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The newsletters we create and distribute for clients are typically built using HTML code and inline CSS. Most modern email clients, like Gmail and Apple mail, use "rendering engines" that can read and interpret this code and CSS just like a modern browser. As such, what you see in your email client more or less matches the version you see when you click the "Web Version" link. Unfortunately, for reasons it's not worth getting into here, Microsoft Outlook doesn't. It uses a rendering engine built for Microsoft Word! Moreover, there are loads of different versions of Outlook out there and in use, and each uses a slightly modified version of the rendering engine. What all this techno-jargon means is that HTML newsletters can look a bit odd in Outlook, even when they look 100% perfect in all other email clients. We cannot influence the way that Microsoft Outlook or other email clients render HTML emails. We test in most versions of Outlook and try to get things as close to perfect as possible, but on some machines, with specific setups, things won't look "right". While your emails may look fantastic in Gmail, they may, on the odd occasion, appear irregular when in Outlook. Known issues include: Buttons Centre-aligned images Embedded fonts Padding/spacing Line-height Link colours Coloured lines at the bottom of some content areas When designing and creating HTML newsletters, we do our absolute best to ensure they look right for everyone, but ultimately we're left with two choices; Make newsletters that work in almost all email clients but might look odd in Outlook. Make newsletters that should look right in Outlook but will almost certainly look odd in all others. In 2019, Outlook accounted for less than 6% of email client use, and almost all of that was corporate users. For this reason, unless otherwise instructed, we always go for option 1. If Outlook rendering is essential to you, please inform us, and we'll opt for option 2. REMEMBER: At the top of all newsletters is a "WEB VERSION" link, so everyone can see a correctly rendered version in their browser if they wish.
Have you ever hit send on your email marketing campaign, and then noticed an error? Having to resend it with a little note on their saying “oops, sorry, this link didn’t work”, or “I got the date wrong” doesn’t really create a good impression. It’s not professional and in the worst cases, can damage your reputation. To help you avoid this risk, we have put together an Email Marketing Campaign Checklist to help you ensure your email marketing campaigns are error free. Campaign Details Check the Subject line - Does it grab people’s attention? Check that you can read all the subject line and preview text Ensure that any personalisation is working properly Is the ‘from’ address correct Make sure that the reply address is working Check for spelling mistakes in the Subject Heading and Preview text Content Is the text relevant and engaging? Check the spelling on the main body text Check for spam trigger words in your email – use a free tool such as https://blogiestools.com/email-spam-trigger-words-checker-tool/ Do all the links and buttons work? Test for design errors – use a free tool such as https://putsmail.com/tests/new) Ensure you have a clear Call To Action (more than one if possible) Make sure the Unsubscribe link is working Deliverability Is your email is going to the correct target audience? Ensure any previous opt-outs or unsubscribes have been removed Run through a spam checker such as https://www.mail-tester.com/ Send Always send a test email Send at the right time, or as close as possible Check that the analytics are set up correctly Make sure you have a follow up process in place For help with your email marketing campaigns, visit E-Mailer https://www.e-mailer.co.uk/ or call us on 01274 965411
Have you ever heard it said, that email marketing doesn’t work? I have, many times. And the thing is, it doesn’t … well, if you send one “salesy” email and nothing else, anyway! I Tried It Once and it Didn’t Work If I had a pound for every time I heard this, I’d be rich! However, in my experience, when you ask the person their rationale, they clam up and say “It just doesn’t”. How many times have you seen a billboard advertisement for the first time and rushed to the shops? How many TV adverts or newspaper inserts cause you to buy there and then? The answer, at least for the large part, will be very rarely. The thing is, most of those who don’t believe in the power of email marketing have flawed views. They’re the same people who attend one networking event and expect to walk out with 30 orders. They take up the entire “get to know you better” conversation, leaving you 30 seconds to explain what you do. The Buying Decision Process Most of us enter some kind of "buying decision" process, whereby we assess & evaluate before reaching our decision. That process might follow this typical flow: Problem/need recognition i.e. I need more new customers - This is often identified as the first and most important step in the decision process. A purchase cannot take place without the recognition of the need Information search i.e. what can I do that will get new customers quickly - The next step a customer may take is the information search stage, in order to find out what they feel is the best solution Evaluation of alternatives i.e. do I need data and if so, what data do I need - People will evaluate different products or brands at this stage, based on which have the ability to deliver the benefits they are seeking Purchase decision i.e. purchase marketing list - This involves making the actual decision Post-purchase behaviour i.e. was this data list a success - Customers will compare products with their previous expectations and will be either satisfied or dissatisfied. This stage is critical when retaining customers. If your customer is satisfied, this will result in brand loyalty. Let me tell you right now – Email Marketing DOES Work! I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years, and I’ve seen how direct marketing has evolved. The growth of email marketing shows no sign of abating, and the reason for that is … it works! Emailing regularly and consistently to your customers and prospects alike fulfils several purposes: It keeps you in the mind of the recipient It builds brand awareness It builds trust It demonstrates industry expertise All of these benefits are gained before we even get into the content of your email! Even if