4 Strategies For Effective Email Marketing

An email marketing campaign is a low cost and fast way to reach out to your customer base. But there is no guarantee that any subscriber will stay on your list forever. You have to contunially proving value so that they always feel that you are providing something that is of benefit to them.

1. How Frequently Should You Send An Email?

There is no right or wrong answer on how often you should send an email to your database for it to be a successful email campaign. The main issue for effective email marketing is to be consistent with your mailings and don’t just email once in awhile most of the time and then blast them with emails everyday for 2 weeks just because there’s a promotion or sale. As long as you’re providing value to your subscribers, there is no reason why you cannot email everyday.

2. Always Provide Value.

Reliable and honest product reviews are things that the people on your list will like to read and hear about. Don’t make it a blatant sales pitch about a new product but rather give your views on how the product does, or does not live upto your expectations. If someone emails you asking a question, always reply to that person individually. You can then create an email marketing campaign based on answering that question for your whole list, as they could be struggling with the same problem.

3. Be Available.

An effective email marketing campaign will answer the questions or problems that are challenging the people on your list. The only way you can find out what these problems are is ask the people on your list. Naturaly, the bigger your list grows, the more challenging this will become so you have to adapt your business model and outsource some of your tasks. If you take the time to help others, your reputation will start to spread and you’ll have more people who will want to be on your list and who will buy your products.

4. Be Honest.

When your readers feel a connection to you it means letting yourself be seen as human. Your subscribers will love it if you’re honest and transparent with them. Effective email marketing is about building relationships with people so don’t think that you can’t make mistakes and share them with the people on your list. Often, it will endear you to your list even more and you’ll become known as a genuine marketer within your niche.

What Makes the Sales Follow-Up Email Special?

Here are six reasons why you shouldn’t skip out on sending follow-up emails. Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. August 25, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A sales follow-up email is…

Here are six reasons why you shouldn’t skip out on sending follow-up emails.

Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A sales follow-up email is for more than just confirming an order: It’s a powerful sales tool that can turn customers into lifelong supporters. After all, it’s not your product that turns customers into supporters and fans. It’s the relationship you develop with customers that does it. The follow-up email keeps the lines of communication open when you’re not busy trying to sell. 

So, why do so few companies send out regular follow-up emails? They have the software to do it, since most email marketing tools come with email automation built-in. They just often don’t think about it because they’re too busy searching for new customers. But, according to Profitwell, the cost of acquiring new customers has increased by over 50 percent in the last five years, you have to try something new at some point.

Why not go back to the sales follow-up email? If you use it right, you can generate new sales, improve engagement, and get meaningful customer feedback about your products. 

Here are a few ways why the follow-up email is special and how it can help your company. 

1. Follow-up emails create connections with customers.

Follow-up emails strengthen the connection between you and your customers. It costs less to keep the customers you have than to find new ones, so you should do everything you can to keep them. 

Related: The Art of the Follow-Up

2. They build customer trust.

Sending regular follow-up emails after a sale will make your brand credible, accountable and trustworthy in the eyes of customers. They’ll see that they didn’t throw away their money and that you’re doing what you said you’d do. 

Bonus points if you send the follow-up from a real person at your company instead of an email alias like “info@yourcompanyname.com.” 

3. They turn customers into loyal supporters.

There’s more to email marketing than selling to customers. They don’t want an endless stream of sales pitches — especially if you’re in the B2B space. People want their favorite brands to engage and build relationships with them. 

Turn these people into loyal supporters by sending educational and valuable content regularly. For instance, a link to a video for the product they just bought, demonstrating how other customers use it, or a blog post about a trending topic in the industry. They’ll see that you care about helping them be succeed and will talk about that with their network. 

4. They continue the customer conversation.

A follow-up email is a perfect place for customers to send you feedback, questions, reviews, and more. After responding to any questions, you can use the content to create new sales and marketing content, saving your business time and money. Plus, customer reviews and testimonials often speak a lot louder than paid advertising: According to Trustpulse, 83 percent of people trust testimonials over brand messaging. 

