The rise of social media marketing has mistakenly led many business owners to think email marketing is no longer useful.

Email ROI is still the highest among all internet-based marketing mediums. Businesses earn an average of $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing – or a 4,000 percent ROI. Email campaigns remain an important marketing tool that anyone can use to grow their business.

Even as other marketing activities prove to be useful to your business and brand awareness, view email marketing as a valuable addition to your marketing strategy.

Here are some tips on how you can start a successful email marketing campaign:

1. Start with a strong list

If you don’t have a good contact list, how can you expect to generate results? Clients often ask if buying a list is a good idea. It never is.

Email providers are under pressure to cut down on spam. Be fully aware of who you are targeting in your campaign. The best lists contain individuals who have opted-in to your emails. They are more likely to open and read your email messages and take action when they’ve actively sought out your content and opted-in.

2. Mind your subject line

The recipients of your email will decide whether or not to open it based on the subject line. You have a few seconds to capture their attention. Here are a few tips for writing good subject lines:

  • Use “you” or “your” in the subject line
  • Your subject line should be related to your business
  • Keep it short. Use 45 characters or less, or 5-8 words
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Avoid using ALL CAPS and exclamation marks
  • Never attempt to sell with the subject line

3. Send emails on weekends

A study based on 21 million emails sent showed people responded to more marketers’ emails on weekends because the volume of incoming emails was lower. And to maximize open rates, schedule your emails to go out first thing in the morning or early afternoon.

4. Don’t be a spammer

Spam filters are getting smarter and smarter. They’ve identified common phrases and formatting that indicate a message is likely to be spam. In some cases, these are common actions that result in accidental spam filtering. Some common reasons a spam filter will catch your email include:

  • Using phrases like ‘Click here!’ or ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity!’
  • Excessive use of exclamation points
  • Using ALL CAPS
  • Coloring the fonts bright red or green
  • Creating an HTML email that’s nothing but one big image, with little or no text
  • Designing HTML email in Microsoft Word, and exporting the code to HTML

5. Determine the right frequency

Sending too many emails might annoy your recipients and cause them to unsubscribe. A safe bet is to pick a schedule and be consistent. It could be weekly, biweekly or monthly.

Let subscribers know how often you’ll send emails, and then keep your word regarding the amount of emails you will send.

6. Write Quality Content

This is by far the most important rule of email marketing. If you don’t provide content that’s of interest to your subscribers, they probably won’t stay on your list for very long. Here are our three basic content tips:

  • Create content and offers that are relevant to your business
  • Offer tips or insider information that they can’t find elsewhere
  • Email only essential information and direct them to your website for more details

7. Use quality template design

Your e-mail template should contain a clear and simple design. Since you only have a few seconds to convince someone to read your message, it is very important that the design is clean, to the point and doesn’t appear too crowded.

Email marketing platforms provide numerous pre-designed templates. We like using those for holiday greetings such as Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. For your standard template, we recommend working with a professional to create a custom template. It’s inexpensive and ensures a consistent look and feel with every message you distribute.

8. Include a call to action

Your call to action should be clear and direct. Whether your goal is to get clicks to a landing page, get calls from prospects or make an outright sale, a clear call to action is necessary.

A call to action tells your subscriber what to do after they open your email. The best place to place your call to action is at the end of your email.

9. Use images appropriately

Because your emails represent your business, it should make a great impression on the recipient. A visually stimulating image can grab the attention of someone who may not be interested in reading it initially or is simply browsing quickly.

Images can make your email look dynamic and vivid. Use a relevant image to highlight your message. But as we mentioned above, avoid having your message be one giant image. That’s a red flag for spam filters. Instead, make sure your email includes some text as well.

Have more questions about email marketing? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

5 danger signs