Austin Email Marketing FAQs

This is a list of brief answers to some of the most common questions I get from clients and speaking event attendees. If you are looking for Frequently Asked Questions about other areas of Integrated Digital Marketing, I have these to choose from:

Let’s take a look at these:

Going into 2020, Email marketing is still one of the most effective tools for a small business to reach customers. If you think about it, it makes sense.

Instead of posting content on your site and just hoping people will see it, or posting on social media and hoping fans will see it, you’re sending information, answers to problems, and other content directly into each prospect’s inbox, where they are far more likely to see it! Even if they don’t open it immediately, they’ll still see the subject and your company’s logo, service offering, etc… each time you send email. This way, you’re always communicating directly with your prospects or clients.

It might surprise you, but statistics show that email reaches 3 times more prospective customers than Twitter and Facebook combined. That’s a large difference. Social media marketing is popular, but it’s definitely not taking the place of email marketing any time soon. With Facebook, for example, a post only reaches a tiny portion of your audience. When users have opted into your email list, however, every person on that list will receive your message, allowing for open rates, of course.
(Read this loudly) NO!!! Never. It’s tempting, but resist that temptation every time. The only way you should attain an email subscriber list that’s truly beneficial to your company and your clients is to grow it organically. First, many email service providers won’t allow you to use a purchased list. Second, the addresses found on lists like these aren’t high-quality leads.

These lists won’t contain prospects truly interested in your services, since they didn’t opt-in to your specific email list directly, so they’ll be more likely to mark your email messages as spam.

The very best way to grow your email subscriber list: Give to get.

Offer your audience a strong asset in exchange for signing up to get your emails. Put this offer on your site, your social media accounts, landing pages on your website – get the word out, and be active, and your prospects will qualify themselves by opting into your email.

In short, the kind of content that’ll be seen as valuable by your audience.

It can be a white paper, Ebook, webinar, video, even a coupon – anything that’s attractive enough to potential clients that they are willing to offer their email address in exchange.

For some, an email newsletter is the right way to go. For others, a different approach is better. Newsletters feature several pieces of content, like recent blog posts or special offers. But it’s perfectly fine to send an email featuring just one piece of content, or a specific marketing message. Be sure to tailor your structure to your unique audience, then see what works best by experimentation and tweaking
As often as you can, without getting annoying. How’s that for a vague answer? But it’s true – you want to send frequent emails, but not so frequent that people start unsubscribing or worse, marking them as spam. Where’s the happy medium? Unfortunately, it’s different for each business. For some, once a month is plenty, while for others, daily emails are just fine. Again, it’s a matter of experimentation and testing to see what your particular audience responds best to.
Once again, the answer to this question differs from business to business. And once again, testing is the way to find out what works best. As a general rule, weekends and mornings seem to be the times when more emails are opened – but since your audience may have different habits, it’s best to experiment and then use your own data to decide.
There are certain obvious email marketing no-nos to avoid, if you want to stay out of the spam folder – things like mentioning Viagra, or writing in all caps. But spam filters are much more sophisticated now than they used to be, so one or two trip-ups usually won’t mean the end for you. The best way to stay out of the dreaded spam folder is to write not like a salesperson, but like a friend – the tone of your emails, and even the vocabulary you use, will automatically be different.
This is another case for A/B testing. There’s no one right answer, even though some people swear by the gorgeous, eye-catching images of HTML emails, and others maintain that simple text looks best in every email program and is never blocked like an image can be. Once again, it all depends on your particular audience and their preferences, so try both and see which one is most successful.
The average person will only spend about 20 seconds reading an email, so use that as a guideline. If your email will take longer than 20 seconds to read, make sure that the most important information, as well as your call to action and links, are located near the top, where they can be seen without having to scroll down.
The single best piece of advice we can give when it comes to writing a marketing email is to keep the following in mind: The purpose of every email you write is to deepen your relationship with each individual subscriber. That means writing to them as if they were a friend, or at least a real-life person, rather than sounding like a used car salesman.
If you have the resources to write that extra content, and the flexibility within your niche to divvy your subject matter up into segments, then by all means, yes! Segmenting your email list is a great way to personalize marketing messages according to subscribers’ individual interests, making them that much more effective.
The two most important metrics for email marketing are the open rate and the click-through rate. If your emails aren’t getting opened, subscribers will never see your full marketing message – and if they’re opening them, but not clicking through to your site, your emails aren’t converting.
The key to getting subscribers to open your emails is by writing a stellar subject line every time. Other than your company name, that’s all they have to help them make that split-second decision when they see your email in their inbox.
The best subject lines are short and to the point, accurately describing what’s in the email – but also catchy and intriguing, so the reader wants to know more. Once again, this is the perfect place for some A/B testing, to see which types of subject lines work best with your audience.
Amazingly, people are much more likely to do something if you simply ask them to. By placing a call to action in your email, specifically asking subscribers to “click here” or “shop now,” you’ll see a boost in your click-through rate.
Your call to action should be very clear, and very simple. It should be somewhere towards the top of your email for those who won’t finish reading the whole email, and then repeated again at the end for those who do read all the way through. It should spell out exactly what you want subscribers to do, such as, “Click here to download our report.”
The most important thing to remember about your From email address is to make it recognizable. If subscribers see an unfamiliar name on the From line, they might just mark the email as spam. Your From line should either feature your company’s name, or an individual’s name, if you want to make it more personal – but it needs to be clear which company that individual is a part of, or subscribers will again be confused.
This law requires anyone sending commercial emails to include an unsubscribe link within each one, include the company’s physical address or P.O. Box as well, and to honor any subscriber’s request to unsubscribe by never emailing them again. Noncompliance with this law can be as high as $300 per email recipient.