Related: The Simple Email Trick That Makes Following Up Effective

5. They help you improve.

As you continue the customer conversation, you’re opening your brand up to feedback. After all, not all responses are going to be positive ones. When you send that follow-up email from a real address, many customers will take the opportunity to tell you exactly what they think of your product. 

Sending the email soon after the sale is the best way to gather feedback. The experience buyers have with your sales and onboarding processes is fresh, so it’s a prime opportunity to find out what’s working for them and what isn’t. Use their comments to rejig your processes and products to make them more valuable to future customers. 

6. They help inspire referrals.

If it’s been a while since you’ve reached out to your customers, a follow-up email can spark action. More specifically, it can spark a referral. Give them a reason to want to refer you, such as fantastic service, efficient support or an amazing product. 

They’ll probably need a little motivation to do it, so offer an incentive, such as a credit, physical gift or monetary reward. Referrals are another easy way to gain new customers, which can cost a lot of time and money, so be sure to provide something equally valuable as a reward.

Most companies only send one post-sale email, right after the conclusion of the sale. But they’re missing out on a host of benefits they could provide customers (and a few things that’ll help them in the future too.) Craft a compelling after-sale follow-up strategy to improve your customers’ experience and create a loyal customer base that’ll buy more from you.

How to Use Email to Boost PR and Sales

How can you leverage the power of email to improve the public perception of your brand? Also, how can you turn your PR wins into lead generation opportunities? Find out now

Email marketing is an often overlooked but vital part of PR, media relations and thought leadership strategy,” says Blair Nicole, who is the CEO and founder of Media Moguls PR.

She’s right. Most business owners I know rarely look at email as a public relations tool. For many, it’s a marketing channel on which they focus to increase sales. But as the lines between digital marketing and PR are blurring, you could be missing out by not adding a PR component to your email strategy.

Email marketing is a two-way street

How can you leverage the power of email to improve the public perception of your brand? Also, how can you turn your PR wins into lead generation opportunities? It’s a two-way street, Nicole told me, and you need a smooth traffic flow in both directions.

Related: 3 Reasons Email Campaigns Remain the Best Marketing Tool

“When a brand gets an earned media win,” she says, “odds are that PR piece is going to result in an influx of traffic to the brand’s website or social media pages. If the brand doesn’t have an email marketing and lead capture strategy in place, the influx in traffic will be a short-lived win,” Nicole warns.

So, first things first: before you submit a guest post to a target publication or send a quote to a journalist, make sure you have a reliable way to capture subscribers and potential customers. Here’s a checklist to you could use:

  • Your website loads fast and the design and copy engage visitors right away
  • You have several subscription forms, so visitors can easily get on your email list. Consider adding one above the fold, right at the top of your home page.
  • Your call-to-action is irresistible. Give people a good reason to subscribe, such as a free content offer. Also, tell them how often they’re going to receive emails from you.
  • Every subscription and registration form has at least one method to validate the new addresses you gather. An email validation API will check them in real-time to ensure your new leads are real.

“If your brand is equipped with an email marketing and lead capture strategy,” Blair Nicole explains, “you’ll be able to continue engaging the new audience indefinitely, and increase the likelihood of converting them to long-term customers.”

How often do you share your media wins?

“Too many brands make the mistake of securing a big media win, and then letting it fizzle out,” Nicole advises. “Brands can increase the buzz around an earned media piece by sharing it with their newsletter subscribers and email lists.”

Related: 5 Ways Email Marketing Can Help Boost Ranking In a Hurry

I’ll be honest: it felt good to hear this as it came as a validation of our email marketing and PR strategy at ZeroBounce. One of the best habits we have is to share with our subscribers all the significant media coverage we get. Our newsletters are a balanced mix of:

  • Useful information we publish on our blog
  • Articles we write for other publications, such as this one
  • Articles, webinars, and podcasts where we’re invited to participate
  • Any piece of content we find interesting and that would help or entertain our subscribers

For instance, let’s say we just published a great new blog and we want to share it with our list. Around the same time, one of us publishes a guest post or is featured in a prestigious publication. We gather all the content, ask ourselves what the most relevant piece is, and turn it into the main story of our newsletter. All the other ones get some space in the email and a link, but we start our email by getting right into the main story.

