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E-Mail (Still) Reigns Queen

Posted on by Rebecca Mead


With all of the effort placed in gaining followers, collecting “likes,” and fretting over “reach,” the traditional e-mail format, as a marketing tool, may seem to be passé.  But even with the popularity of new technology, e-mail still reigns queen as a persuasive channel for organizations to build awareness, increase leads, and nurture potential customers.

On average, e-mails are delivered to over 90% of the subscribers on your list, while social media posts only reach 2% of your followers, the data shows that a mere .07% of followers actually interact with your social media posts…. unless, of course, you pay.  So while I don’t recommend you abandon your social media strategy, putting a little love back into your e-mail marketing efforts is a wise investment. 

91% of us check our e-mail multiple times a day.  While we can go days without checking social media, e-mail inboxes receive more visits, giving your e-mail better visibility.  And e-mail converts readers into website visitors, and buyers, more than any other channel… consumers who buy products and services marketed through e-mail spend 138% than those who not receive offers via e-mail.

With all that said, sending regular e-mails is the best way to build lasting relationships with your subscribers - if every e-mail you send is actionable and valuable. So what is actionable and valuable? Special offers, discounts, or solutions to problems your subscribers have. Your e-mails do not have to be lengthy, but they do need to be useful. 

Here are five tips to keep your subscribers opening and clicking - 

  • Prioritize mobile design - 66% of all e-mails are opened on a mobile phone or tablet - when considering what content to present and how to present it, give priority to mobile design.
  • Limit stories and calls-to-action to five or less... less is more.  The purpose of an e-newsletter is no longer to provide a lot of news, but rather to regularly remind your subscribers of your expertise and to inspire them to get involved. Focus on one to five stories and/or calls-to-action and keep text to a minimum. People don’t read online like they used to and too much text is overwhelming. In addition, convert call-to-action links into call-to-action buttons for easy tapping on mobile devices.
  • Integrate social sharing buttons - hosted e-mail services (like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Emma) allow subscribers to share your entire e-newsletter to their social networks, but also encouraging subscribers to share individual articles is a smart cross-channel strategy.
  • Add screenshots and links to video - e-mails that include video have double the click-through rate. You can link the video screenshot directly to YouTube or Instagram or to the videos embedded directly inside your website or blog.
  • Keep subject lines short and avoid "[Organization Name] E-Newsletter" - give the recipient a reason to open. Short subject lines that easily can be read on smartphones and tablets result in the highest open rates. Thus, limit your subject lines to 50 characters or less.

And remember, don’t just compete on value - show some personality… the best e-mails have a relatable human voice.  Using your own voice - not corporate speak - builds rapport and allows subscribes to get to know and trust you - connect with you. Invite your subscribers to reply to your e-mails, or join the discussion on your website, or your social media channels. 

We'd love to hear your best ideas for writing engaging e-mails… what’s worked for you?