Mobile email marketing offers a return on investment that no other marketing channel can: despite all the hype around social, SEO and paid (all of which can be very effective), in terms of making more money than you spend, email remains the king.
Here, we’re going to go through two main areas: how to get best results with email marketing in general, and then how to get the best results when marketing to mobile customers.
With more traffic now coming from mobiles than from any other devices, it pays to optimize your platform for mobiles.
First things first, you need to build a customer base. Without subscribers, you won’t make money!
However, it’s not about getting just anyone on your list: you want to acquire target customers: that is, people who’re actually going to buy from you.
Have an effective sign-up process
You’d be amazed how many people try to build an email list using a sign-up form that asks for ten bits of information!
Needless to say, this is a good way to put people OFF signing up for your list.
Here are the two things you want to get people on your e-mail list:
Have a sign-up bar that offers something in return for an email address, and:
A form that JUST asks for an email address (and maybe a first name)
That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s enough for you to personalize your messages, but it’s not too intrusive.
Oh, and when we say a sign-up button that promises something? You want to phrase it from the USER’s point of view, not yours.
So, rather than have it say ‘Click here for my free report’, say ‘Get my free report!’ or something similar.
You might be surprised how much of a difference this makes!
Offer something of genuine value
If you want to get someone onto your email list, you have to offer them something valuable in return.
This can be almost anything:
- A free series of videos
- A PDF ebook
- A ‘how-to’ guide that takes them through a process that’ll benefit them
Remember, you want to offer something that’s ACTUALLY valuable. If your free gift doesn’t:
- Help your reader save time, or
- Help your reader save money (or make it)
Then don’t bother.
Will you get people to sign up by offering something that’s useless? Sure. But they won’t stick around, and you’ll get a (deserved) reputation of being a spammer.
If people sign-up to your list and are actually happy with what you give them as a freebie, they’ll immediately feel better about you.
Offer an affiliate and/or bonus for referrals
If your email list is worth being on, then you should get additional customers through word-of-mouth anyway.
However, it never hurts to give an incentive for referrals. If you’ve got an extra product or resource you can send through to people as an affiliate resource, it’s never a bad idea to do it.
(For a more comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing, check this outstanding resource.)
Include an opt-in within your email signature
If you send a lot of emails during the day, it might be worth including an opt-in button within your emails, as part of your email signature.
This isn’t a hard-sell, but it’ll simply give people the option of signing up if they’ve emailed you a couple of times and dig what you’re offering.
Include your opt-in in your social accounts
If you’re a big user of Facebook or Twitter, then it’s worth including a link to your sign-up form (or your main landing page) as part of your bio.
This way, even one viral post could give your email list a real boost. (And at no cost!)
If you’ve got one particular post that receives a lot more traffic than the rest – and this kind of outlier blog is more common than you might think – it’s worth ‘pinning’ it to the top of your social media page, too.
So, you’ve built an email list full of people that like what you do and are happy to hear from you.
How can you go about writing emails that provide real value AND convert? Let’s take a look:
Stop writing to everyone, and start writing to one person.
This is an old-school copywriting technique, and it’s as effective as they come.
Even if you’ve got a list of 10,000 people, you want to write your emails as if you’re talking to one of them.
Better yet, write as if you’re talking to a buddy of yours, over the table at a bar or coffee shop.
The more personal your conversation style is, the better your list will feel about receiving your emails and the more they’ll like you.
And what do people do when they like you? That’s right: they buy from you!
Don’t mail unless you’ve got a reason to
We don’t hold with the idea of mailing ‘regularly’. The best emails are the ones that have something special to offer you.
If you’ve got something genuinely valuable to share – such as something new you’ve just learned or a new product you’re releasing- then by all means send an email.
There’s a word for people who send messages for the sake of it, and it’s ‘spammer’.
Do what you say you’re going to do
Here’s the thing about email: many people are worried about being too ‘salesy’.
They want to run a successful business, but they’re scared of hassling anyone.
This is actually a good thing, because no-one likes a pushy salesman. The trouble is that you ARE going to have to send sales messages out if you want to make money!
So how can you be salesy without being pushy or spammy? Simple: be honest about it.
When people sign-up to your email list, outright say that at some point, you may send messages promoting your products or offering great deals.
That way, you know that the people who really DON’T want to receive sales messages won’t sign up to your list, and that everyone who does is happy to receive your more sales-focused emails.
Oh, and if you’re worried that you’ll lose email subscribers by putting that warning in, then don’t be. You WILL get people that don’t sign-up, but the truth is they’re not people who’re going to buy anyway.
It’s better to not have them costing you money by being on your mailing list.
Put your name (and your face) in your emails – prove that you’re legit
In 2017, it’s not cool to not put your real name in your emails.
The days of shady internet marketers working anonymously has mostly been and gone: if you’re selling a product or service, you should be prepared to put your name (and your face) behind it.
If you’re a business, meanwhile – such as an e-commerce store – ensure that you put your trading address in your emails, along with a phone number where people can get in touch with you.
Prove that you’re the real deal, and recipients are more likely to trust you. Simple.
