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Email Marketing

How to Keep Emails Out of the Junk Folder

There’s a simple way to find out if your customers are going to read your business’ emails.

Ready? Because this is a game-changer.

If you wouldn’t open that email, your customers wouldn’t either.

Now, we’re not suggesting that every single person on your email list will read every single email you send—especially if it’s part of a marketing campaign. In fact, the numbers are against you from the beginning. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s a strong likelihood that your average open rate will be less than 30%.

But don’t let that deter you. Because email marketing can be one of the most powerful, affordable, and profitable tools at your disposal—but only if you know how to do it right. When done right, an email marketing campaign can:

  • Increase profits:The average US company makes $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing, and that profit margin jumps even higher if you’re in retail or ecommerce.
  • Grow your business: 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach new customers thanks to its low upfront investment and high returns.
  • Build brand recognition: You can’t always count on organic traffic to reach the right people. Email marketing can reach your target audience and ensure they remember your name.

Read on and start using these 3 ways to maximize your email marketing efforts.

Know Your Audience

Your first task in great email marketing is knowing who you want to get the message. When you’re launching an email campaign, start by segmenting your audience:

  • One-to-many: Do you want to get a general message across? For instance, would your email apply to just about anyone who shares their address with you?
  • One-to-few: Are you hoping to reach a select number of people? These may be entire industries (healthcare, home services, etc.), or a group in a certain location (for example, a local business reaching out to residents of Colorado Springs).
  • One-to-one: Are you targeting a specific person or role? Usually this will be a decision-maker in a business, like a CEO or IT director.

There are several ways to make segmenting easier on yourself. Because for some email campaigns, you may not be entirely sure. One-to-one is by far the best way to create a personalized message, but how do you know your message won’t land if you take a one-to-many or one-to-few approach? Here’s how to do it right:

  • Check out what your competitors are doing. Enter your email address into your competitors’ gated content (i.e., something that requires you to enter your information before you can access it), and see what their emails look like when they inevitably bombard you with them. Study them carefully, from the subject line to the call-to-action. If they’re overly generic, you can bet they’re finding success in a one-to-many approach. If they use your job title and jargon specific to your role, they’re probably hoping to hook you, specifically.
  • Define your goal. Whether you’re hoping to get someone to visit your website, take advantage of an offer, partner with you directly, or anything in between, articulate exactly what your end goal of the email is. That will help you not only know your audience, but craft your message in a more effective way.

With us so far? Good. Because now we’re on to the fun stuff.

Related Article:
Need help getting your marketing efforts off the ground? Check out our guide on building a winning campaign.

Get Your Subject Lines Right

So simple, but oh so hard. Subject lines make or break your email open rate, so there’s a lot of pressure to get them right. And there’s a balance, too. You might see a subject line that’s cute and fluffy, but doesn’t get to the point. On the flipside, you’ll often see one that’s hyper-focused, but doesn’t pique your interest at all. Here are a few ways you can improve your subject lines:

  • Use active voice: Starting your subject line with an active verb is a simple way to increase open rates. Rather than saying, “X product will help you increase your Y…”, go with something with more action: “Increase your Y with X”.
  • Lead with the carrot, not the stick: What’s the benefit to the reader? If your subject line doesn’t tell them exactly what they’re going to get, they’re not going to waste their time reading your email.
  • Be descriptive, but not too long: Narrow down the most important aspects of your email and include them in your subject lines. But keep it short—use no more than 10 words or 60 characters.
  • Add personalization: Your readers are human, so your subject lines should be relatable. Consider using merge tags to add details specific to the reader, such as their name or location. Emojis can also be a nice touch—but only in moderation.
  • Test your subject lines: Using a couple of different subject-line variations for the same email is an excellent way to see which approach is landing with your audience. If one subject line has a higher open rate than the other, you’ve found a winner.

Oh, and one more thing: NEVER write your subject line until you’ve written the email.

What about punctuation?
Punctuation marks are fine to use in subject lines, but limit them to three or less—especially if you’re using special characters or emojis. A subject line with too many exclamation points, for example, may be immediately confused for spam.

Improve Your Email Body Copy

In an email marketing campaign, you’ll likely have several different types of emails. One may be an introduction into who you are and what you bring to the table. Another might be a “thank you” email for downloading an eBook or watching a video on your site. Still others may be a little lower down the marketing funnel, such as an offer to test a demo or speak to a sales rep. But while these email types will be different in substance, they should all follow a few rules of thumb:

  • Make your brand stand out: Your emails are an extension of your website, social media presence, and overall personality. So make sure your design, voice and tone, and color scheme are consistent across all of your web properties and channels.
  • Stay on topic: Because each email version within a campaign will be different, make sure you stay on topic. Continuously lead with the benefit to the reader, use relevant and appealing statistics, and avoid any jargon or unnecessary language that takes away from your overall message.
  • Provide company updates: You don’t want your email to be all about you, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give timely updates and new developments within your emails—especially when they’re pertinent to a specific campaign.
  • Perfect your CTAs: Your call-to-action (CTA) is the single most important part of your email—but only if your reader clicks on it. It may lead to a specific website landing page, a demo video, a phone call to a sales rep, or any number of actions. Avoid fluffy or unclear language (such as “Find Your Bliss”) and be clear, direct, and as always, lead with the benefit (e.g., “Start Your Free Trial”).

Did you know that not all emails within a marketing campaign have to be professionally designed? Play around with “plain text” emails—no images, no designs, just words on the page. These should normally come from someone high up in your organization, such as your VP of Marketing or CFO.

How Scorpion Can Boost Your Email Marketing

If you’ve never taken on an email marketing campaign before (or even if you have), you’re going to face a lot of challenges. But having a proven and experienced partner in your corner can help alleviate the pressure, improve open and conversion rates, and ultimately increase your bottom line.

For more than 20 years, Scorpion’s mission (and undying passion) has been to help businesses grow through content marketing, digital advertising, websites, and more. No matter your company’s size, market, or what your plans are to scale, we can help you create an email marketing strategy that works.

When you partner with Scorpion, you’ll gain full access to our suite of expertise in the following industries and more:

  • Law firms: Attract new clients and retain existing ones by optimizing your websites and landing pages, boosting your legal advertising efforts, and improving your rankings on search engine results pages.
  • Home services: Make your brand more recognizable in an industry rife with competitors in the HVAC, pest control, roofing, restoration, plumbing, and moving spaces.
  • Healthcare: Take your patient-first work to the next level by giving them unparalleled access to your clinics and online services, and gain more patients in the process.
  • Franchises and multi-location brands: Expand to new markets and showcase your company’s ability to provide best-in-class services, no matter where your customers happen to be.

Ready to learn more about Scorpion and what we can do for you? Contact us today and start building your best business.