious numbers.
While none of us can keep up with every new social media platform that pops up, we can all check our email (99% of consumers actually check their personal email every day). Which is why email marketing can be such a powerful tool for driving traffic and sales. In fact, we bet you could double your web traffic or sales if you rolled up your sleeves and got to work on an email marketing plan. Of course, you’re busy and would like to make it to happy hour on time today, so let’s look at some easy email marketing hacks that can help you reach your goals without losing hours or sleep.
1. Offer a freebie
Let’s state the obvious, the bigger the email list, the more traffic and sales it can potentially drive. If only you could click your heels three times and make your subscriber list grow! Until that is an option, there is an equally simple alternative to consider. It’s time to give something away for free. Getting someone to pause in the midst of their busy day to request you send them advertisements is a pretty big ask. Your job will be infinitely easier if you make your audience an offer they can’t refuse. What can you give them for signing up for your email list? A free ebook, coupon, or exclusive content can work. So can entering them in a fabulous giveaway.
Start your email relationship off on the right foot by making it clear that your subscribers have something to gain from subscribing to your list. Remember, you want to grow your list while also providing quality content to your audience—the second will ensure the first.
2. Time your emails right
Life is all about timing. So is email marketing. The times you choose to send your emails can greatly affect your success rates. The good news is, sending them at a strategic time, doesn’t require that much extra effort. Many email provider platforms will tell you what the best time to send your emails is, based on your past performance.
You can also determine the best time yourself. All you have to do is send your emails at a variety of times for a few weeks and note what time you sent an email. A few days later, log the open rates and click rates of the email you sent (you can find these in your email analytics). You’ll get an idea pretty quickly if your email list is full of morning birds or night owls. And don’t worry about the subscribers who open their emails at times outside your chosen window, more than half of American email users check their personal email more than ten times a day.
You can also create an A/B test to determine the best time that works for you audience. To do this, create two separate mailing lists with half of your audience in each. Then, create your email blast and send it out to one mailing list at one time and the other at a separate time. Compare the open rates and click rates for both emails to determine which send time is more effective for your audience.
3. Embrace the emojis
While there are certain emojis better saved for group texts with your girlfriends (you know which ones we’re talking about) there is no reason you can’t bust out appropriate ones in your email subject lines. Picture your inbox. There are hundreds if not thousands of promotions to mull over. Which one is the most likely to catch your eye? The one with a brightly colored emoji in the subject line will do the trick.
There is proof behind this theory, over 50% of brands found that when they used an emoji in an email subject line, it had a higher open rate than emails that didn’t. Better yet, let this statistic remind you to have a little fun with your emails. Use bright colors, try a flashy GIF instead of a photo, and keep your copy friendly and warm. Playing cool may not be the best method for catching a consumer’s attention when their inbox is overflowing.
4. Automate, automate, automate
It’s 2020, we’re practically living in the future! There is no reason we can’t delegate some of our work to technology. There are plenty of ways to automate your email marketing efforts that will save you so much time and lead to some pretty major results. One easy way to automate your email efforts is with content. Does your brand publish blog posts? There are email automations you can set up that automatically alert your subscribers whenever you publish a new post. Hello instant pageviews. You can also set up automations that send an email designed to help retain a customer after they take a specific action, like making a purchase. Cha-ching!
The type of automations you can create will vary based on your email platform’s features, but it’s worth thinking about what you would like to automate and how you can make those automations happen. Chances are, the email platform you use provides tutorials for how to make automations. Not sure where to start? We love Squarespace’s easy-to-use templates that help you create your automated email in just a few clicks, based on the result you’re looking for.
Here is Squarespace’s handy guide on email automations for reference.
5. Divide and conquer
One common concern about email marketing is that the more emails you send, the more subscribers you will lose through unsubscribes. That’s a fair concern. Every time you send an email to your subscriber list, you do risk losing subscribers. All you have to do is send an email to the wrong person on the wrong day and boom, they’ve unsubscribed.
One way to lessen your odds of losing subscribers is to segment your email campaign. Doing so can ensure that your audience only receives the type of email content they enjoy seeing and less of the content that doesn’t interest them. For example, if you’re a blogger, you can segment your campaigns by content types. Maybe you balance fashion content with mom content and your audience doesn’t relate to both those topics. That’s more than okay. But the last thing you want to do is keep sending all your childless subscribers blog posts about childrearing. You can segment which of your subscribers have shown an interest in fashion content and which are more likely to read mom content (some of which will overlap!). Then you can create two separate email lists that cater to each interest.
Once you have your segments created, you won’t need to spend more than 10 seconds per email on this hack. Not sure if you’re ready to divide and conquer? Consider this, marketers reported that after using segmented campaigns, they saw as high as a 760% increase in their revenue. The proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, the money.
6. Optimize for mobile
Let’s say you’ve done everything right. You’ve built a strong subscriber list, your subject lines are killer, and your email content is super valuable. So why aren’t you hitting your goals? You may want to reconsider your email design.
Most marketers design emails on a desktop computer, which means it’s super easy to forget about how the design will work on a mobile phone or tablet. If your design doesn’t look or function correctly on mobile devices, then you could be in trouble. 46% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. It can be a tricky balance to strike, but you need to make sure your emails look as good on a phone as they do on a computer screen.
A super simple way to avoid this problem is to use a pre-designed email template that is “responsive,” which means that the design can adapt well to different devices automatically. Squarespace, for example, offers simple to use and beautifully designed templates that will work well on any device.
This post was in partnership with Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.