Be careful: there’s a fine line between expressing your excitement with the coverage you get and being overly self-flattering. Our rule is to find an angle that allows us to share the story but makes it more about our audience than about ourselves.

How to adapt your email and PR strategy to times of crisis

Email has become a vital communication channel in the past three months. As the global health crisis started to push companies into remote work, email has kept millions of teams connected and productive. Furthermore, it’s allowed businesses to share updates with their customers and subscribers — and stay afloat while the economy was declining.

It’s no surprise that sending volumes have increased, and so have open rates. According to MediaPost, business-to-consumer (B2C) open rates were 22 percent higher between May 15 and May 31 compared to January. During the same period, newsletters opens saw a 17 percent boost, and 41 percent more people signed up for marketing emails.

Related: 5 Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance

Have all brands managed to communicate care, empathy, and a genuine desire to help? You’d probably agree the answer is “no,” but I’m not here to shame anyone. Instead, I asked Nicole to answer one final question: how do we adapt our email marketing during times of social crisis?

“I always follow two rules of thumb for email marketing,” she said.

  1. First, increase the frequency of communication with customers, clients, partners, and stakeholders. “People want leaders to step up and guide them through the crisis. The worst thing you can do is not acknowledge the crisis at hand or allow your audience to feel like you’ve forgotten about them. Email marketing is a fantastic channel to reach people quickly, and at scale,” the PR strategist said. However, make sure your email lists are in good shape. With more than 43 million Americans out of work, many of your B2B email addresses are now invalid.
  2. Also, communicate with empathy and be cautious about your messaging.

    “Times of social crisis are not the time to make casual comments or attempt to piggyback attention off a trending social issue (not that there’s ever a good time for that),” Blair Nicole added. “Instead, brands must empathize with the struggles their customers, stakeholders, and partners are facing, and communicate that empathy in an appropriate and professional way. I strongly recommend brands to consider their email messaging very carefully during times of crisis.”

This means you should consider pausing any automated emails and ads, and adapt your communication to what’s going on in the world. While you may worry about losing sales, in the long-run, you’ll gain the respect and loyalty of your customers.


20 Free Email Marketing Tools to Check Out in 2020

With an average expected ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing, here are 20 effective free email marketing tools to choose from

With about 293.6 billion emails being sent and received each day, it takes the right tools to ensure your marketing messages stand out from the crowd (and get delivered in the first place). However, with an average expected ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing, there’s a reason so many brands are making sizable investments in email marketing.

Of course, part of the reason you can achieve such an amazing ROI is that there are many effective free email marketing tools to choose from. But not every tool matches every company’s needs.

Because of that, let’s consider 20 that might fit the bill.

#1: HubSpot

Monthly Send Limit: 2,000 email sends per calendar month

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Nothing can ruin an email marketing campaign faster than a poorly designed email that doesn’t display correctly. If you can’t send an email properly, customers likely won’t trust you to do anything else.

With HubSpot, you won’t need an IT team at the ready to draft professionally designed email campaigns that display responsively across all platforms. By customizing goal-based templates with its easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, you can quickly add images, calls to action, custom color schemes, and content.

Key Features:

  • Personalize your emails to increase open rates and click-throughs. Personalization can be based on list membership, contact record information, or subscribers’ life cycle stage.
  • Schedule your email campaigns so they arrive in a prospect’s inbox at the optimal time for engagement.
  • Focus on optimizing your campaigns with A/B tests and analytics. Test which subject lines, content, calls to action, and images generate the most engagement.

#2: Mailchimp

Monthly Send Limit: 12,000 email sends per month, up to a subscriber limit of 2,000

With a free plan that offers up to 12,000 email sends for up to 2,000 subscribers a month, Mailchimp is an ideal choice for marketers who are working for small- or medium-sized businesses.

But note that unless you have a premium plan, you won’t have full access to its support system. Likewise, Mailchimp branding will be in the footer of your emails.

Key Features:

  • It easily integrates with your e-commerce business through WooCommerce and Magento.
  • It also integrates with WordPress.
  • You can optimize your campaigns with A/B tests.

