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“You’ve got mail”

Do you remember when those three little words made you smile? It is hard to believe it has been more than twenty-five years since we first logged onto the Internet via a very slow dial-up modem to hear those words. 
As in any long-term relationship, our feelings about email have changed over time. From early love as we looked forward to an update in our mailbox, to the dull routine of daily interactions. Through it all we have hung in there, remaining loyal, opening our email every day.  
Let’s face it, email is everywhere. According to a study by Statista, in 2016 the number of e-mail users worldwide is forecasted to rise to 2.9 billion by 2019 and the average user has 1.8 email accounts. (Source: Radicati 2016)    
This is music to the ears of the average marketer, email is on the rise and since so many people carry smartphones it is easier than ever to use email marketing to deliver timely and relevant messages to customers. But just because they have an email account and you have their email address, it doesn’t mean you will make a sale. 

Not all email marketing is equal

Some email campaigns work better than others. This week, Luke, Sam and I talked about how to increase the number of people who open, read and react to your messages. Here’s a quick synopsis of some of the tips we shared. Of course, you can always catch the entire conversation by listening to the podcast below.  

Improve the open rate of your email marketing campaigns

Want to get someone’s attention? It starts with a great opening line. This is true if you are trying to get me to look at an advertisement, a newspaper headline or strike up a conversation in a bar. You have to say something which is relevant to me.
How much more powerful is a personal subject line? According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. To get personal, you have to segment your list, so take the time to divide your list into smaller more focused groups and you are likely to have significantly better results. 
Relevance isn’t the only thing you need to increase open rates, you have to be interesting as well. Experiment with questions, outrageous statements or not so subtle warnings to break through the clutter of the inbox. 

Design and image tips

Don’t cram the newsletter full with anything and everything you want to say. Remember, there will be another issue in a few weeks. So pick one or two topics, peak my curiosity and link to your website for more information. 
Use images wisely. Don’t put anything relevant in an image, they are just for decoration. Some people won’t even download the image, so if you put critical information in the image, it will be missed. Also, GIFs are currently very popular in social media. You can actually embed them the same way you do on social media. That little bit of movement is sure to grab the attention of the reader, and it is easy to do with the right email tool. 
Use buttons instead of hyperlinks for your calls to action. This small change can increase conversion rates by as much as 28% – Campaign Monitor. Just use a text box and not an image of the button if you want this to be effective. 

Want more tips?  

If you want to fall in love with email marketing again, you just need to improve your campaigns. Listen to the podcast for more tips and suggestions.  

Roundpeg is an Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact Email Marketing Products. We often share our favorite email marketing tips, tools and resources. Be sure to bookmark our blog and come back from time to time.  And if you are curious about how you can take advantage of this powerful tool sign up for a free trial.
More than a Few Words is a weekly podcast discussing marketing topics for small business