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“You’ve Got Mail!”

“You’ve Got Mail!”

By Bailey Stitzer, account coordinator

Email marketing can be one of the strongest marketing channels for making a profit and retaining customers. However, you would be shocked on the number of brands that can’t write a successful email.

According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm based out of California, the number of emails sent and received per day in 2015 totaled over 205 billion. This figure is expected to grow 12% by the end of 2019, reaching more than 246 billion emails. The truth is, email marketing has never been more important than it is now, but if it isn’t done right, it’s an opportunity missed.

“Emails play an important role in our daily lives whether it’s conducting business, corresponding with friends, receiving news or getting updates from your favorite brands,” says Prof. Katelyn Kelley, adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “If you are a business owner or working as a brand marketer, you know that getting into someone’s inbox is nearly impossible.” If you do make it in, getting them to open the email is another challenge in itself.

The main reasons consumers want to get emails are to stay informed about their favorite brands, find out about good deals and discounts, and maybe even get something for free!

A big problem brands face is that you can’t leverage emails as a marketing channel if you don’t have email addresses. There are many solutions to this challenge. Companies can purchase email lists from a database, ask in person at a storefront or use a pop-up subscription box when users visit your website. If you are just getting started, you should research several different email marketing platforms that will fit into your budget. MailChimp (one that we like to use here at Commonwealth PR), Constant Contact and Klaviyo are just a few.
The hardest part when it comes to email marketing is writing the actual email. The three main components brand marketers or business owners should pay closest attention to are the From field, subject line, and email pre-header.

The From field (or sender of an email) generates the first impression. According to the Email Sender and Provider Coalition, more than 73% of people make the decision to mark an email as “junk” based on the sender. It’s important that the From field stays consistent in each email whether it’s “from” the name of the company, brand, or sales person.

The subject line should have no more than 30-40 characters or 5-8 words. Some service providers like Google, AOL or Yahoo mark emails as spam if subject lines include inappropriate words, are typed in all caps, or use excessive punctuation. The purpose of the subject line is to grab the reader’s attention. The subject line should state the benefit for the consumer, a sense of urgency, and/or a personalized message.

The email pre-header is the first line of text that is displayed in your emails, below the subject line. You want to make sure that it supports the information in the subject line. If you look in the inbox of your smartphone, you might notice that many email pre-headers have nothing to do with the subject line.

Lastly, you want your email to have a call to action. Using intriguing words like “discover” or “reveal” are much more convincing than words like “sign up” or “give”.

Now that you are a pro at email marketing, it’s important to keep track of the percentage of recipients who open your email. This is also called the open rate. You can improve your open rate by finding the best time to send out messages and really getting to know your audience. You can also determine the click-through rate, which is the percentage of subscribers that click a link in your email. Most email marketing platforms help businesses find these figures.

As you take on this tactic, remember that your email list is one of your most valuable resources, and if you learn how to use it correctly, the cost of doing so will pay for itself.

Acknowledgments:
I express my sincere thanks to Prof. Katelyn Kelley Harris (adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University) who provided me insight on email marketing and brand communication. Thank you for your guidance

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