For a reliable and cost-effective way to reach customers, stay on top of their minds, and generate new revenue, it’s hard to beat email. More than 90% of us check our inboxes every day, and nearly a third use our phones and tablets to check email “continuously.”

Combine that with the reality that email is personal and instant, and costs almost nothing to send, and you have the recipe for a tool that almost every marketer will love.

Of course, making email a profitable part of your online marketing plans isn’t quite as simple as mass-mailing your list and hoping for the best. To dominate your industry and grow your bottom line using regular newsletters, you’re going to have to keep a few important pieces of advice in mind…

#1 Use Email the Right Way

Email, like any internet marketing tool, has its right and wrong uses. It’s great for driving sales, announcing specials, creating time-specific awareness, and increasing participation in events or specials. When it comes to gaining new customers, though, or developing your brand strategy, other mediums can be more efficient. So, use email to nurture leads and drive revenue, but count on search engine optimization, social media, and PPC advertising to attract new customers in the first place.

#2 Grab Attention from Readers, Not Spam Filters

The five or 10 words you put in your email subject line can make or break your campaigns. Think I’m overstating things? In one study, 64% of respondents said they decide whether or not to open an email by glancing at that single line of text.  Your subject lines need to be interesting, inviting, and relevant to the body content of the email itself. Don’t go too far, though, or you’ll trigger spam filters and your message won’t be delivered at all.

#3 Keep Your Messages Short and Relevant

Although you theoretically have an unlimited amount of space to write within your emails, you do have severe restrictions when it comes to your subscribers’ attention spans. It’s much better to send a 200- or 300-word message that leaves readers wanting more and invites them to click through to your website, than it is to send something longer that never gets read. Don’t tempt customers to click away if the amount of text displayed in their preview window seems overwhelming.

#4 Always End on a Smart Call to Action

Naturally, the goal of your email newsletter should be to drive sales, leads, registrations, or some other action. Structure your headlines and body content in a way that brings up the topic and the benefits of your approach, but don’t forget to ask subscribers directly to take the next step. You can improve click-through rates dramatically simply by using clear text link or button calls to action, that suggest a next logical step.

#5 Optimize Your Messages for Mobile

It’s amazing, but in this day and age there are still a large number of marketers who are ignoring mobile compatibility in their email campaigns. This, despite the fact that 48% of all messages are opened on mobile devices, and a high probability that even more of them will be in the future. It doesn’t take a lot of work to make your email newsletters look better on small screens, but your campaigns will be much more effective when they are.

#6 Promote Your Newsletters

If you are taking the time to create detailed and targeted email marketing campaigns, don’t settle for pressing “send” and then forgetting all about them. Instead, take to your social accounts and ensure subscribers know your newsletter is coming, and that there’s lots of great content within. Doing so builds anticipation that can lead to more opens among your readers. It also creates more crossover between your email list and social following. In one study, emails with social sharing buttons received 158% more clicks.  Subscribers felt they could trust the company more when they could find them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

#7 Study 3 Key Statistics

You can’t improve your email marketing until you know how your emails are performing in the first place. That’s easy to understand, which makes it all the more shocking to find out that nearly one in every 5 marketers does no tracking of their email opens, delivery rates, or ROI.  Keep tabs on opens, click-throughs, and unsubscribes. These are the “vital signs” of your email campaigns, and tell you whether your messages are connecting with buyers or not.

Even in an age of social media and mobile advertising, you can’t beat email for its ability to make a quick impression on buyers at a very low price. Keep these seven foolproof tips in mind, and you’ll be dominating your customers’ inboxes month after month.

The Takeaways

  • Email is best for building sales, awareness, and instant engagement.
  • Your email subject line is the most important part of your message.
  • Email newsletters should be short, and end with a clear call to action.
  • You should optimize your emails for mobile viewing.
  • Promote your email messages via social networks, and include social links within your emails.
  • Keep a close eye on key statistics related to email newsletter performance.