#3: SendPulse

Monthly Send Limit: 15,000 emails per month for free for up to 2,500 subscribers

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When creating a professionally designed email, you can choose from SendPulse’s more than 130 templates or create your own with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Additionally, the simplicity of the design process allows you to quickly and easily build slick emails or modify a template to sync with your company’s branding.

Key Features:

  • With the free plan, you’ll still have access to SendPulse’s robust support team, including live chat support.
  • Take advantage of the “Resend” feature, which allows you to resend any emails that haven’t been opened with a different subject line. While this can capture new prospects, it can also help you figure out what drives the most engagement.
  • You can purchase access to additional features individually, paying only for what you truly need.

#4: Omnisend

Monthly Send Limit: 15,000 emails per month

Source: Omnisend homepage

On average, your marketing emails are only getting opened 20 percent of the time. That means a significant number of subscribers aren’t ever seeing what you have to say.

With Omnisend’s most popular feature, Campaign Booster, you can resend your emails to only the people who didn’t open them the first time. This powerful feature can increase sales by up to 30 percent.

Key Features:

  • Use A/B testing to determine which subject line is best for engaging your audience.
  • Take advantage of Omnisend’s powerful content editor, which allows you to quickly build engaging emails.
  • Try boosting your click-through rate with Omnisend’s Gift Box, Scratch Card, or unique Discount Coupon Codes.

#5: Zoho Campaigns

Monthly Send Limit: 12,000 emails per month for up to 2,000 subscribers

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Zoho Campaigns is really only ideal if you’re already using Zoho CRM. The seamless integration between the two tools (even if you’re just using the free plan) can help get your email marketing campaigns rolling.

Key Feature:

  • Test various aspects of your campaigns with A/B testing.

#6: Moosend

Monthly Send Limit: Unlimited email campaigns per month, with up to 1,000 subscribers

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If you’re new to email marketing, Moosend is the ideal solution for your company. Though it doesn’t offer a CRM, the free version of Moosend is packed with useful features to help you get started.

Note that if you’re quickly scaling your business, you won’t want to get too used to the free version — you’re limited to 1,000 subscribers.

Key Features:

  • It offers automation triggers for your email marketing campaigns.
  • It provides real-time analytics.

#7: Sendinblue

Monthly Send Limit: 300 email sends per day (approx. 9,000 emails per month), with unlimited contacts

If you need a tool that’s less about marketing and more about transactional emails, Sendinblue is the right option. With extensive developer APIs, you can integrate the system to efficiently help with forgotten passwords, invoice receipts, or any other types of basic transaction emails. Overall, the email marketing tool is simple to use, but the primary interface offers so many options that it can be overwhelming for a new user.

Key Features:

  • It offers a vast array of templates that are easily personalized.
  • It provides access to an intuitive workflow editor.
  • Deliverability rates are not an issue with Sendinblue.

#8: Mailjet

Monthly Send Limit: 200 emails per day (approximately 6,000 emails per month)

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Mailjet’s user-friendly design allows you to quickly roll out your email campaign to an unlimited number of contacts. The free plan hooks you up with full API access.

Key Feature:

  • Mailjet provides access to an advanced email editor. Note that the free plan doesn’t include automation features or A/B testing.

#9: Benchmark

Monthly Send Limit: 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 emails per month

(Image from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-free-email-marketing-tools)

Designed to meet the needs of enterprise-level businesses, Benchmark offers one of the top email marketing services for organizations experiencing rapid growth.

However, there are drawbacks to the system. The free version doesn’t offer automation features or A/B testing, and contacts can only be added through Benchmark subscriber forms.

Key Features:

  • It offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor.
  • Its sign-up forms for campaigns are straightforward.
  • It facilitates basic drip campaign functionality.

#10: MailerLite

Monthly Send Limit: 12,000 emails per month, with up to 1,000 subscribers

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MailerLite is an ideal system for your small business if you send lots of marketing emails to a relatively small subscriber list.

Key Feature:

  • A solid preview tool allows you to see what your email looks like on a desktop computer, as well as a mobile device, before sending it. Note that integration and API features fall short of many companies’ needs.

