When it comes to marketing events, a multifaceted approach is typically the best tactic. This means communicating the details of your event across multiple platforms. Email marketing is the unsung hero of this marketing mix — one that is often overlooked or just done on autopilot, which means missed opportunities.
When managed well, however, email marketing can provide better engagement and ROI than social media and even some paid advertising. In short: don’t underestimate the power of email.
Here are five ways to optimize your email marketing — the type of “best practices” to improve member engagement and raise more awareness of your events.
1. Get to the point
“The No. 1 rule for successful email marketing,” says Ben McRae, director of web strategy at MDG, “is that less is more.” We’re not talking about budgets. We’re talking about attention spans. Most of us receive hundreds of emails each week, so to increase the chance of your message actually being read, you need to get to the point. Forget the fancy prose. Skip the metaphors. Be specific.
2. Don’t send everything in one email
Overwhelm is the unspoken beast of our age. People can only absorb so much information at one time, so consider sending more snack-size content. For instance, if you need to communicate registration dates, make a call for sponsorship, and announce a new board member, consider breaking these messages into three separate emails, each spaced appropriately apart (such as one per week).
3. Mobilize your message
Many people open their emails on mobile devices. This is not ground-breaking news. But are we actually designing our marketing emails to ensure that they are “phone friendly.” According to marketing consultant experts emailmonday, mobile opens accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of all email opens. So, make sure your content reflects the domain in which it will be viewed. This might mean vertical photos and getting to the point (see above).
4. Avoid being perceived as spam
We all want to do this. But how? We have two tricks. Firstly, start by trimming your list to get rid of inactive contacts. If many of your emails are bouncing, this may affect your reputation as a sender, which can prompt inbox providers (such as Gmail) to flag you as a spammer. Secondly, you have to make the content compelling. Subscribers who don’t engage with your emails bring down your overall engagement. Their lack of reaction informs inbox providers that your content is irrelevant, so your emails are more likely to go to the junk folder.
5. Be consistent
When it comes to great email marketing, consistency is key. That means it is important to schedule regular emails, such as weekly, monthly, or seasonal updates. To help you stick to a schedule, you might consider branding your email content based on its frequency, with such titles as the “Mid-month Member Memo” or “One Thing to Know this Week.” Get creative — but do it consistently.
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