Mobile accessibility, content excellence, and successful delivery are key to effective email communications and marketing.
Since internet-based email emerged in the mid-90s, it’s been joined by numerous other communications avenues, like social media, texting, and chat rooms. Each of these has probably taken a bite out of overall email usage, but our inboxes keep overflowing. Email still works. Here are some suggestions for keeping it viable for your business.
Make sure that your emails are mobile-friendly. 2015 is the year that mobile internet access finally bypassed desktop. Your readers are more likely to be viewing your content on a small screen (smartphone or tablet) than on a large monitor. Are you accommodating all types of devices?
You can learn about this on your own, in which case you should consider using a service like Litmus, which shows you what your messages will look like across dozens of email clients and devices. A better idea is to go through one of the well-established email marketing services like MailChimp or Constant Contact; these companies offer comprehensive help with creation, management, and analysis of your campaigns.
Make every email count. There are numerous reasons why you choose email to reach your customers and prospects. Certainly, you send messages to welcome them as subscribers and communicate with them about orders, queries, etc. You may have occasion to pass along company news or information about changes to your website. And you’ll want to clue them in on sales and promotions, as well as new products and services.
Try to limit both individual and group emails to content that simply must be shared. Your audience will grow numb if you send too many messages. But do take great care with each email’s look and content. We all form impressions of companies based on their communications: visual, spoken, and written. You have complete control over your emails, so use that to your advantage.
Do your best to bypass the spam filters of your customers and prospects. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are smarter than you might think. Some of your carefully-worded missives are likely to end up in at least some spam filters, but there are ways to build your emails in a fashion that increases your chances of getting through. Here are some tips from email marketing pioneer MailChimp:
- Don’t write in ALL CAPS. You may think that doing so in the Subject line will get you noticed. But how do you feel when you see this in your own inbox? Spam filters don’t like it. Same goes for multiple exclamation points.
- If you have a list of inactive recipients – individuals and businesses who have never opened and/clicked on your email — don’t send bulk emails to it. ISPs don’t like low engagement rates.
- Stay away from hyperbole and overly enthusiastic phrases like, “Click here!” and “Once in a lifetime opportunity!”
- Avoid sending out “bad content” that could send your emails to spam. Here’s an article that further defines this kind of filtering.
Business email is still an effective tool for getting your message across, but it has a lot of competition. So give it the attention it needs.