#11: ExpressPigeon

Monthly Send Limit: 1,000 messages for up to 500 subscribers; one user only

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ExpressPigeon allows you to quickly design and personalize emails for a relatively small subscriber list. This makes it ideal for companies focused on high-priority subscribers. Though you get all the premium features with the free plan, you’ll have to be prepared to upgrade soon if your business really gains traction with email marketing.

Key Features:

  • You can create automated email responses for when you can’t get back to clients immediately.
  • It offers access to some of the best customer service in the industry.

#12: Sender

Monthly Send Limit: 15,000 emails per month for up to 2,500 subscribers

From Sender Homepage

Sender’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to quickly design powerful content. It also ensures that your messages get where they’re supposed to be going.

Key Features:

  • It offers advanced email analytics allow you to tweak and optimize your email campaigns.
  • You can create push notifications as part of a more advanced marketing campaign.

#13: Freshmarketer

Monthly Send Limit: Free for up to 500 contacts

From Freshmarketer homepage

With Freshmarketer (brought to you by Freshworks), you can upload HTML code or use its drag-and-drop email builder to design engaging email content. Additionally, the tool provides hundreds of responsive templates that will appear exactly as expected on a desktop computer or mobile device.

Key Features:

  • Personalizing emails for your subscribers is simple and effective.
  • Trigger-based customer journeys ensure your audience is getting the right messages at the right time as they move down your sales funnel.
  • It also facilitates single-location contact management for your business.

#14: Wix ShoutOut

Monthly Send Limit: Three ShoutOuts per month, where you can send up to 5,000 emails

From Wix ShoutOut homepage

If you’re already using Wix as your website builder, Wix ShoutOut is probably the most logical email marketing tool for your business. The intuitive editor allows you to quickly create a background, style text, and add your logo to a responsive design.

Key Features:

  • Design a custom signup form to help build your subscriber list.
  • Utilize powerful social media tools to share emails on social media platforms or easily transform them into Facebook Ads.

#15: EngageBay

Monthly Send Limit: 1,000 contacts and 1,000 branded emails per month

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EngageBay allows you to create appealing email designs with an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder. Effortlessly integrate social share buttons, images, and text into design blocks.

Key Features:

  • Segment and target subscribers based on a variety of filters, including country, source, tag, and date the subscriber account was created.
  • Rich-text formatting takes your emails to the next level of engagement.
  • Personalization is automated, including subscribers’ first and last names.

#16: Mailgun

Monthly Send Limit: 5,000 emails monthly for three months (you then pay for what you use)

Mailgun marketing software gives you access to powerful APIs that allow you to track personalized emails. This focus makes it ideal if you’re managing a lot of transactional emails.

Key Features:

  • A/B testing with tagging and tracking allows you to get better insights into what’s best connecting with your subscribers.
  • Advanced analytics assist you in recognizing patterns so you can optimize the frequency of the messages you send and when you send them.

#17: FreshMail

Monthly Send Limit: 200 emails per month, with up to 500 subscribers

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Award-winning artists have created stunning templates for newsletters and emails on FreshMail. However, limits on the number of subscribers and the emails you can send makes this tool best for businesses in niche markets.

Key Feature:

  • No coding skill is required to create beautiful emails with FreshMail’s template editor.

#18: EmailOctopus

Monthly Send Limit: 10,000 emails per month, with up to 2,500 subscribers

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EmailOctopus offers stellar templates, in addition to the option to build your own responsive email designs.

Key Features:

  • Create automated email sequences to save time and energy.
  • Take advantage of advanced analytics to keep track of every unsubscribe, click, and bounce.

#19: Pepipost

Monthly Send Limit: 30,000 emails in the first month, with a daily limit of 1,000 emails and 3,000 emails per month and a daily limit of 100 emails for the succeeding months

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Pepipost offers a robust suite of email marketing tools to help you optimize campaigns and increase engagement. From email tracking to a globally distributed email API service, Pepipost gives you in-depth data to improve your email marketing performance.

Key Features:

  • Use webhooks for real-time tracking of email activity.
  • The stats API allows you to remotely call up and download email activity logs.
  • Use custom metadata to keep track of email messages and link to responses.