your email isn’t opened, your brand has been seen by those recipients. But Sending Weekly Emails Takes Too Much Time … OK, there is a time element involved, but do you want to grow your business or not? The time taken can be as little or as much as you want. If you prefer to DIY, then you will need to dedicate some time to get things right. You’ll need to create a template, write the email, format it, load it into an email platform and schedule it. On top of that, you’ll need to source the list of contacts you’re sending it to and manage it afterwards. It’s all perfectly do-able, you just need to give it your time. If you don’t have the time, or don’t wish to get that involved, our e-mailer service could help. Using e-mailer relieves much of the stress, as all you need to do is write the email. E-mailer will: Create the template Insert your text Format the email (you get the chance to amend / approve) Source your contact list (based on your ideal selections – i.e. industry / geography / size etc) Send the emails to the contacts Supply you with a copy of the contact list (including full contact & company details) Manage the email unsubscribes Guide you through the analytics If you’ve used an email marketing company before, you may have left all the marketing to them. You might not even see the data they’ve used. However, if you’re happy with their results, then great – “Don’t fix what’s not broke”, as my nan would say! Using e-mailer, you would also receive the database of contacts, so you would have the company and contact details. Using the e-mailer analytics, you could see who had read / clicked your email and conduct further marketing to them. How to Maximise the Broadcast You could simply send the email and do no more – that will give you a degree of success, no doubt. However, if you really want to elevate your campaign success to the next level, you could do more. For example: Make a phone call to those who have opened your email or clicked a link Send a brochure to those who have clicked certain pages, or shown an interest in a certain product Connect with them on social media and engage with them – build up rapport The follow-up actions you could take would give your chances of converting them into customers a massive boost. In my opinion, email marketing should form an integral part of every business’s growth plans. Sure, it may take a little time to get it right, but when you do, you’ll soon see the benefits. So ... the next time you hear someone say email marketing doesn’t work, you’ll understand, like I do, it’s their loss! Contact me now on 01274 965411 for more information on e-mailer, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I received a cold sales email. I have to say that it was a perfect example of how not to do email marketing. The reasons are as follows: Boring headline! The headline was “New stock available from [company name]”. Hardly inspiring, is it? Why should I open this email? I couldn’t read it! There was no text in the email. All text was contained within graphic blocks, so it went to Spam. Since my settings are set to only download pictures when I request, it meant that I couldn’t read the words. The web links didn’t work! None of the links worked. They clearly hadn’t bothered to check them before sending the email. What’s the point of putting links in that don’t work? Content not relevant! The email was trying to sell their product to manufacturing companies. Since mine is a marketing company, I’m nothing like their target audience! Why waste money on sending to irrelevant prospects? Not compliant! The unsubscribe link didn’t work. How can I trust a company that doesn’t comply with the rules? Moral of the story You only get one chance at making a good first impression, so don’t a waste your time and energy getting the basics wrong.
Here are 10 Steps to creating a successful email marketing campaign. Create a plan - Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-bound) goals. Know what outcome you want to achieve Identify your ideal target market - Know who you want to contact, considering such things as industry, size and location Data is Key - Make sure your email data is clean, accurate and GDPR compliant Understand your customer - Know and understand your customers' pain points and how your product and service solve their problems Segment the data - One email may not fit everyone, so segment your data into industries, size etc. Relevant content - Create content that is relevant for each segment of data. Tap into the human behaviour on an emotional level for each email message Check and test - Check your spelling, grammar and links etc. Send a test email to see how it will look to the recipient Take action - Don't just run the email campaign, make sure you connect on social media and make follow up telephone calls to those who engage with your email Measure the results - This allows you to calculate the return on your investment, and it allows you to analyse the type of audience that delivered the best return. That way, you can amend your future campaigns accordingly, targeting the most lucrative first Regular and consistent - Research has shown that it takes, on average, 7 "touches" with a prospect before they begin to interact with you. As such, build and nurture the relationship by sending regular and consistent emails, as these will all help build trust in your brand
One of the most request questions we get asked is how do I avoid my emails from going into junk folder? Well, there’s no hard-and-fast rule, as it can be largely out of your hands, but there are certainly steps you can take to maximise your chances of avoiding the dreaded spam traps! Hopefully these tips help … Make sure you use clean, accurate and up to date marketing lists. If you think your 10-year old list will be ok, it won’t. It will create a high bounce rate, which will mean you get labelled as a spammer. Email service providers will likely refuse you further access to their platforms Use a dedicated email service platform, such as e-mailer. Using such tools as Outlook, or your Hotmail account to send bulk emails will land you in trouble. These platforms are not built for bulk emailing, so using them as such could mean your regular email service gets withdrawn, preventing you from sending or receiving emails. Furthermore, they don’t include automated unsubscribe tools and other essential gadgets that prevent you from falling foul of the law – which could land you in deep trouble with the Regulator Don't use capitals in the