Monthly or quarterly, you send out a newsletter. You have a significant amount of subscribers. You stay consistent on when you send it. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough.
Your email marketing strategy needs ongoing tender love and care. To keep your HTML email design and content current to conform with modern email practices, you have to look beyond open and click-through rates. You must pay attention to every detail from the design to the subject line.
Here’s 5 reasons why your email marketing strategy is failing and how to improve. Some issues might call for a small task, such as running an A/B test. In most cases, the HTML email template could be in need of a full-blown redesign.
1. There’s No Focus
You’re sending a newsletter because you want your subscribers to take action. But you can’t expect them to read your mind. So before you push send, be sure to ask yourself these 3 questions:
→ Is the content precise?
Your goal is to deliver information subscribers can digest fast. Write concise welcome messages, put thought into your headlines and subject lines, and don’t overstuff an email with too much information.
→ Does all the content wrap around one theme related to my brand?
All the elements of your email should wrap into one overall theme. Last month, we sent out a newsletter related to 6 of our services, but all the content had a theme: design trends. When you choose a theme, it should complement your brand. Always be sure your HTML email design correlates with a consistent branding style. Include your logo and choose colors and imagery that fit your brand.
→ Is my call-to-action clear?
Tell your subscribers what you want them to do. If you’re promoting a webinar, your call-to-action (CTA) should initiate subscribers to register. It seems simple, but I’ve seen emails where the CTA doesn’t relate to the content whatsoever. If you’re unclear about how to achieve this – read on.
2. There’s No Valuable Content
Is your article 90% company news? Whoa, slow down there! It’s fun to share the exciting things about your company, but a newsletter is meant to be full of content that’s shareable, useful, and informative.
I contribute to two popular LinkedIn content marketing groups. Another member in one of the groups stated B2B newsletters are nothing but company news. I thought to myself, people do that!? I was shocked. Your newsletter isn’t about you, it’s about your subscribers. It’s okay to share a bit of news: recent awards or new services, for example. But if it’s always about you, you’ll quickly lose subscribers.
Below is an example of an effective email that’s full of value.
This email from The Orange Lantern promotes a free tutorial for her subscribers. At the bottom, she adds another CTA about a business workshop she’s hosting. “Register Here” is clickable and there’s even a testimonial to strengthen the CTA. This email has value: free resources for her subscribers, plus an upcoming an event. There’s no confusion what she wants her subscribers to do. And every piece of content in this newsletter fits an overall theme: business planning.
3. You’re Using A Weak Call-To-Action
Your CTA must be clear, precise, and clickable. You send emails because you want your subscribers to do something.
There are two ways to strengthen an email’s CTA.
→ Design: Tweak the design layout so it creates a vivid outline around your CTA or create a CTA button obvious enough that it’s clickable. For email design inspiration, take a look at Ninjawards – Email Design Trends 2014.
→ Copy: A CTA should always start with a verb. And it can be as simple as “Read More” or “Download Now”. Take a look at the responsive email below. Notice how clear the CTA is:
If you don’t think your email is in need of a call-to-action, or you’re having difficulty figuring out what your CTA should be, then don’t send that email. Instead, take a step back and go over your email goals once again.
4. You Ignore Important Analytics
With the right email marketing software, open rates and click-through rates are easy to measure. But it’s tempting to ignore all other important email analytics. I know it’s scary to really dig in and face the numbers, but ignoring other email analytics will do nothing but hurt your email marketing strategy.
Depending on the email software you use, most analytics can – and should – tell you the following:
• What subject lines have the highest or lowest open rates.
• What links are the most clicked.
• What CTA has been the most effective.
• What mobile device they’re using to open your emails.
• When an email has been forwarded.
Use those analytics to strengthen your email marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to try new things. And test, test, and test again. No matter what, always conduct an A/B test.
5. You’re Not Implementing Best Practices of Modern Email
While your competitors are rocking animated GIFs, blog articles, fun videos, and eye-catching email headers, you’re continuing to send emails using outdated practices. Most subscribers are intrigued by the full package: great content and excellent design. If one of them starts to carry less weight, your email marketing strategy will lose balance. And the only way to stay balanced is to take advantage of new email tools and strategies.
Here’s a few ways to implement modern email practices:
→ Keep mobile in mind: 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices (TopRankBlog).
→ Encourage social media sharing: Implementing social sharing in emails increases brand awareness across channels.
→ Be brief: According to a study by Adestra, subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%.
→ Take advantage of high-quality imagery and/or animation: Using imagery helps provoke emotion in your subscribers, and can help stand out in a crowded inbox.
→ Segment emails by persona: A study by HubSpot showed segmenting emails can increase click-through rates significantly.
Email marketing involves taking risks. Don’t be afraid to try new things to improve your email marketing strategy. And remember to always test and test again.
Looking for an HTML email redesign? Contact us today to learn how we can help.