#20: Right Inbox

Monthly Send Limit: The free version of Right Inbox allows you to sync an unlimited number of emails via your CRM and provides 10 monthly “send later,” reminder, and private note emails.

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Right Inbox’s add-on feature brings tools and functionality to Gmail that the format doesn’t offer on its own. Also, it includes five templates and five different signatures per account.

Key Features:

  • Add contextual notes visible to you only.
  • Sync and push CRM-originated conversations without leaving Gmail.

Final Thoughts: 20 Free Email Marketing Tools To Check Out in 2020

Because of email’s influence on visibility and decision-making, it’s essential to have the right tools to get your email marketing campaign off the ground in 2020. But the best email marketing tool for your company depends on the kind of campaigns you run and the size of your business.

However, with so many high-quality options, you’ll without a doubt find one to fit your needs. Because of its importance, remember to do your due diligence and test options out.

Tell us what you care most about regarding email marketing tools below.

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

3 Tricks for Getting More Email Clicks

Many marketers will tell you their engagement rates need to improve. Here’s how to not be one of them. Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy Image credit: katleho Seisa | Getty Images April 3, 2020 5 min read…

Many marketers will tell you their engagement rates need to improve. Here’s how to not be one of them.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

Image credit:

katleho Seisa | Getty Images

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The way people interact with your emails tells you everything about your marketing strategy. Are you sending valuable content? You’ll see the feedback reflected in your open and click rates. Is your email list accurate? Your bounce rates, spam complaints and other metrics will show you. If those numbers aren’t making you happy, it’s in your power to improve them.

To see where you stand, let’s take a look at industry benchmarks. These vary depending on the source, so it’s difficult to establish what the most precise data is. Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights published an in-depth study on the topic, gathering information from several email-service providers. Here’s what he found after analyzing hundreds of millions of sends:

  • The average open rate, across all industries, varies from 14.79 percent (Constant Contact) to 21.33 percent (MailChimp).
  • The average click-through rate ranges between 2.98 percent (Get Response) to 6.99 percent (Constant Contact).

There’s a significant difference between these numbers, but they should give you some perspective on how your own emails are performing. What can you do if your metrics are below these benchmarks, or if you want your email marketing to be even more effective? The below tactics will help you do just that.

Related: 5 Tips for Better Email Marketing Performance

1. Scrub your email lists.

Having had the chance to see firsthand how much list-cleaning helps, I can tell you that it’s a great place to start boosting your email engagement. We’ve had customers come to us with a 20 percent bounce rate, and after they validated their list, that rate went down to less than 1 percent.

Nick Dimitriou, the head of growth at email-marketing service Moosend, confirms how important email hygiene is. “While content and volume greatly influence your email deliverability,” Dimitriou told me, “the quality of your mailing list also has an impact. To increase engagement, verify whether your contacts are valid and deliverable, and do it regularly.”

So how exactly do you go about checking the quality of your list? “Using a good email validation system helps you remove bad contacts from your list and boosts your overall performance,” Dimitriou added. “This way, you avoid the risk of being filtered out by mailbox providers, and you have peace of mind knowing you communicate with real people.”

Related: 5 Automated Email-Marketing Messages You Should Be Using

2. Test your content for what works best.

Once you know your list is in good shape, it’s time to take a closer look at your content. Start by analyzing your metrics from the past six months. What type of emails got the highest engagement?

A few aspects to focus on:

  • What responses did you get on transactional emails versus marketing offers versus newsletters?
  • Out of your offers and newsletters, which emails tended to have the highest open and click rates?
  • Does your audience prefer short messages, or is it more inclined to read longer emails?
  • Which worked better: plain-text or HTML?

It’s essential to compare your emails against each other before you start tweaking for better results. Everything can be adjusted, but first, pay attention to what your subscribers like so you can give them more of that.

When it comes to writing, there are plenty of tactics that boost engagement. In a recent interview with Zero Bounce, copywriter Laura Belgray advised: “Write conversationally, as if you’re writing to one friend — not formally, to a group. Put effort into the subject line, making it intriguing and also informal, as it’s from a friend.”

