Email marketing is still the major way to contact and communicate with customers in a B2B environment.
Personally it shouldn't really be this way, what with many younger businesses shying away from the use of emails as marketing tools, and the frequency in which people have emails bombarding their inboxes, they seem relatively useless as a means of engagement.
But still, the numbers show it works better than any other method, and you'll be damned if you miss out on such an opportunity again.
So, how do you make sure people open your emails and keep coming back time and time again?
Personally, the main reason I unsubscribe from an email is usually the frequency it arrives. It also depends if I see it on my phone or on my computer.
I'm irrational, if an email bothers me too often by arriving when I'm away from my computer – and instead I see it on my phone – I'm far more inclined to unsubscribe. If it arrives when I'm at my computer, I'll probably just ignore it if I don't want to read it.
Of course, I'm a little peculiar and easily annoyed by regular emails. Some of your recipients may well be like me, but chances are most aren't.
But there are some simple things that you can do to help improve your email marketing, and ensure that you keep more subscribers on-side.
1. Provide Options
Not everybody wants to get a daily newsletter on their lunchtime, and I bet even fewer want a work-related email to land in their inbox once their working day is done.
That said, one email marketing survey showed that emails on late nights and weekends have higher open rates and CTR.
So, provide some choice. Let users pick an option for a daily update, weekly or even fortnightly email. Give them a range of time choices too – allowing them to pick when they hear from you.
It also means anyone who's opted for a daily could instead change their mind and pick a less-frequent update instead of unsubscribing. You're far more likely to reduce your unsubscribe rate this way.
2. Be Savvy With Subject Lines
Don't give the game away by revealing the entire email content, nor make it one immensely long title.
On average your users will be able to read 70 characters on their screen for an email title, so aim for something no longer than that.
Keep it snappy, make it enticing and make it relevant to your audience, and you're sure to see open rates soar.
Now to just ensure you're making high-quality email content.
3. Don't Ignore Omni-channel
It may just sound like another buzzword to drop into your dictionary of terms you'll never use again in a couple of years time, but ensuring your subscribers have a consistent experience is crucial.
Create an email template that works on mobile or tablet devices, just as it would on a desktop. Nobody wants to squint at text or scroll around the page to read what you have to say.
It seems obvious, yet not even 12 per cent of email newsletters are responsive in design!
It's also worth making sure anything you link to is also a mobile-friendly website.
4. Get Feedback
If someone is going to leave you, which is always inevitable, make sure that you find out why they want to leave.
While time consuming, especially if you have a lot of people leaving regularly, it's valuable to finding out what could well be a major gripe or fault with your emails.
It may even provide some insight to the sort of content you should be producing.
5. Don't overdo things
Keep it simple.
Don't clutter it with images, nor rely heavily on a reader having images enabled in their emails.
You also don't want to send them a thousand links at a time, all asking to do different things. They'll become confused and probably won't even bother to click on anything at all.
Personally, I'd recommend making sure you plan out exactly what you want your email to do before you even write it. Then, once done, ensure that you don't start sneaking in extra links or call to actions.
[Image: epSos.de – Flickr]