Overflowing inboxes, a daily deluge of emails and 50 newsletters you’re not even remotely interested in. Ain’t nobody got time for that! It makes you wonder: is it still useful to put your energy into email marketing these days? 🤷
Email marketing is and always will be an important part of Marketing Automation. Send your customers and prospects the right message at the right time of the Customer Journey, using the right channels and great things happen! Okay, but only on one condition… Your email must stand out from the crowd.
With this Email Marketing Guide, Be Bold happily leads the way through all the essential steps. On the email marketing menu today: the settings of your email.
The sender name
Hello, it’s me. Depending on your target audience, B2B or B2C, there’s a different set of unwritten rules when it comes to the sender name. Yet, three indispensable requirements always remain the same. The sender name must be recognisable, reliable and consistent. Let’s take a closer look at each requirement.
Imagine this: the recipient has no idea whatsoever who the sender of an email is. How likely is it that said email gets thrown in the bin straight away? Bingo! Very likely, yes. Therefore, we strongly advise you not to send your recipient an email directly from an employee, as it is quite possible that he has never heard of this specific person.
However, you can and should use a more personal approach, especially when building one-to-one relationships is your goal, such as in customer service. Bottom line, always double check if your receiver knows who you are.
Due to phishing and cybercrime, we are very cautious when receiving an email from a person or company we don’t know or recognize instantly. At one glance, we decide if someone’s reliable or not. Nowadays, making sure your sender name looks professional and genuine, is crucial.
By the way, the exact same goes for your sender address. A branded email address radiates confidence and makes you that ray of sunshine all email providers look for.
And last, but certainly not least: be consistent. This goes for your sender name, as well as your sender address. If you often switch up your name or email address or use freemail (like Gmail, Outlook…), you’ll lose some of your recognition and reliability. By being consistent, the confidence and recognition of your recipient steadily grow.
Not completely sure? Try A/B testing, this way you can see quickly see what works best and then stick to it!
Oh, and by the way, please don’t use a noreply@ email address. This screams: your question or feedback is not important enough to arrive in a real inbox. Don’t expect scoring any points here whatsoever. Ditch that noreply@ and start building real customer relationships.
Don’t do this: an email from Nienke I. – email@example.com. Or, as bad, the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do this: an email from Nienke from Be Bold – email@example.com.
The subject of your email
So, what’s it about, your email? Summarise it as concisely as humanly possible in the subject line of your email. We’ve listed 7 best practices to help you write a smashing subject line:
The amount of characters in your subject line is sadly not unlimited. Depending on the email client, you’ll get 50 to 60 characters that are fully visible. Don’t beat around the bush. 😉
Does your newsletter or company solve a particular issue? Well, then put that problem in your subject line. Or ask a question your ideal customer will answer with a wholehearted “yes, I do”. Be careful your reader isn’t getting any “Tel Sell” vibes from your subject line. Come on, let’s be serious, who even believes that?
“DON’T MISS OUT!! SAVE €€€ on OUR *NEW* COLLECTION!!!” Yeah, no idea why this wonderful subject line won’t get the success it truly deserves. 🤷 Yet, this spammy behavior will do more harm than good and it’ll propel your emails straight to the spam folder.
Another strategy is shock or confusion. This piques your contact’s curiosity and will make them open your email asap. Don’t take it too far, though, you don’t want your words to be empty promises. Always make sure you offer at least some value.
When you want to send someone the exact same email as a reminder, always adjust your subject line. Not only because the first one obviously didn’t work, but also because the same emails are grouped into one conversation and are linked to the previous email.
There is no such thing as one perfect subject line. Experiment with different possibilities through A/B testing and see what works best for your company.
The preview text of your email
The preview is a short text just below the subject line and it gives your potential reader a sneak peek of your email. Depending on the length of your subject line, the email provider, and the device, the preview text is between 35 and 120 characters long. On some mobile devices, however, you’ll get a tiny bit more.
It’s not much, so really take advantage of this space. In other words: show ’em what you got and convince the reader to open your email!
Don’t do this: don’t use auto-generated preview text. Very often, the program picks the first few sentences of your email, which will most likely be: “View this email in your browser”. Not the most convincing, am I right?
And this: don’t just copy-paste your subject into your preview text. Sure, it’s fast, but it’s not half as effective as you would like it to be. So, sit down, take a breath, and write down a few words for your preview.
Do this: start off your preview with a strong call-to-action and set clear expectations.
And this: personalize your preview text with field merges and dynamic content.
The unsubscribe link in your email
It happens in real life, and it can happen anytime with your emails as well. Subscribers might want to break up with you at some point. Even though it seems to go against your instincts, make unsubscribing easy. Otherwise, your newsletter will quickly receive the spam label, and that has quite a big impact on how reliable you seem for email providers. Or rather, unreliable.
Don’t do this: don’t put your unsubscribe link in a sneaky, hidden place or even delete it.
Do this: give your unsubscribe link a prominent, predictable spot in your newsletter. For example, in the header or the footer.
Tracking your email
All this effort and no result? Not anymore! Tag each link in your newsletter with UTM parameters. These tags give Google Analytics a little bit more information and insights about each link. Which means you can track clicks, perform thorough analyses and decide your next steps to get your newsletter to score even better.
But, uhm… the UTM parawhut? UTM parameters are tags that you add to your campaign links. These are the most common ones for emails:
- UTM_source: this is the platform your clicks originate from. For email, this could be for example “mailchimp”, “eloqua” or “active campaign”.
- UTM_medium: this is the medium or carrier your website traffic originates from. For emails, this is simply “email”.
- UTM_campaign: this tag provides additional information about the campaign to which the link belongs. So, let’s say in January you’ll send out a newsletter including a presentation of your services. UTM_campaign could be “2021_january_introduction”.
And then you get something like this:
Don’t do this: not using UTM tags. Data, baby! 😉
Do this: be consistent when naming your tags. In Google Analytics’ eyes “Facebook post”, “facebook_post”, “facebook post”, “FacebookPost” and “Facebook_post” are all different tags. Even if you use them for the same campaign.
Ah, the GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation. A four-letter abbreviation that has been giving marketeers the heebie-jeebies since May 2018. Because since then, you are only allowed to send marketing mailings to people who gave you their explicit consent and permission.
Don’t do this: don’t send mailings to every email address in your database.
Do this: ask people for their consent using an explicit opt-in. So, yes, they need to tick the checkbox themselves, otherwise it’s not explicit.
It’s quite the job getting the settings of your email marketing all done and dusted, but we promise you it’s worth it. Your hard work will pay off. Good things are coming! 😉
Need some extra expertise and advice? Be Bold to the rescue! Book a call with our email marketing expert.
In the next blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the wonderful world of your email’s design. Stay tuned!