According to research from Business2Community, 47 percent of people decide whether to open an email just by scanning the subject line. Try Belgray’s suggestions next time you write yours.

3. Score your contacts to identify the ones most likely to engage. 

List hygiene and content play an essential role in your inbox placement and engagement rates, but what if you’ve validated your list and improved your content, and you still can’t seem to get better responses? You could take things a step further and try an email-scoring service. The process is similar to cleaning your list, but you get more in-depth data.

An email-scoring system examines every email address in your database and assigns a score to each. Based on the activity levels it detects, the system predicts how likely a certain email user is to engage with your messages. A low score indicates the address is inactive and thus unlikely to react. The higher the score, the more you can focus on those contacts and re-engage them with targeted campaigns.

Email scoring helps you learn more about your subscribers’s behavior before you even email them. By allowing you to make every email count, it can save time and resources.

Related: This Is Why Email Marketing Still Outperforms Social Media

Here are a few final, bonus pointers to help boost open and click-through rates:

  • Test everything — your design, content, subject lines, placement of call-to-action buttons — but test only one thing at a time so you can make accurate observations.
  • Use all the data you’ve gathered in your email address collection process to split your email lists and send targeted campaigns.
  • Write content that’s helpful and generous. People will like and remember you if you help to improve their businesses and lives.
  • Look at email marketing as a fun task. The more fun you have, the more you’re going to enjoy writing them. When your subscribers sense that, they’re more likely to respond.

Shopify expands into email marketing

Shopify continues to expand beyond its core e-commerce platform with a new product called Shopify Email. Shopify’s chief product officer Craig Miller and director of product for marketing technology Michael Perry gave me a quick demo of the product yesterday; Miller argued that they’ve created “the first email product designed for e-commerce.” That means it’s…

Shopify continues to expand beyond its core e-commerce platform with a new product called Shopify Email.

Shopify’s chief product officer Craig Miller and director of product for marketing technology Michael Perry gave me a quick demo of the product yesterday; Miller argued that they’ve created “the first email product designed for e-commerce.”

That means it’s integrated with a merchant’s store on Shopify, allowing them to easily pull their brand assets into their emails, along with product content and listings. They also can see whether those emails actually lead to customers to add products to their carts/purchase them. And they can create customer segments based on the data in Shopify.

“What we’re really proud of here is, we become the expert for them,” Perry said. “Most people we’ve surveyed don’t understand the value of segmentation, so we’ve taken the liberty of assembling the right list to add value for them.”

Shopify Email is currently available as an early access test for a limited group of merchants, ahead of a broader rollout next year. Miller said it will be free for these initial merchants, with general pricing to be announced later.

Other recent additions to Shopify’s product lineup include hardware for brick-and-mortar stores and digital ad tools.

“The common thread among all of [our new products] is to help brands sell directly to their customers,” Miller said. “There’s been a lot of talk lately about direct-to-consumer, but that’s something we’ve doing for a decade and a half without calling it that.”

The Betty Crocker Secret to Email Marketing that People Want

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The money’s in the list. If you’re serious about your digital business, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list. So, how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter? You probably already know the answer…

You’ve heard it a thousand times: The money’s in the list.

If you’re serious about your digital business, you need to build a list of people who are paying attention to you, typically an email list.

So, how do you get people to sign up for your email newsletter?

You probably already know the answer to this one: Reward them. Give subscribers something great as a “thank you” for signing up.

This is usually some form of content — a useful video, a killer ebook, or an exclusive podcast episode.

Sure, everyone else does that. Because it works.

It works … if you do it the right way.

Giving away something good will get people to sign up for your email list, no question.

The problem is, what email address will they sign up with?

It’s not like it’s hard to find an email address.

Gmail is just one of the many excellent services that will give you one (or a bunch) for free.

Double opt-in forces your reader to give you a real email address. But real addresses are cheap. Readers have dozens of ways to capture your valuable free reward, then ditch the rest of your email once they’ve got their prize.