The reason we mentioned that you only need to ask for an email address and a first name when getting subscribers?
That a bit of personalization is fine, but too much is outright creepy!
If you send an email that addresses someone by their name, that’s fine. But – even if you’ve got the data – don’t start sending messages out that mention locations, age ranges and so on.
Remember, people get weirded out mighty fast when too much information is used. (If you don’t believe us, take a look at Target’s PR flack!)
Remember to actually include a CTA
Even if your email is more of an update than a straight sales message, you should still remember to include some kind of CTA. Even if it’s for an older product, for a free gift or anything else of value you can offer.
People buy when they’re ready to buy, and it might be that your single email is the reminder they need that they were planning to pick up your product!
Don’t be afraid of testing
Email testing is an invaluable tool. We can’t cover everything to do with A/B testing here (we’d recommend reading this superb guide) but suffice to say, you should be testing your emails to see which ones perform better.
By split testing, you’re able to see which emails perform better at every stage. You can test whether your emails convert better:
- With different headlines
- With or without images
- With different body copy
- With different sign-ups
- With less or more text
And so on. Essentially, if it’s on your email you can test it!
Why should you test? Because by testing, you’ll be able to slowly form emails that make you money EVERY time they go out. You’ll have a sure-fire, money making system that works automatically – even when you’re not working.
Keep things short
There’s a time and a place for a pithy essay or a 2,000 word sales letter, and an email isn’t it!
When people open an email, they want something that they don’t have to spend more than a minute or two on – preferably less.
Focus entirely on getting your message across in less than 2-300 words. As long as your copywriting skills are up to scratch, this should be more than enough.
So, you’ve got a great list and you know how to create emails that convert: what next?
Well, what’s next is ensuring that your emails are mobile friendly. With more and more people viewing emails on their mobile, you need to make sure that yours get the job done on any device.
Here are the mobile specific tips you need to bear in mind:
Make sure your emails are responsive
We’ve covered responsive design in a lot more depth in this blog, but here’s a quick summary:
Responsive design means that your email (or web page) will adapt to fit different devices. It’ll look just as great on a phone as it will on a fancy 32 inch TV.
Needless to say, your emails have to be responsive.
Fortunately, most modern email providers (Aweber, Mailchimp and so on) offer responsive emails as standard.
What’s more, they’ll usually include tools capable of letting you preview your email in each of the main formats to ensure it looks good. Make sure you do this: the last thing you want is an email that converts well on desktop but looks terrible on a tablet!
If you’re linking to another page, make sure that’s also responsive!
So, you want to direct your user to another killer website, or your new landing page.
Good idea! Well, unless that page isn’t responsive design. Then, you’re just going to waste your subscriber’s time.
‘Pfft, ignore that guy, he sent me to this broken page.’
(And yes, that’s pretty much how users think – they’re merciless.)
It’s all very well your email looking great, but every other page it links to has to do the same. An email funnel is only as good as its weakest page!
Make sure your copy is scannable
If you’re planning on pasting your email copy into the message (and that’s fair enough) ensure that any additional formatting has been stripped out.
Good copy uses a lot of expressive formatting – italics, bolds, underlines and so forth – but ideally, you should use your email client’s WYSIWYG editor to do it.
Copying anything across from Word (or other word-processing software) can be fiddly in any CMS, and that’s certainly the case with most email software.
(A good way to ensure you’ve completely stripped the formatting out is to copy your messages into notepad – or your equivalent – before pasting it into the email editor.)
Remember, your emails will be displayed on different operating systems as well as different sized screens. Mailchimp, Aweber and the like spend time and money ensuring their messages display properly across the board: you can trust their formatting more than you can trust most word processors!
Make sure your CTAs and fonts are the right size
On any mobile devices, buttons need to be big enough for fingers to click on them.
Nothing annoys users more than when they try to click on something and accidentally click the button next to it!
A good general rule is that your CTA buttons should be at least 50 pixels high: this is about right for a thumb click.
The same principle goes for your copy: ideally, you want a font size of at least 15 for the boy copy: this will be readable on mobile devices but won’t look massive on desktop screens.
Don’t overdo images (you probably don’t need them)
It’s worth noting that within mobile email marketing, images aren’t that essential. Indeed, many mobile email clients will actually have images off as standard.
Does this mean you can’t use an image to brighten things up? Absolutely not. But the image shouldn’t be important to the message.
Make it so your email can be read and actioned without an image, so that if your recipient has images off, you won’t ruin your conversion rates.
(You could, of course, also test emails without an image against those with one to see if it makes a difference.)
Make sure your CTA is the focal point
This is, in the end, the main priority for mobile emails; ensuring that your CTA is the main priority.
Mobile readers are less likely to read copy than those on desktop, so if you’re targeting mobile users your CTA – whatever it is – should be front and center.
Get right to the point of what you want your users to do, and make it easy for them to do it. (Again, you’ll want to make sure your button is big enough in terms of pixels!).
If you’re interested in finding out more about effective digital marketing, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today, we’d love to help you.