Working professionals are sent dozens of emails on a daily basis. With so many emails flooding their inboxes, it can be difficult to grab their attention. Which is why it is of the utmost importance to understand effective email marketing techniques and how to use them to your advantage. Email marketing is a form of direct communication, in which a company delivers a commercial message to a list of people via electronic mail. Here are twelve simple steps for effective email marketing:

  • Determine the goal. The goal serves as the purpose of the email. It is the starting point for the template, type of content and all other technical decisions to follow. Is the email to inform the audience? Then, the main text should be emphasized in a single column template. Is the email inviting the audience to a seminar? The time and location details should be easy to find, as well as the registration link.
  • Know the target audience. Before starting an email marketing campaign, it is vital to understand who will be on the receiving end. During the email’s creation, the entire focus should center on what is most important to the audience and what would make them want to open the email, let alone read it.
  • Maintain great lists. At the least, email lists should contain first names, last names and email addresses. It is important to have as many correct email addresses as possible. Not only can a high percentage of bounced messages be frustrating, it can cause the email marketing platform to crash and not deliver the email.
  • Write an enticing “Email Subject”. Email subjects are often the deciding factor of whether or not a person opens the email. Spark curiosity with an enticing question or in the case of a list like this blog post, use numbers to summarize the content. And most importantly, avoid typing in all capital letters and using symbols. They have a tendency to send the email straight into the receiver’s spam folder.
  • Personalize the “To” field. Most email marketing platforms have the option to personalize the “To” field. With one quick click, the receiver will now see their name auto populate alongside the salutation.
  • Brand the email template. The company’s logo and coloring should be fluid throughout the entire email. Do not forget to keep the template clean and simple to read.
  • Make it mobile friendly. According to HubSpot, 80.8% of users read their email on their mobile devices. This means every email needs to be mobilized for easy reading on the go.
  • Add a “Call-to-Action” button. Call-to-Action buttons are a great way to declutter emails and make activities like subscribing a quicker, easier process. If the email is for an event, add a “Register Here” button that links the reader to the registration page. In the case of a blog or newsletter, always add a “Subscribe Here” button.
  • Get creative. Sometimes it is the little, unique additions that make emails stand out from the rest. Personalize the email by taking a photo of the sender’s signature and inserting it into the text. If the email is informative, create an infographic to support it. In some cases, it is even possible to embed a video or an interactive quiz.
  • Do not forget the social sharing icons. How else are the readers going to share the email? Make it easy for them to share the information on their social networks – that is unless it is an exclusive event invitation.
  • Schedule at the appropriate send time for the target audience. Is this email going out to restaurant owners? Lunch or dinner time is probably not the best time to reach them. Executives of large companies? Try the before or after hours of their typical work week when they are not busy and in meetings all day.
  • Analyze the results. 48 hours after the email is sent, review the report and analyze the results to make improvements for the next time around. Look for open rates of over 20%, click rates of over 2%, and bounce rates of under 2%. If the percentages do not fall in these ranges, try sending the email at a different time or rewriting the “Email Subject” line. After all, not every audience is alike and therefore require different customizations.

Email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to reach a large target audience, as long as time and effort are put into creating the email. With these twelve simple steps, email marketing can change from a daunting task to a fun and worthwhile investment.