  • They might unsubscribe (best-case scenario).
  • They might quit checking the email address.
  • They might set up a filter that automatically pours your messages right into their Delete folder.
  • If they’re jerks, they may just mark you as spam so they don’t have to see you again, rather than take the “trouble” of unsubscribing. It happens.

(That last one, incidentally, is why you must make it stupidly easy to unsubscribe from your stuff. If it’s more than a click or two, you’ll regret it.)

You can’t make anyone pay attention to you in the virtual world. You can’t trick them into it either, at least not for more than a few seconds.

Some of the smartest traditional advertising writers figured this out a long time ago. They created advertising that didn’t look like advertising … advertising that was inherently useful.

Make your advertising too valuable to throw away

It’s funny how many of our moms’ and grandmas’ most-treasured recipes came from the back of product boxes.

Food packagers know that recipes are irresistible. Human beings are naturally curious creatures. We enjoy novelty. We benefit from eating a variety of foods.

Put simply, we want something new for dinner.

Recipes teach readers how to use more of the product being sold. And recipes feel inherently valuable. They promise a fantastic collection of benefits: Exciting new tastes, happy family members, harmony at dinner time, and kids who will actually eat their green beans.

Recipes, including back-of-the-box recipes, get clipped, passed along, and carefully preserved. A good-sounding recipe is reason enough to try that pancake mix or new pasta shape.

The recipe on the back of the peanut butter jar is advertising, yes. But it’s advertising that actually gets your attention. It’s too valuable to throw away.

Your topic has a recipe

Some topics have literal recipes. (Weight loss being the most obvious one.) The act of nourishing ourselves has spawned hundreds of sub-niches, from slow food to raw food to grab-some-calories-on-the-run food.

For most topics, the “recipes” are metaphorical.

You might teach a recipe for financial independence. A recipe for a fulfilling retirement. A recipe for getting a better job. A recipe for a happy marriage.

Some recipes are complex, and some are simple. You’re the one who decides how easy you’ll make the recipes you offer.

You can use a recipe anywhere

Thriving digital businesses usually produce lots of good recipes.

An ebook can be a single, very strong recipe. And a great minimum viable product or membership site are often collections of recipes that work together.

But one of my very favorite versions of a recipe is the email newsletter. More specifically, it’s the email autoresponder, a tool that I now consider essential for every marketing project I work on.

Email newsletters (what’s new in your business, what’s the latest promotion, what fresh and exciting offers can you make to your customer) are an excellent tool. But they’re 1,000 times better when they kick off with a terrific autoresponder.

Maybe it’s “8 Tips for Being a Better Dad” or “7 Ways to Know if Stock Trading Is Right for You.”

There are always a number of steps. (In fact, they look a lot like our friend the numbered list post, don’t they?)

They always build on one another. And they’re always a recipe for some result the reader wants to have.

A sequence of steps trains your reader

Do you see why this works better than a single-shot video, ebook, or podcast episode as your sign-up incentive?

When you create an email sequence that forms a killer recipe, the reader develops the habit of opening each message. It’s got a critical step, after all, to the recipe he’s trying to cook up.

Sure, he can still ditch you when he’s finally captured the final sequence. But by that time, if you’ve given a recipe worth having, you’ve created some trust. Your reader has started to know and like you. You’ve built a little sense of reciprocity.

You’ve emailed him nine times in a row, and you haven’t sent him any crap. Just valuable, good stuff that gets him a result he wants.

Think he’s likely to open that 10th email?

The recipe for a great email autoresponder

  1. Create a “recipe” that delivers a solution your reader really wants.
  2. Structure your recipe into a sequence of seven to 10 steps. (You can do more if you’re ambitious.) It’s best if each step delivers a positive result and stands on its own.
  3. Deliver your recipe via the autoresponder function of your email marketing program. If your program doesn’t let you put together a robust autoresponder, find a new program.
  4. Write the best content you can for your autoresponder. The time you put in now can continue to work hard for your business for years to come.

Rather than sell your products or services, start to “sell” your terrific, free email autoresponder.

It will build trust and rapport so that down the line you can fully explain all the benefits of what you do.

Do you want to build a better email list?

We use ConvertKit for our email marketing and proudly recommend them as a marketing partner.
Find out more here