subject line. Use Proper casing in your subject line, and avoid over-use of capitalisation within the body of your email Keep your emails short and sweet. Keep information brief, and use links to take the reader to a landing page or web page, where they can read more if they so wish Send both a text and HTML version. Sending only an HTML is a common cause why emails get caught in spam folders. Send your emails in HTML + plain text format Use a mixture of text and images, and even consider text only. Image-heavy emails get caught in spam traps, so be careful not to over-use images Don't attach files to your email, as they will appear suspicious to anti-spam filters Send from your personal domain. It will make it easier for mailboxes to recognise that the emails were sent by a certified company / individual Avoid spam trigger words like free, offer, discount etc. Use the internet to find which words are “hot to avoid” Change the subject line of your email. The subject line of the email can sometimes affect the deliverability, so mix it up Don't send too many test emails. Sending too many test emails can cause problems, because it thinks these emails are spam. Wait a few minutes in between sending tests Make it personal, i.e. “Dear Steve”. Personalisation lets spam filters know that you know the recipient
Did you know that 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone? That’s why subject lines are so key to the make or break of your email campaign. The best way to write email subject lines to achieve higher open rates is by tapping into the human behaviour on an emotional level. The major types of emotions include fear, sadness, curiosity, anger, surprise, excitement, guilt, shame, disgust, interest, and happiness. People have “pain points”, which, when poked, cause a reaction. If you can tap into these emotions / pain points, you’re on the way to success. Here are some great examples of attention-grabbing email subject lines, based on those emotions … Fear - There are various ways that fear manifests. One such example, common to many, is the fear of missing out, for example “I’d hate it if I didn’t put my lottery on this week and my numbers came up”. Another is the fear of “What if”, an emotion used time and time again by the insurance industry. You can also add in scarcity, or a sense of urgency into your email subject line. Your subscription is expiring soon … Don’t miss out on … Sale ends soon - only a few hours left … Get Your 7-day plan today before it disappears forever … Book now - limited number of spaces available … Curiosity - Creating intrigue and curiosity creates a desire to open your email and read more. Think about the duff duff theme tune on EastEnders ... It’s the cliff hanger that will only be satisfied by watching the next episode, or in this case, opening the email. Have you heard the buzz? See what all the fuss is about… Check this out … New season, new you … A gift for you … 5 Horrible things about … Whatever you do, Don’t Open This Email … Humour - If a subject line can make someone laugh, then your email is more likely to be opened. This can be a tough one, but if you get it right, it could go viral. Humour isn’t for everyone, particularly in the world of B2B, so make sure you know your audience. Witty word play on your product / service 10 People to really, really avoid at networking Stereotypical - Yes I’m pregnant! So I like to wash up … Farcical - What will happen when pigs learn to fly? Vanity – Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. Using vanity means that you can either promise something that makes the subscriber look better, or invoke the fear of being shamed. Don’t be caught dead wearing last year’s … You’ll look great using … Top 10 Age-defying beauty tips and tricks … These are the products that celebs are using … Greed - Everyone loves a bargain, which is why sales, discounts and special offers work really well in your email subject lines (but remember, spam traps can be triggered easily). Sale starts tomorrow … Flash Sale … 25% off … Buy one get one free … Get priority subscription now … Lazy - It's not necessarily about being lazy, more about making their life easier. If you help them achieve their goal quicker or simpler, or help them save time, money or energy, you’re onto a winner. 5-point checklist to get new sales … Grow your email list faster with these tips … How to make emails easier … Create an Ebook in 5 easy steps … 75 ways to get new customers … Pain Points - If you know your customer, then you might know their biggest challenges and pain points. Using subject lines that solve their problem is a great way to increase email open rates. Boost your sales … Do you want more work space? … Stop wasting / losing time … How to survive … Struggling to motivate your team? … Retargeting - These emails are sent to people when they fail to complete a task or, for example, when they abandon their cart. These emails serve to bring your prospects back into your sales process. Have you forgotten something? … Good News - The price has dropped … Did you miss out on something … We aren’t giving up on you … Personal - Include your subscriber’s name in the subject line to make it more personal. Joanne - Check this out … Happy Birthday Mary – Surprise gift for you … John - Are you coming to the next meeting? … Are you a blue or red Angela? … Steve, thank you for your donation … KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) - When in doubt, keep it simple. For this to work well, you need to give something of value in your email, so make sure you have something important to say. A big thank you … Monthly Sales & Marketing Newsletter … “Company Name” News Bulletin! … Happy New Year from All of us at “Company Name” … Your Personal Networking Invitation … Keywords - There are some specific key words that are effective when used in email subject lines. Use these keywords when crafting your own subject lines to boost your open rates even further. Upgrade go wonderful promotional Congratulations Forecast Snapshot Token voluntary monthly is coming get it now Numbers - Number are a really good way of catching people’s attention, especially if they can show instant results or gratification. 99 New ideas to get new customers … Increase sales by 53% … Only 60 minutes or less … The next 2 minutes could change your business forever … Sales starts at 6.30am … I hope this help you to create great email subject lines that will get your emails opened
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